The European Ceramic Society
YCN Newsletter : Women in Ceramics by Iva Milisavljevic
During my growing up and all the way to my undergraduate student days, I had always been surrounded by strong female role models, whether those were the teachers, professors, or the women who supported me along the way in my education.
However, once I started my Ph.D. studies, I realized that the circle of female scientists, and therefore, mentors and role models to young researchers, narrows, making the overall support system, especially for female engineers, very limited. However, there are ways how we can change this! You can be an advocate for your female colleagues at your institution (whether it is a university, institute, company, or someplace else) and support them in their journey; or you can, as I did, join professional societies, such as the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) as well as The American Ceramic Society, and support the female scientists in reaching their full potentials in careers as engineers and leaders. Although a lot has been done in the past years in making the research environment more diverse and inclusive, there are still many problems to be addressed, such as the pay gap, implicit bias, unfair social and cultural norms, and many others, which still limit the number of women in science and research. Therefore, empowering the next generation of female researchers is the only way to create a world where diversity is celebrated and seen as a value.
In my case, no matter at which stage of education or life I was, striving towards professional excellence has always been one of my main focuses, and I can only thank my female mentors for the support they provided to me. As a Ph.D. student in Ceramic Engineering at Alfred University, I have been researching the novel method of solid-state growth of single crystals. This method, compared to, for example, conventional single crystal growth techniques that require melting of the material, allows for the growth of single crystals without reaching the melting point of the material and by utilizing the traditional sintering equipment, making the whole process much simpler and cost-efficient. Moreover, the solid-state growth method circumvents some of the long-standing issues related to conventional techniques. It even enables the fabrication of single crystals of new or complex chemical compositions or compositions that exhibit incongruent melting. With the fast technology development, the need for single crystals with specific properties will only rise in the future and, perhaps, the application of alternative techniques such as solid-state growth will be the critical technology in meeting those demands. My research includes investigating the mechanism and kinetics of the growth of single crystals using this interesting new solid-state method.
Iva Milisavljevic, Alfred University, Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering, Alfred, 14802 New York, USA
YCN Newsletter 18 - New YCN Representative call
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