Fractography of Advance Ceramics 2008

Fractography of Advanced Ceramics 2008 is the only conference devoted exclusively to the fractography of glasses and ceramics in Europe. This four-day conference was very successful, with about 90 participants coming from 22 countries, 40 oral presentations and 47 posters given. The size of this conference was perfect, especially when all the talks were given in one conference hall, rather than ten at the same time. Participants were able to attend all the sessions and had plenty of opportunities to communicate with their peers.

The topics of the conference ranged from brittle failure theory, fractography development, to application of fractography application to failure analysis practice, and materials involved were monolithic ceramics, composites, nanocomposites, and also coating materials. Broad topics were covered considering the size of this conference.

I gave an oral talk in this conference, with the title ‘Using Optical Fluorescence to Investigate Residual Stresses Induced by Grinding and Polishing in Alumina Ceramics’. This was my first ever oral presentation at an international conference. Although there were some technical problems during my talk, mainly the microphone and the laser pen, personally I think it went well.

I covered the most recent results from my own research, and it was good to share them with the experts in this field and hear their viewpoints. I also talked to some researchers from Japan, Korean, and South Africa to exchange views on the indentation technique and the mechanical properties of structural ceramics, and also the R&D trend in the ceramics field in these countries.

I benefited greatly from attending this conference, gaining self-confidence as a speaker, and getting to know researchers in my field, who I may collaborate with in future.

The weather during the conference was very nice, warm and sunny. I had chance to visit the Belianska Cave and Lomnicky Peak in the Stara Lesna region. The language barrier was a problem, as most Slovak people cannot speak or understand English. However, it was still a happy journey for me and I really enjoyed it.

I really appreciate the financial support from SCI and Messel Fund.

Sheng Guo
University of Oxford

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