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Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Ceramics Society for two terms, Prof. Dr. Taner Kavas emphasizes that a road map should be determined in the ceramics industry and says, "If we do not have a road map, we will only be imitators of leading countries in the international arena."

Lets start with your life story to get to know you better…

I was born in 1965 in Mardin, where my father was appointed to the east of the country. My father was a soldier. Due to frequent appointments, I went to primary school in Konya, completed my secondary education in Anamur/Mersin and my high school education again at Konya Karatay High School. I started my university education at Eskisehir Anadolu University, Faculty of Mining, and before I graduated, I founded a mining management company and started trading. Of course, doing business in those years had both positive and negative aspects. After doing business for about three years, I worked as an engineer for nearly five years in a public economic organization, formerly known as Etibank, now known as Eti Maden. Then I moved into academic life and became a lecturer at Afyon Kocatepe University. I completed my master's and doctoral studies in the field of ceramics. I’m currently work as Prof. Dr. at the Materials Science and Engineering Department of the same university. Throughout my academic life, I served as Department Head, Science Institute Deputy Director, Center Director, Deputy Dean and School Director. I served on many boards such as university-industry relations, faculty and university administrative boards, I still actively continue my working life at the university. I’m married and I have a daughter.

Could you tell us about your scientific studies?

As someone who has worked both in the private sector, the public sector and at the university, I consider myself a very lucky person with different experiences. Thanks to these experiences, almost every semester during my university life, I had a project or a collaboration with industry within the framework of university-industry relations. For example, I participated in project studies on porous ceramics at the Ceramics Research Center (SAM) in Eskisehir for a year, with an assignment from my university. I also had the opportunity to carry out joint work internationally. Immediately after my doctoral studies, I worked as a short-term researcher at the Bologna (Italy) Ceramic Research Center (Centro Ceramica) and the Institute of Ceramic Technology (ITC) in Spain. I carried out a TUBITAK-supported bilateral multilateral relations project with Prof. Dr. George N. Angelepoulos from the Patras University in Greece. I visited the University of Freiberg, Germany, within the scope of the Erasmus program and I worked on CA refractory cements with Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Bier. I sent my students to all of these centers for internship or master's/doctoral studies

Your scientific studies also brought awards, right?

Yes, thanks to my scientific studies, I received the "Best Poster Presentation Award" in the field of ceramics at the National Metal and Materials Technology Center (MTEC) in Thailand in 2012, and the "Best Article Award" in the European Mechanical Science magazine in 2019, 6-10 December I won the “Best Oral Presentation Award” at the ISRP-15 Congress held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in 2021. In 2022, I was selected as the most successful scientist at Afyon Kocatepe University for the scientific studies I have carried out in the last 5 years and was deemed worthy of the "Scientific Achievement Award". I was included in the "World Top 2% Scientists List", a list of researchers in the top 2% in the world in 2022 and 2023. More than 86 articles, 72 of which are international and 16 national within the scope of SCI, and 83 notifications, 55 of which are international and 28 of which are national, have been published. I worked as a manager and researcher in 30 nationally and internationally supported projects.

As an outcome of these studies, I have 5 patents, 2 of which are in the finalization phase and 3 of which are approved. In addition, I served as an organizing committee member and president of many congresses. At the general assembly of the Turkish Ceramics Society held in 2023, I was elected as the Chairman of the Board of TSD for the second time and I still hold this position. I continue to serve as a Board Member of the Turkish Ceramics Federation and the European Ceramics Society (ECERS).

Could you tell us about the work of the Turkish Ceramics Society? What are your goals as president?

As you know, our society was founded under very difficult conditions, with limited resources and thanks to personal initiatives.  On this occasion, I respectfully commemorate those who contributed to our society, especially Mr. Basri Sezer and Mr. Yuksel Guner, and those who passed away.

The main purpose of our society is to develop and promote the Turkish ceramic industry in all areas with its art, science and industry. In this context, we organize online webinars, national and international congresses. We have been holding the International Ceramics, Glass, Enamel, Glaze and Pigment Congress (SERES) in Eskisehir, together with Eskisehir Technical University, and our national Ceramics Congress, with international participation, in Afyonkarahisar, together with Afyon Kocatepe University, for a long time. Additionally, our art section is extremely active. It organizes many exhibitions and artistic activities. With the efforts of our art section, we are organizing the 2nd International Ceramics Biennial in Bursa this year. The first one was extremely successful and became an exemplary biennial. These events are the largest and most comprehensive organizations in the field of ceramics in our country. One of my biggest goals during my presidency is to further expand these congresses and to increase the participation of science and art, especially industry participants, in these congresses. Of course, as in every field, the negative impact of the pandemic on our activities was quite high. But we have entered a process of gathering and growing again. This year, again in Afyonkarahisar, we will organize the XI. Ceramics Congress between October and November. We expect support and contribution from all segments.

When we look at it, associations are organizations that try to survive only with the contributions of their members and sponsors who support their activities. For this reason, we aim to increase the number of our members from all three sections. But unfortunately, associationism is very difficult in our country. We are having difficulty finding members and support. However, everyone who is under the heading of ceramics should come to our society, become a member and contribute to our work. Because if we are strong, we can succeed and we have to be together to succeed/be strong.

On the other hand, another goal of mine is to create a national "road map" for the ceramics industry. Where should ceramic science, industry and art be in the near and distant future? We must set out both our national and international goals and make plans to achieve our goals. If we do not have a road map, we cannot meet the expectations and demands from within the country. We strive, try, but we always fall behind. In the international arena, we try to imitate the trends and fashions set by countries that have set their goals and made their plans. We are always one or a few steps behind them. These situations cause us to consume both our energy and resources. That's why I think we need to determine the "Technology Road Map" for the ceramic industry with the contributions of our Turkish Ceramics Federation.

Do you have a message you would like to add on behalf of TSD?

I would like to say that I want all ceramic stakeholders to communicate with us, join us and support us. I would like to remind that we expect especially ceramic tile, sanitary ware, refractories, machinery and raw material manufacturers to open a special space for science and art, that being with us will make both themselves and us stronger, we can grow and be stronger together. Of course, we receive support. We do and achieve important things together. But we can do better. I believe this wholeheartedly and I would like to finish my words by thanking you for giving me this opportunity. Thanks a lot.


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