ICG Congress in Shanghai

The 24th International Congress on Glass took place 7-11 April 2016 in Shanghai

ICG held its 24th congress in April this year in Shanghai. During the event, a series of special prizes were awarded to recipients for their lifetime’s contribution to glass and ICG.

The 24th International Congress on Glass took place 7-11 April 2016 at the Shanghai International Convention Centre and was hosted by the Chinese Ceramic Society working with the International Commission on Glass. This triennial event began in Venice, Italy in 1933 and has continued ever since, apart from a break during WW2.

The Congress Chairman was Prof Shou Peng of China Triumph International Engineering Co., the immediate past president of ICG, who called on the Glass Community to take this opportunity to join hands and make common efforts for the healthy and sustainable development of the glass industry and to realize our beautiful ‘Glass Dreams’ for the benefit of mankind. Chair of the Scientific Committee was Prof Jianrong Qiu while Mr. Zhanping Jin chaired the Organising Committee.

The opening ceremony began with welcomes from the ICG president, Dr Manoj Choudhary, president of the Chinese Ceramic Society, Dr Yongmo Xu, a representative of the Municipal Government and finally Prof Shou Peng. Next followed an Awards Ceremony. First were the prestigious President’s Awards. These are presented only at Congresses and this year were given to: Dr N F Borrelli (USA), Prof A Makashima (JP), Prof J Parker (UK) and Prof Shou Peng (CN) for their lifetime’s contribution to Glass and ICG. Secondly the Turner Prize was announced. Awarded annually, it is given for services to ICG’s Technical Committees. The recipients this year were Prof A Boccaccini (TC03) and Dr S Slade (TC13). The Gottardi prize was awarded to Prof R Martin (UK) who later gave a plenary presentation entitled ‘A structural insight into bioactive glass’. The Weyl award was presented to Dr Qiang Fu (USA) who subsequently spoke on ‘Glasses for healthcare: research, development and industrialization’.

Altogether, 803 people registered for the Congress. 169 (20%) were students, 58 from outside of China. The 270 international participants represented 33 countries. The many excellent presentations and posters offered by delegates provided an exciting glimpse into the future of glass science and technology. Some sessions were organised by individual technical committees of ICG, in particular, following a long tradition, TC17 on Archaeometry. During the conference copies of the latest book to be authored by Prof Fuxi Gan and Prof J Henderson was made available.

Each session was preceded by at least one Plenary Lecture. Based on the enormous expertise within China on Optical Glasses, several sessions built on topics such as harvesting solar energy, the role of nanoparticles in improving efficiency etc. One of my abiding memories concerned the remarkable optical characteristics of twisted hollow core fibre bundles, demonstrating how ancient skills, used to make twisted stem wine glasses, can be resurrected to provide completely new applications for glass. An unusual session examined good teaching practice and was aimed at young lecturers.

The Stevanato Group once again provided invaluable support by sponsoring the poster competition. Altogether 104 posters were offered and covered a wide range of subjects. Prizes were given to: T Nakaya (‘Precipitation of metallic tin nanoparticles in SnO-P2O5 glass matrix for lithium ion rechargeable batteries’, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan), W Chung (‘Color tunable white LED using phosphor-in-glass film based on low temperature glasses’, Kongju National University, Korea) and W.C. Peng (“Enhanced upconversion emission in crystallization controllable glass-ceramic fiber containing Yb³-Er³ doped CaF₂ nanocrystals”, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China).

The Chinese Ceramic Society also generously sponsored 5 prizes for the best young speakers in the oral sessions. These were restricted to research students, new post-docs or those who had only recently joined the industry. Even so there were many excellent and interesting lectures to choose from, so several ‘spies’ were recruited and worked with session chairs to ensure that all speakers were heard. Finally the following were selected (in no particular order): M Dubernet from the University of Rennes, France; C Ragoen from the University of Brussels, Belgium; W Chung from the Kognju National University, Korea; S Cozic from the University of Rennes, France and Yamagata University, Japan; and M Xi from Wuhan University of Technology, China.

The Poster and Young Speaker prizes were distributed during the closing ceremony and were followed by a formal handover to the American Ceramic Society who will organise the 25th Congress in Boston, where we were promised a warm welcome.