The European Ceramic Society


Dec 19, 2023

YCN Newsletter 19 - NOT a Farewell by Andraž Kocjan

From 2016 to 2023. 8 years. So many things have happened. Turning 40 years old in the first major lockdown due to the coronavirus crisis in spring 2020, for instance.

The harsh reality of present times is even more telling how fortunate we can be for being healthy and safe. Professionally, I am also having a privilege to follow my path as a researcher in the field of ceramics from the day I have started as a PhD student in 2005!

But it was on the year 2016 that the identity of being a proud ceramist was forged into my subconscious when I was invited to the first committee of the Young Ceramists Network (YCN). It was an exciting start of making so many friendships and common stories with an important goal of consolidating the YCN`s vision to be everlasting and sustainable in order to connect young ceramists in Europe and beyond. After 2 years with the committee, in 2018, I was invited to lead ECerS` Young Ceramists and Training working group (YC&T WG). In a way it was hard to leave a “brotherhood” such as YCN committee and to step into “bigger shoes” to coordinate biannual Students Speech Contests (SSC), taking place at ECerS` conferences, advise YCN and connecting young ceramists.

However, having the pleasure of wonderful administrative support from ECerS (thank you Vero and Donna!) and working closely with the motivated YCN committee next to me, with its network growing in motivation, projects and experience, was fairly easy and memorable period for me. All the SSC contests with breath taking presentations, networking at conferences, YCN workshops, YCN face-to-face (and monthly online) meetings, webinars and meetings with ECerS officers I had the chance to take part in! Not to forget online and live beer nights, fierce (in a positive way) discussions and much more.

So, 8 years have passed. Very quickly. Indeed, time flies when you are having fun and thus came summer 2023 and wonderful XVIII ECerS conference in Lyon when I said farewell to the role of YC&T WG leadership to enter officially the ECerS PEC. It was time to move on and what better to hand it over to my big friend Erkka Frankberg, a “father-like” figure to the YCN concept. There is no doubt that the success story continues.

For the farewell, which is NOT, since we ALL ARE one big ECerS family, I would like to gratefully thank YCN and all those who are closely involved with the ECerS organization, ECerS journals, not forgetting JECS Trust, for all the inspiration, support and trust. 


Andraž Kocjan

15 December, Ljubljana, Slovenia

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