TC23: Education & Training in Glass Science & Engineering

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ICG Congress Shanghai 2016

Presentation Steve Martin

The main focus of our activities is the organization and support of workshops, among which are the Montpellier Research Student Workshops held in July each year, and the workshops that make up the “Clear as Glass” series, held during the DDG annual conferences in Germany. An International Training Team is also available and recently has organised focussed training events in South America. Additionally, plans include the updating of the ICG Book List, a compilation of available courses on glass and input into the Wikipedia pages on Glasses.

Planned activities for 2024

– 2nd São Carlos School on Glass & Glass-Ceramics; Organized by CeRTEV and TC 23 April 22 to 27th, 2024, São Carlos, Brazi

– ICG Spring School 2024 – Glass for a Sustainable Future
Jointly organized by ICG TC 03, 05, 07, 18/ April 29 to May 3, Lloret del Mar, Spain

Activities and plans


It is the mission of TC23 to organize courses, workshops, and schools related to glass science and technology, to provide information on such events organized by others, and to explore both well-established and new formats of instruction.

Educational Outreach of ICG

An international core team was appointed to follow up the outreach initiative under TC23 chairmanship. The core team members are:

  • Reinhard Conradt, Germany
  • John Parker, Great Britain
  • Chao Liu (China),
  • Bernard Hehlen (France),
  • Mathieu Hubert (U.S.A.),
  • Himanshu Jain (U.S.A.),
  • Takumi Fujiwara (Japan)

Activities of TC23 in 2019

1. 11th Montpellier Summer School, 7-12th July 2019 – MONTPELLIER, FRANCE

The 11th Summer School began on Sunday 7th July following a heat wave in France which had broken many local temperature records and coincided with the final in the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup. Inevitably transport issues affected a few participants and several did not arrive until lunchtime on the first day of lectures. The total attending again continued the slow upward trend and included people from further afield than previously. Altogether there were representatives from 12 different countries and 6 from Industry. Another feature was the very high proportion of female attendees.

Following the example of the previous winter school in Wuhan the course had two streams: basic science and waste immobilisation. The later stream followed a similar pattern to that in Wuhan with the lectures arranged with the help of ICG’s technical committee TC05 and its chair: Dr O Pinet (Marcoule). The numbers attracted though were disappointingly small in spite of a specially arranged visit to the facilities in Marcoule at the end of the course.

The pattern of the week was to use the mornings of the first four days for lectures, four per day and we would like to thank our lecturers who give of their time without charge (in order of presentation): a) on the Basic Science option Parker, R Conradt, R Hand, J Deubener, P Florian, L Cormier, B Hehlen, A Takada, J Sangleboeuf; b) on the Hazardous Waste Vitrification option: M Ojovan, O Pinet, R Pokorny, S Peuget, D. Perret and S. Gin. Afternoons were devoted to other activities. On Monday, all the students were asked to give a short presentation (3 minutes) to explain the subject of their day job including the equipment they were using. The purpose of this exercise was to introduce the students to each other, helping them to identify synergies of interest and to realise the very wide range of subjects covered by Glass Technology.

On the basis of students’ interests, they were allocated to a 6 membered team and set a task to be solved by the end of the course. The formal launch of the projects took place at the beginning of Tuesday afternoon with the rest of the afternoon being used to formulate how they might tackle the issues raised. The project subjects were wide ranging and open ended; they were also designed to be a part of the teaching content of the course. Contacts made often continue lack after the close of the School and are an important feature of our course goals.

These projects shared the Wednesday and Thursday afternoon time slots with one-hour tutorial sessions linked to the lectures on the course. The tutorials ‘under the pine trees’ were intended for smaller groups than the lectures and designed to be more interactive. This year 5/6 different tutorial sessions each an hour long was arranged. Since the timetable only allowed two tutorial slots students had to select those, they were most interested in and also had the option to continue working on their projects. Friday morning was devoted to student presentations. Each of the seven groups was limited to 15 minutes with 5 minutes for questions.

There is some space during the week to see a little of Montpellier. Monday and Thursday evenings have arranged events in a local Brasserie with food and music on tap, but Tuesday and Wednesday are free for the students. While project work sometimes continues until the late evening a visit to the centre of Montpellier to eat and see the sites can usually be fitted in. Wednesday afternoon is an opportunity to visit the beach. It’s also the time when the lecturers review the course and plan for the following year.

Author: J Parker

First North American Summer School on Photonic Materials.
Showing the School Organisers with the President of ICG.

2. 1st Photonic School in Quebec City, Canada

A Summer School Entirely Devoted to Photonic Materials

From June 16th to the 21st, the Centre for Optics, Photonics and Lasers (COPL) at Université Laval, in Quebec City, Canada, hosted the first North American Summer School on Photonic Materials.

The School was organized under the auspices of the International Commission on Glass (ICG), a not-for-profit society that promotes collaboration between experts in glass science and technology worldwide.

With 80 participants from 13 different countries, this international training initiative was co-chaired by Younès Messaddeq who holds the Canada Excellence Research in Photonic Innovation at Université Laval, and Kathleen Richardson, Pegasus Professor of Optics and Materials Science and Engineering at the College of Optics and Photonics at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

The participants are graduate students and early career scientists. The school combines morning lectures given by some twenty recognized scientists and afternoon laboratory projects carried out within COPL’s research infrastructure. In fact, the critical mass of expertise at the COPL and the exceptional quality of their facilities have made it possible to hold such a training activity on the campus of Université Laval.

In spite of the strong role of photonic materials in everyday life there are limited educational opportunities available for students to learn the subject of Photonic Materials at a sufficiently advanced level.  Key to this shortcoming is the lack of blended instruction (that links optics and materials science disciplines) while providing both tutorial lecture based presentations with reinforcing lab-based exercises. This void in academic preparation limits multidisciplinary breakthroughs that advance the state of art in photonic material R&D. The inaugural North American Summer School on Photonic Materials (NASSPM) held from 16-21 June 2019, aimed to bridge this disconnect, filling the void in the training of advanced undergraduate and graduate students in materials science and engineering, and postdocs engaged in related research. The one-week long lecture and laboratory-based School hosted 80 participants from around the world on the campus of Laval University, at the Centre d’Optique, Photonique et Laser (COPL) in Quebec City, Canada. Through funding from public (US and Canadian government and university) and private corporate, professional society and foundational) sources, all participants received some form of support allowing them to attend.

Background and outcomes

The idea of a Summer School on Photonic and Optical Materials has been floating within the glass community for over a year. It became definitive when the newly elected President of the International Commission on Glass (ICG), Prof. Alicia Durán, met at the last meeting of Glass and Optical Materials Division of American Ceramic Society held in San Antonio, TX in May 2018.  President Durán expressed interest in such a school based on her experience with prior ICG Schools and felt it was long overdue that a topical meeting supporting the North American membership be held. Other ICG schools have been held in other geographic locations, including the most recent of the now annual schools:

10th ICG Montpellier summer school, on Glass Formation, Structure, and Properties; Bio Glass / Pharma Glass, 2-6th July 2018. Montpellier, France

4th Wuhan Winter School 2018 on Glass Formation, Structure, Properties; Glasses for Nuclear Waste Immobilization, 4th-10th November 2018. Wuhan, China,

The initial discussion led to the formation of what became the Organizing Committee of the School tasked with making the effort a reality.

Each member of the Organizing Committee brings complementary expertise:

–  Prof. Himanshu Jain, is a glass scientist who initiated the concept of this type of schools starting with US-Japan Winter School in 2008, and through the previously funded NSF-IMI in New Functionality of Glass.

– Prof. Kathleen Richardson is a Past President of the American Ceramic Society with active research program on the optical applications of glass. She takes part of the Advisory committee of ICG and participates in its TC23 dedicated to Education and Training. She with support from the Laval team coordinated the massive fund-raising effort.

–  Prof. Younes Messaddeq, the local organizer, leads one of the largest research centers on optical and photonic glass in the world as part of his Sentinel Nord program at Laval; and

–  Prof. Alicia Durán, an international leader of glass science and education, current President of ICG, who has been highly active in the organization of recent ICG Schools.

The members organizing committee coordinated all aspects of the School including technical topics, potential speakers, sponsorship and fund raising from companies. Thus, by late summer 2018, the concept for an inaugural school in North America, focusing on photonic materials (NASSPM), was born.

The NASSPM’s objective was to provide attendees with intellectual contributions most directly by integrating five complementary aspects of photonic and optical materials in the training of young researchers. These include:

1. Scope of optical materials.

2. Properties and characterization of photonic materials.

3. Fibers and fiber-based photonic systems.

4. Advanced materials for system applications, especially planar photonic materials.

5. Outlook for photonic materials, especially in relation the needs of next generation photonic technology needs.

Tutorial lectures (including aspects of laboratory safety) on the above topics were taught by 22 international experts from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Spain and USA, who introduced the participants to cutting edge advancements as well as practical perspectives of the industry. Furthermore, the School provided young research participants with 20+ hours of hands-on practical laboratory experience in projects related to the making and characterization of photonic materials.  The outcome of these projects was reported in 15 min oral presentations by the team in an afternoon session that closed out the School from which, a best project report prize sponsored by Sentinel Nord, was presented to two teams.

Through the use of state-of-the-art instrumentation and facilities at Laval, attendees were exposed to both tutorials and reinforcing lab experiences. Hence, the proposed School, the first of its kind, where the areas of photonics and optical materials highlighted:

– An interdisciplinary approach with global perspectives from international lecturers

– Parallel, lab-based projects where students will work on well-defined project topics as a team, and

– Team-based research project experience such as found in industry, as part of an international team with a senior (post doc/young professional) mentor,

– The opportunity to present findings from their 4 day, 20+ hr project work including problem outcomes, at an Industry day session, where they will be exposed to and receive feedback from, Industry and University colleagues.

Recruitment plan for speakers and students

The selection of the speakers i.e., the lecturers for the school began after setting the broad scope of the School followed by topical areas. Candidate lecturers were contacted and upon their agreement, were asked to deliver a set lecture (with defined scope and duration) as well as read-ahead materials, questions with answers for Laval students taking the course for academic credit.

Students were selected following an extensive multi-month advertising process. This process included web-based advertisement based at Laval (, through other partner organizations (including the American Ceramic Society and the Optical Society of America), and through highlighting the meeting at other events (national/international meetings in materials, optics and lasers). A special effort was made to ensure again, diversity in the geographic home of the students, their level (graduate students, young researchers and in special cases, senior undergraduates with prior research experience).

Sponsorship support to offset student costs

Significant fund raising was carried out to enable attendance at the School.  This was carried out by organizers with the goal of providing ‘local’ sponsorship from organizations within the student’s home country. Local costs, in the form of a $330 CAD registration fee paid by attendees, provided students with daily lunch, coffee break snacks and partial costs for laboratory supplies. Students paid their own airfare, visa application costs and housing.  Considerable invest from the host institution offset many of the large ticket items required to coordinate oversight of laboratory and administrative activities.

Student projects, evaluation and final reporting

All students participated in a group laboratory project. Students were required to submit a one-page (written) project summary (to receive their final participant certificate) and to present as a team a 15 minutes oral presentation. These presentations were high level, illustrating the student’s backgrounds, goals of the effort, and outcomes during the School’s final afternoon session on Friday.  As the projects were varied in topic area, efforts to diversify the teams (in level, background and gender) were made.  Project presentations were subjected to evaluation from by a 4-member jury (made up of speakers) who ranked the students for technical and professional skills.  Sentinel Nord (the Center of Excellence supporting the inter-disciplinary effort in Canada on Photonics in Energy, Environment and Medicine) generously awarded a best team award to (2) groups which tied in their team score totals.

Impact and development of a successful school

The broader impact of this one-week long inaugural summer school was that attendees were exposed to cutting edge topics in optical communications, components and systems for flat panel displays, lighting, defense, and photovoltaics that have transformed the way energy and optics are manipulated through the use of novel materials. The NASSPM aimed to educate attendees on how such impacts through the preparation and training of next generation of researchers who will then develop new materials and processes, could lead to advances in these technological areas. The participants also had the opportunity to develop a sense of research approaches practiced by scientists in several countries beyond their own, in North America, Europe and Japan. The goal for the attendee cohort aimed for approximately half from US institutions, and the other from the rest of the world. All students were assessed for their comments/feedbacks on expectations and technical outcomes, as well as general attributes related to the logistics associated with the School. As an outcome as evidenced by the comments of these attendees, the School clearly met its objective of establishing an international community of young photonic materials scientists who will be prepared to collaborate and build careers while advancing the state of photonic and optical materials.

This NASSPM school has fulfilled a void in the geographical education events of ICG. North America is the third point after Montpellier and Wuhan, allowing ICG to enhance and widen the education effort and impact on glass training. ICG welcomes this wonderful initiative and hopes it is continued in next year.

Author: Kathleen Richardson

3. 5th ICG Winter School, Wuhan, China, 20th to 25th October 2019

The most recent ICG school took place between 20th and 25th October 2019 at what has become our traditional venue of the Wuhan University of Technology, China. This year the school concentrated on the theme of Glass Science, attracting 26 students. While fewer than previously because there was no parallel theme there was no shortage of quality among those that gathered at the International Vienna Hotel near the University. A big surprise for several of the lecturers was to bump into Prof Shackleford, USA in the hotel lift one day. He was an early worker in the field of hydrogen solubility in silica glass and was on holiday in China.

Seven Chinese Institutes and Universities were represented among the student group, more than previously: Central South Uni., Harbin Engineering Uni., Huazhong Uni. of Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia Normal Uni., Qilu Uni. of Technology, Shanghai Institute of Optics and Precision Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Uni. of Technology, Wuhan Uni. of Technology. Four of the students had travelled from Europe (Denmark, Germany and UK); they each had received generous scholarships providing travel and accommodation support from China Triumph International. The company was represented throughout the event by Mrs K Wang, assistant to the director as well as Executive Secretary of ICG; she also provided valuable assistance in judging the project competition at the end of course.

The teachers on the course had a strongly international flavour. Lectures were given by Prof R Conradt, Germany on ‘Thermodynamics’, ‘Hydrolytic stability’ and ‘Key stages in the history of glass development’, Prof A Goel, USA on ‘Optical Fibres’, Prof H Inoue, Tokyo, Japan, ‘Containerless processing’ Prof Jin Jun Ren, Shanghai, China, ‘Solid State NMR’, Prof J Parker, Sheffield, UK ‘Transport properties’ and ‘Colour’, Prof A Takada, Tokyo, Japan ‘Atomistic Simulation’, Prof R Vacher in part using notes provided by Prof B Hehlen, Montpellier, France on both ‘Neutron & X-ray Diffraction’ and ‘Structure and Inelastic scattering’, and Prof Yuanzheng Yue, Denmark and Wuhan on ‘the Glass Transition and Relaxation’. Their contributions were all much appreciated by the students.

Meals are provided during the course either in the hotel or University canteens. They offer opportunities for networking among both staff and students as well as giving a taste of local cuisine. On the Monday and Thursday an introductory social event and a final dinner were arranged; both were welcomed by staff and students, who commented warmly in their questionnaires on the value of such gatherings. Mealtimes are just one aspect of the warm welcome given by the local University staff to all their visitors at the school. On Thursday afternoon while the students were working on their projects, lecturers were taken to visit a local park which had been designed to illustrate the flora of different regions in China and which was still amazingly colourful in spite of the approach of winter. Within the park was an extensive and informative museum describing the flora and fauna of the Yangtze river and other international major river basins. Helpfully all the display boards had both Chinese and English scripts.

Following previous practice, the students undertook a range of projects as a key part of the activities. These again proved popular not only because of the glass technology they learn but also because of the opportunity given to practice their language skills, to speak to a large audience and to network. The winning group comprised: Guang Feng, Jin Yu, Linyuan Jia, Lutao Liu and Meng Zhang and they described a system they had developed on paper, using optical fibre-based monitoring of remote weather sensors.

A question and answer session on the penultimate day using questions submitted during the week also created a lively debate and gave all the lecturers the opportunities to link their lectures to the students’ research studies. At next year’s school small group tutorials will also be offered.

Throughout the event a team of local students and staff provided efficient and effective support to ensure the smooth running of the school. All those involved would wish to offer thanks to the assistance given which ranged from making sure the lecturers were kept topped up with ‘coffee’ to the duplication of questionnaires and the running of the AV equipment.

A 6th Winter School again in Wuhan was planned before the 5th School had finished, over a cup of coffee in the local coffee shop. It will take place from 1-6th November 2020 in the same venue and will have ‘Glass Fibres’ as a special theme. Keep an eye on the ICG web site for further information.

Author: John Parker

4. Youth Outreach 2019 activities

In 2019, the Youth outreach committee teamed up with ACerS PCSA for organizing an “Early Career Networking Event” at the 25th ICG Congress/GOMD meeting in Boston. The details can be found on the Youth Outreach Committee webpage.

For 2020, the team plans to support the organization of outreach event at the ESG-ICG conference in Krakow, Poland”.

5. Activities in Brazil The Certev Glass-Technology course

As part of the activities of the Technical Committee “Glass Education” TC 23 of the International Commission on Glass (ICG), the CeRTEV, Center for Research, Technology, and Education in Vitreous Materials, founded by Fapesp, the São Paulo State Research Foundation, Brazil, organizes the CeRTEV- Glass Technology Course, for glass industry personnel and engineers.

However, as a strategic decision, the third CeRTEV Course in Glass Technology planned to be held in August 2019, at the Vitreous Materials Laboratory, LaMaV, Department of Materials Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, was postponed to the end of March 2020.

5.1 The technical course of glass production – teacher training

Photo 2: Teacher Training for the Glass Production Course in São Carlos, Brazil

The course “Techniques in Glass Production”, a project in partnership with the Paula Souza Center, Abividro and the glass company Nadir Figueiredo, started with its first cohort in February 2018. For that, 40 students were selected among ~160 applicants in a public selection procedure.

CeRTEV has closely followed the course and offered, since 2018, several training sessions to the teachers of the Paula Souza Center involved in the course as described in the 2018 TC 23 annual report.

In 2019, these training sessions continued, and new topics were covered:

  • Glass Furnaces in the Glass Industry, 16 hours presential and 4 hours at distance – April 2019, at Paula Souza Center, São Paulo, S.P.
  • Refractory Manufacturing Process, 16 hours presential and 4 hours at distance – May 2019, at LaMaV, Federal University of São Carlos, São Carlos, S.P.
  • Manufacturing and transformation processes of the Glass Industry, July 2019. This training was performed through two technical visits,

– The first one to the AGC float glass company, in Guaratinguetá, S.P.

– The second one to the “Glassvale” transformation glass industry, in São José dos Campos,S.P.

Author: Ana C. M. Rodrigues

6. Mangás Editing and Translation

The four volumes of our comics in Japanese style “Manga” were translated into English. In the next TC23 meeting, we will discuss printing and distributing these Mangas, and how to make them available to the general public.

Teacher Training for the Glass Production Course in São Carlos, Brazil

Other plans and activities

So far, the envisaged activities comprise the support and continuation of ICG schools.

Some recommendations for the organization of successful ICG schools were proposed in 2016, and exposed once again here, to stress the importance of the subject.

A successful school should address, beside an annual focus on selected special topics, four core topics. It is felt that the new generation of glass scientists needs a solid foundation in

fundamentals of the glassy state,

structure of glass

thermodynamics of glass,

transport properties, comprising both materials science (diffusion, electric con­duction, and crystallization) and engineering (heat and mass transfer).

Instructors should not offer “conference type” talks illustrating their latest scientific achievements. Rather, the lectures should provide good summaries of what students need to know.

If possible, should be kept in the geographical area where they started.

Students activities (projects) and student-teacher interaction are major ingredients of a successful school.

Planting new schools in new geographical areas is not a focus of the TC23. Such initiatives shall, however, be supported by providing advice. A need is felt to define rules under which conditions a school may run under the ICG label.

12th Montpellier School 5-10th July 2020

With two main topics:

A. Glass Formation, Structure, And Properties

B. Rheology: Viscosity & Relaxation

The 6th ICG Winter School is planned for 1-6th November 2020, Wuhan, China, with the topics: Properties Glass Formation, Structure and Properties. Special theme: Glass fibers

A third CeRTEV Glass-Technology course is also planned to be held in São Carlos, Brazil, from March 30th to April 4th, 2020.

Committee Members

Bange, Klaus (Dr) Committee Position: Emeritus
Brauer, Delia
Clare, Alexis (Prof)
Conradt, Reinhard Committee Position: Core Group
Fujiwara, Takumia Committee Position: Core Group
Gonçalves, Clara
Hand, Russell
Hehlen, Bernard
Hotar, Victor
Hubert, Mathieu Committee Position: Secretary, Core Group
Hupa, Leena
Jain, Himanhsu Committee Position: Core Group
Liu, Chao
Molla, Atiar
Möncke, Doris (Dr)
Parker, John (Prof) Committee Position:
Richardson, Kathleen Committee Position: Emeritus
Rodrigues, Ana Candida Committee Position: Chair
Vacher, Rene Committee Position: Emeritus
Antti Aronen
Zhao, Xinjian (Prof.)

Committee Contact Details

TC23: Education
Univ. of Sao Paolo, Brasil