Glass guru, alumnus to speak on campus
Alumnus and Corning Glass Technologies Chief Technology Officer Peter Bocko will speak on campus as this year’s Augustine Silveira Jr. Distinguished Lecturer April 25.
The recent Oswego alumni magazine cover feature subject will discuss “A Day Made of Glass – A Vision of Our Interconnected Future,” at 7 p.m. in Room 101 of Snygg Hall. The lecture will be free and open to the public. A reception will follow the presentation.
Bocko will also meet with students during his two-day visit to campus and give a lecture for chemistry majors on “A Dozen Interesting Facts about Glass” at 7 p.m. April 26 in the Historic Classroom, Room 222 of Sheldon Hall. He will introduce the fundamental principles of glass chemistry that have made engineered silica glass a versatile material.
Bocko is recognized as one of the foremost glass experts in the display industry. Bocko joined Corning Inc. in 1979 and started working in liquid crystal display in 1982. Since then, he has contributed to innovation of advanced substrates for flat-panel displays in a variety of leadership positions.
Currently based in Tokyo, he is responsible for new product innovation across Corning’s glass technology businesses with a particular focus on emerging high technology applications in Asia.
In 2009, Bocko received a Special Recognition Award from the Society for Information Display. This major industry honor recognized his central role in delivering high-performance glass for the flat panel display revolution.
He is a frequently invited speaker on consumer electronics futures at industry events and as a media commentator, last week appearing in the PBS Nova special “Hunting the Elements” with David Pogue.
Bocko holds 10 patents in display and optical fiber materials. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Oswego in 1975 and a doctorate in physical chemistry from Cornell University in 1979.
In February 2011, “A Day Made of Glass,” Corning’s futuristic video originally intended for internal use, was placed on YouTube as an afterthought. Much to the company’s surprise, the film went viral with more than 18 million views. This vision of a future with ubiquitous displays and unlimited bandwidth creating “interconnectivity immersion” with glass playing a central role captured the imagination of the public.
Bocko, who was technical advisor for the video and its sequel, will discuss the state of technology behind it and explain why this vision is simply an extension of trends in materials, electronics and applications that have been playing out for decades.
“Advanced glass technology is the common denominator enabling the future innovations in the display, communications and touch technologies depicted in ‘A Day Made of Glass,’” Bocko wrote in an email.
He will survey the future of these technologies and the expanding role of high-tech glass. He will also explore some of the non-technical issues arising from an immersive information environment, including privacy and sustainability.
“Adoption of new technology will not be paced by what is technically feasible or practical for commercial exploitation,” Bocko said. “Rather, progress toward the [film’s] vision will happen only in so far as the new technologies enhance human-to-human connection, which at this point, is not assured.”
Thomas Weil, class of 1966, and his wife, Barbara, endowed the Augustine Silveira Jr. Fund, which supports among other things, the Silveira Distinguished Lecture Series.
Dr. Augustine Silveira, distinguished teaching professor emeritus and former chair of the chemistry department, retired in December 2000 after nearly 40 years of teaching at Oswego. In 2011, the State University of New York awarded him an honorary doctor of science degree at Oswego’s 150th Commencement.
(Posted: Apr 11, 2012)