The twenty delegates included Hande Sesigur of Şişecam, Turkey, attending her first meeting as a member of CTC. The CTC meeting was divided into two parts, and started with a technical session where the Technical Committee chairs presented their activities over the last year, highlighting successes, future research directions, areas of possible interaction with other Technical Committees, and any membership issues. The shorter Business session held on the following morning was aimed at supporting and developing these activities whilst also offering guidance on the proposed future directions. Immediately after the CTC meeting, the Steering Committee met and covered a range of topics from the development of a responsible financial approach in a challenging financial environment, to membership changes of both the ICG and individual committees.
Over the last year CTC has developed a new cluster structure offering a better balance of TCs in each group. This new structure was seen to have worked well and the cluster coordinators gave largely positive reports of their individual areas (Basics – Prof R. Vacher; Applications – Prof R Vacher for Prof R Brow; Characterization – Dr V Rupertus; Glass Production – Prof R Beerkens; Education, History and Communications - Prof J M Parker). Nevertheless operationally the Production Cluster has been the most difficult area, largely because of the close relationship of its Technical Committees with commercial interests and also the legislature; these matters are being addressed by running a number of joint meetings between different committees to develop clear road maps for future activities in pre-competitive areas.
An exciting feature of the CTC Technical Meeting was the developing interactions between different Technical committees within the cluster structure. These are particularly apparent in the Basics, Characterization and Production Clusters but other linkages crossing cluster boundaries are also beginning e.g. between Glass Surface Diagnostics (TC19) and Glasses for Medicine and Biotechnology (TC04). Such interactions are anticipated to be seminal but also often only transitory.
Individual Technical Committees have achieved much by adopting a Round Robin approach to their activities. For example Chemical Durability and Analysis (TC02) has concluded Round Robin tests on Sb leach rates from low Fe glass and analysis of low Fe limestones. They are developing a standard for analysis of fluorine in high F optical glass and are working on: durability at high humidities, Arsenic release in Pharma ampoules, and high purity SiO2. Members of the Basic Glass Science Committee (TC03) are currently assessing structure of standard borosilicate glass using a variety of techniques including NMR, EXAFS, IR and thermodynamics; this is beginning to generate a detailed map of the structural linkages between the various silicon and boron coordination polyhedra. Following success in using borate glasses for wound healing, TC04 on Bioglasses will develop screening methods for assessing bioactivity while the Nuclear and Hazardous Waste Committee TC05 has developed an ASTM standard on liquidus temperature measurement in opaque systems. They are on the point of taking up studies on municipal wastes. TC06 (Glass Strength) is continuing a Round Robin test of edge strength.
Several committees work on different aspects of glass surfaces and associated optical effects. The 30 members of the Optical Properties of Glass Committee (TC10) are undertaking round robins on the characterization of low emissivity glasses, the optical effects of the tin in the bath contact surface of Float Glass, and the effect of glass composition on optical properties. The Nanostructured Glass committee (TC16) is working on products for solar radiation control by enhanced UV & IR reflectivity and also has an ongoing interest in self cleaning glasses. The Coatings on Glass Committee (TC24) is developing Round Robin tests on the optical and electrical characteristics of coated glasses for devices.
The Environment Committee (TC13) is very actively involved in environmental legislation such as REACH and BREF BAT. Next year it celebrates its 25th Anniversary. TC14 on Gases in Glass is developing projects on formation temperature of bubbles in glass, and residual gases in glass and TC19 is planning to meet up with representatives of the Pharma Industry to develop a roadmap on Glasses for Pharmaceuticals.
Modeling takes many forms within the ICG structure. TC21 (Modeling of Glass Melt Processes) is continuing its goal of improving the quality and reliability of furnace computer models while A. Karadag of Sisecam, Turkey, was nominated as the next chair of TC25 (Modeling of Glass Forming processes). Members of TC27 on Atomistic Simulation have been awarded a major NSF grant in the US to help develop glass structure modeling tools using innovative techniques to cope with the different length and timescales needed in such models as well as more sophisticated interatomic potentials.
A key feature of technical committee work is the publication of learned texts as reference material for the worldwide academic and industrial research community. For example TC04 will shortly publish a text book on Bioglasses, Members of TC07 (Nucleation, Crystallization and Glass Ceramics) are writing a book on crystallization while TC26 (Structure and Vibrations) is planning a book for a wide audience on Collective Vibrational Modes in Glass. TC17 (Archaeometry of Glass) is actively developing a new role which it is hoped will include the production of a catalogue of glass related museums.
Similarly many committees are concerned with organization of conference sessions, workshops with a clear goal of roadmapping, and short courses for stimulating research activity among the next generation of researchers. For example:
- The Basic Glass Science Committee (TC03) is planning various short courses (e.g. at the ICG Congress in 2013),
- TC07 (Nucleation, Crystallization and Glass Ceramics) is planning an International Symposium on Glass Crystallisation in September 2012,
- TC08 (Glass Transition) is planning the third and final symposium on Glass and Entropy for 2012,
- TC17 (Archaeometry of Glass) is planning 2 workshops on aspects of conservation of museum pieces
- TC23 (Education and Training) will run its annual Summer School again in Montpellier 2012,
- TC27 (Atomistic Simulation) arranged a GOMD workshop in 2011 and plans another for 2012,
- The next ICG Annual Meeting will be held jointly with the ESG meeting in Maastricht and several committees will be running session there (e.g. TC06, TC14, TC17, TC23, TC26).
During the last year TC22 (Structure-Property Relations) ran NCM11 in Paris, TC26 held an expert meeting on Structure and Vibrations in Montpellier March 2011 and TC27 (Atomistic Simulation) arranged a GOMD workshop. TC18 (Glass Melting) has been particularly active in arranging joint seminars involving several TCs to develop new technologies and define strategies.
TC01 (Information and Communications) has designed and published a new ICG web site and this can be found at www.icglass.org. On this site there is more information concerning the technical committee structures, points of contact and mission statements. Planned ICG conferences and other activities such as how to become in involved are also explained.
The Steering Committee of ICG has an oversight over CTC being responsible for the nomination of Technical Committee chairs and members to ICG Council for formal approval. The American Ceramic Society and the Ceramic Society of Japan have been approached to nominate members to the CTC and the Chinese Ceramic Society has already nominated Prof. Zhao Xiujian.
Steering Committee is also concerned with the candidature for membership of ICG from various national and other organizations. Applications in 2011 have already been received from Iran as a new National Participating Organization member, BV Glass and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai as new Associate Organizations, CTIEC and AVIC SANXIN as new Associated Companies. These organizations will be invited to present themselves at the ICG Council during the ICG Annual meeting 2012 in Maastricht. They also agreed that the Institut du Verre will continue as the representative of the Glass Community in France; the director of Institut will send nomination of its representatives. B. McMillan, a member of the Steering Committee will prepare an answer for the President of the Glass Art Society with a proposal to cooperate through the organization of exhibitions alongside ICG meetings.
Another important activity is the seeking of candidate organizations to run the triennial congresses and intermediate annual conferences. Venues are agreed for 2012 (Maastricht), 2013 (Prague), 2014 (Italy) and 2016 (China) but the applicants to run the 2015 Annual Meeting will be invited to present their candidature at the ICG Council meeting in Maastricht in June 2012.
The Treasurer of ICG, Prof Alicia Duran, presents her Annual 2011 Financial Report. Earlier discussions had considered the reduction of risk by taking appropriate investment decisions and following this Steering Committee approved the deposit of a sum into selected funds at the end of the year 2011. They also debated the definition of a minimum amount which should not be “touched” and this will form the theme of the next TelCo.
The Advisory Committee had interviewed representatives from industry on “Questions regarding the role of ICG within the global glass industry”. Steering Committee agreed to organize a meeting devoted to the conclusions from this questionnaire. In cooperation with the CTC, a roadmapping Pharma workshop is planned in Berlin, on 13th March 2012 with TC02, TC04 and TC19.
Apart from the business aspects of the event, those present had the opportunity to view the facilities in the factory. Stevanato Group buy in their tubing from other suppliers and convert it efficiently into a range of ampoules, vials, cartridges and syringes for the pharmaceutical industry. This industry is particularly demanding in the tight dimensional tolerances expected for its finished products and we were shown some of the sophisticated the digital camera technology used for quality dimensional and cosmetic control.
On the Friday evening we were taken by water taxi from the Hotel Laguna in Mestre, where most of the committee members were staying, to the Island of Murano. The outward journey was very slow because the tide was out and the channels very shallow but the wait was worthwhile because on arrival we were treated, at the kind invitation of Dr S. Stevanato and the president of ICG, Dr F. Nicoletti, to a top class meal in the ‘Busa Alla Torre’ Trattoria, one highlight of which was a large, freshly caught sea bass from the local lagoon, carved in front of us and shared by all present, bringing the meeting to a fulfilling conclusion.