Sheffield celebrates centenary year of Society of Glass Technology

The University of Sheffield celebrates the centenary year of the Sheffield based Society of Glass Technology (SGT), hosting the 13th European Society of Glass Science and Technology (ESG) conference.

The SGT, setup in 1916 by Professor WES Turner, brings together all those interested in glass production and the application of scientific methods to industrial problems. With this year's celebration attracting attendees from across the globe including Germany, France, USA and Japan.

Opened by Professor Russell Hand, SGT President and Director of Learning and Teaching in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, the 4 day event draws together all threads of glass study and interest, following the vision of the founder Professor WES Turner, to ensure the scientific discipline enlighten the entire glass community - artists and historians as well as industrialists and scientists.

Glass Technology Alumni pose for a photoThe conference returned to Sheffield for a second time, having hosted the very first ESG in Sheffield in 1991, and included the Turner Memorial Lecture and alumni reception which celebrates the work of Professor WES Turner. Over 15 glass alumni attended the event with alumnus Professor Edgar Zanotto giving this year's lecture titled "'Glass Myths and Marvels".

Professor Turner’s vision and commitment ensured the successful development of glass making techniques as well as a fruitful dialogue between manufacturers and researchers. He set up the Department of Glass Manufacture at the University of Sheffield in 1915, acting as chair and only full time lecturer, which was declared “the most important development on applied science side during the war.”

Following the SGT in 1916, he setup the Turner Museum of Glass in 1943, two years before retiring, but continued to be an active consultant for the next twenty years.

For better or worse I am part and parcel of the glass industry.


The museum, part of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and based in the Sir Robert Hadfield Building, houses Professor Turner’s unique collection, with pieces from across the world including Czechoslovakian, Scandinavian, French and Dutch glass.
Significant pieces include the glass fibre wedding dress and accessories worn by Helen Nairn Muncro when she married Professor Turner, and experimental works by Frederick Carder, manufactured at Corning in New York State, USA.