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Café Scientifique - How Ceramics Became More Than Pottery?


Wed 30 May 2018, 6:00pm–7:00pm

Where: Southern Cross Garden Bar Restaurant, 39 Abel Smith St, Te Aro, Wellington

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Alliance Française Café Scientifique.


All welcome, bring along friends, family and colleagues. The bar will be open for the price of a drink.

Alliance Française Café Scientifique explore the latest in French-related science and technology, including engineering, socio-economic sciences and the humanities.

Held in English in a relaxed atmosphere. Some French may occur!

From ancient art to high technologies: how ceramics became more than pottery?​

Since its invention in the Paleolithic era, the art of fabricating ceramics has seen evolutions such as the development of pottery, glass, concrete, or porcelain. But it is only in the middle of the 20th century that advanced ceramics have been developed.

They have since played a major role in some of the biggest inventions of the industrial revolution and nowadays in high performance technologies such as medicine, space exploration, electronics, but also in more mundane daily applications.

One category of ceramics that is little known is refractories. The production of most ceramics and glasses, as well as other commodities like metals and cement, would not be possible without these materials. Refractories are critical materials that resist aggressive conditions, including high temperature (above 1500 °C), chemical and acid attack, abrasion, mechanical impact, and more.

Pauline is a research scientist in the Advanced Materials team at Callaghan Innovation. She obtained a Masters degree in Industrial Ceramics from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Céramique Industrielle (ENSCI, Limoges, France).

She followed on by completing her PhD at Industrial Research Ltd (now Callaghan Innovation), The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and Victoria University of Wellington.

Pauline’s work focuses on applied research, in partnership with New Zealand companies, in areas such as advanced ceramics, powder metallurgy, powder processing, and materials characterisation.

Come along to discover and ask your question on a technology that was invented 30,000 years ago and helps us to conquer space in the 21st century!

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