College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

John Ballato receives one of glass science’s top international awards


John Ballato of Clemson University has won the 2022 George W. Morey Award in recognition of his innovations in the field of glass science and technology.

Ballato serves as the J. E. Sirrine Endowed Chair of Optical Fiber in Clemson’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The Morey Award is bestowed by the Glass and Optical Materials Division of The American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and is sponsored by Guardian Glass, LLC.

John Ballato

Engineers and scientists involved in the community described the award as among the most prestigious given globally in glass science.

The award’s namesake is a pioneer in the study of glass properties. Morey’s book “The Properties of Glass” is a classic work in the field of glass technology.

Ballato joins a notable list of Morey awardees since it was first bestowed in 1969, including a Nobel laureate, recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation and numerous members of the national academies.

“It is a high honor to be recognized by one’s peers,” Ballato said. “I thank my nominators and all those who have supported me throughout my career.”

Ballato’s peers recognize him as a global leader in the development of novel optical fibers. His innovations have focused on enhancing the performance of the material through which light propagates and have resulted in several ground-breaking contributions to the field, they said.

He has also made contributions to the community’s workforce through the graduates who have come from his research group, peers said.

Kyle Brinkman, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Clemson, congratulated Ballato on the award.

“This significant award is a testament to the high level of scholarship that Dr. Ballato brings to Clemson University and his international leadership in the field of optical fiber,” Brinkman said. “It is an honor that is very well deserved.”

Ballato learned of his latest award three months into the United Nations International Year of Glass, a promotion aimed at underscoring the scientific, economic, and cultural roles of glass.

ACerS has joined in the celebration and has featured Ballato on its Year of Glass website. Ballato was the lead author on two of the five papers selected for the “optical fiber and photonics” category out of the hundreds of articles on the topic dating back to the 1970s.

Ballato is scheduled to receive his award and has been invited to give a lecture in May at the Society’s conference in Baltimore.

You can learn more about Ballato in the video here. Additional stories about him can be found here, here and here.

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