The European Ceramic Society


Oct 1, 2021

Letter from YCN Committee Member, Soňa Hříbalová, Czech Republic

YCN Newsletter 10 - October 2021

Dear Young Ceramists Network subscribers, 
I am Soňa Hříbalová, a new YCN committee member. In this letter, I would like to introduce myself to you and explain my motivation to become a committee member. 
I first came into contact with the ECerS, or more precisely JESC Trust, when I was finishing my master thesis and my supervisor told me that there is a chance of getting financial support to visit a conference-workshop and that I should definitely go. For a master student that was a quite unusual opportunity. Few weeks later, I came back from the Workshop for Young Ceramists in Bologna full of excitement, and this experience became one of the reasons why I ultimately decided to apply for a PhD position and to become a researcher in the field of ceramics. Which, viewed retrospectively, has been one of my best decisions so far. 
Then, I had the opportunity to see how the YCN works and learned about their activities in Novi Sad at CYSC-2019. A few months later, COVID-19 came around, and consequently the YCN came with the webinars and online activities. This showed me how much I, as a student and a young researcher, can benefit from being part of the ceramic community. When I then saw the opportunity to get on board with the committee, I did not hesitate. 
I feel grateful to be a part of the YCN committee and the ceramic community and I am looking forward to giving a hand to the future activities of YCN. I have already participated in the Pitch me your idea! event as a committee member and I must say that it has been a very enjoyable and funny experience and I am curiously waiting for more of that! 
A little bit about me: 
I am now starting the 3rd year of PhD studies at the Department of Glass and Ceramics, University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague (UCT Prague), Czech Republic. My dissertation topic is Modeling of effective properties of heterogeneous media and metamaterials, of course, with a focus on ceramics. So far, the most elaborate subsection of my work in this broad topic is the prediction of light scattering in transparent ceramics, which is actually an extension from my master thesis. At this moment, I am working on thermal and elastic property predictions with the help of a very efficient commercial software called GeoDict®. The list of properties that we are interested in would not be complete without dielectric and piezoelectric properties, which we now investigate in the context of lead-free piezoceramics, on which I have my own small research project.  
Besides my research activities, I participate in a student’s project with the main goal of making the life of PhD students at our university a little easier. This year, for example, we are focusing on making information for international PhD students more comprehensive and easier to find. I am also a member of the Academic Senate of my faculty, and recently I have been appointed student representative in the Ethics Committee of UCT Prague. 
In my free time, I enjoy travelling and meeting people, which unfortunately had to be replaced (due to COVID-19) with traveling from bedroom to kitchen to meet up with my cat (J). My other interest is sewing. For fun, I have even studied sewing technology in a secondary school for two and a half years. That sparked my interest in the technology of materials, so when I went to the university, I ended up studying Chemistry and Technology of Materials.  


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