Centre for Glass Research

Russell Hand and Jim Smedley with George Wicks

Glass Science and Technology has long been an important element in the University┬┤s research profile, and the Centre for Glass Research provides a national and international focus for this work. The current Directors are Emeritus Professor J M Parker and Professor R J Hand.


Based in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the Centre is managed by a small Steering Committee.

Links and interactions

While primarily based in this department there are active links to:

  • Archaeology and Prehistory
  • Restorative Dentistry
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

Numerous interactions with other Universities and Research Organisations both within and outside the UK also exist.

Research interests

Current research interests include:

  • Structural characterisation
  • Optical properties including colour and applications such as optical fibres
  • Vitrification
  • Crystallisation
  • Glass ceramics
  • Glass composite materials
  • Bioglasses and scintillating glasses
  • Nuclear waste glasses
  • Coatings
  • Strength
  • Durability
  • Chemical durability

We can make a wide variety of glass types including chalcogenide and fluorides.

Working with industry

The existence of the centre attracts a steady stream of enquiries, which range from legal liability cases to requests for information from the public concerning specific aspects of glass behaviour. Many firms contact us concerning manufacture of specimens or property design. The significant influx of students into the BNFL-sponsored Immobilisation Science Laboratory, combined with the pre-existing interests in this area, has created a nucleus of individuals wishing to build on existing strengths in glassy materials and developing further links to outside organisations.