ONLINE EXTRA: Alfred University Dedicates Inamori Kyocera Museum of Fine Ceramics

June 1, 2011
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Alfred University recently dedicated the Inamori Kyocera Museum of Fine Ceramics in a ceremony at Binns-Merrill Hall on the AU campus. Kazuo Inamori, Ph.D., founder and chairman emeritus of Kyocera Corp. attended the dedication.

“We are deeply honored that Dr. Inamori is able to join us for this occasion,” said Charles M. Edmondson, president of Alfred University. “Dr. Inamori has been a valued friend to the university and in particular to our School of Engineering, so we are delighted he will be here as we dedicate this museum in his honor.

“The Inamori Kyocera Museum of Fine Ceramics will play an important role in educating young people about the vital role of ceramics in the future economy-in areas ranging from information technology to medical devices, diagnostic systems, industrial equipment, renewable energy and environmental preservation. Equally important, by documenting the work of Dr. Inamori and Kyocera Corp.’s leadership in the advancement of science and global well-being, it will provide an inspiring example of what can be accomplished by imagination, hard work, and ethical commitment.”

Additional speakers at the event included Marina Pascucci, a 1977 alumna of the university who is currently president of CeraNova in Marlborough, Ma., and president of the American Ceramic Society; Terry Michalske, a 1975 alumnus who is now director of the Savannah River federal research laboratory; Gary Messing, a 1973 alumnus who is head of the materials science and engineering department at Pennsylvania State University; and Linda Jones, associate vice president and head of the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, who is a fellow of the ceramic society and a member of its board of directors.

Displays within the museum highlight the history of ceramic materials, which can be traced back to 24,000 BCE to today, where fine (also known as advanced or engineered) ceramics are an enabling technology in countless everyday items-from computers and cell phones to more specialized applications like fuel cells, solar panels and biomedical implants.

“The museum helps solidify Alfred’s reputation as a center for ceramic research and education,” said Doreen Edwards, dean of the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering. She said she anticipates visitors will include specialists and scientists. “People who are involved in the manufacture of ceramics and related technologies will find this of interest,” she said, but there is also plenty to draw the general public.

Adjacent to the museum will be the Discovery Lab, which will be the university’s center for outreach activities involving students from kindergarten through 12th grade and their teachers. Working with Marlene Wightman, director of continuing education, and Steve Pilgrim, professor of materials science and engineering, faculty will develop programming such as demonstrations and hands-on activities that are appropriate to the grade level and interests of the students, Edwards explained.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the new museum is the opportunity to showcase both the artistic and technical sides of ceramic materials in one location, Jones said. The Schein-Joseph Museum of Ceramics, which has extensive collection of ceramic art, is located adjacent to the new museum in Binns-Merrill Hall.

“This is an absolute reflection of the College of Ceramics that joins both the School of Art & Design and the Inamori School of Engineering,” said Jones. “From the inception of the college, it was recognized that creativity and technical understanding are essential to address the challenges of our time.”

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