COTC Explores Offering Nation’s Only Two-Year Ceramic Technology Degree

NEWARK, Ohio, Feb. 19, 2019Opportunities in the field of ceramic engineering technology have taken a significant step forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Central Ohio Technical College (COTC), the Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation and The American Ceramic Society (ACerS). Through today's MOU signing, the entities have agreed to work together to launch at COTC the only two-year Ceramic Engineering Technology degree program in the nation.

Ceramic ET signing.jpgThe proposed program, which includes the creation of a Ceramic Learning Lab at the COTC Newark campus, will provide students an economical path to a technical career as well as provide skilled workers for the ceramic and materials processing and product industries. COTC President John M. Berry, Ph.D., Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation General Manager Mark Lawson and ACerS Executive Director Mark Mecklenborg signed the MOU at COTC's Newark campus on Tuesday, Feb. 19.

"COTC is extremely excited to collaborate with two such prominent and influential partners in the ceramic industry," said Berry. "We are looking forward to working together to create innovative educational pathways in this field for our students and to meet this industry's demand for highly skilled workers."

The unique properties and heat resistance of ceramic materials have many applications in this modern high-tech industry and require complex skills to help create new solutions for industry and manufacturing. The proposed program would blend classroom and laboratory experiences, giving graduates an understanding of ceramic material properties, processing and applications, including manufacturing and quality assurance. For further information about the proposed program contact Whit Tussing, COTC program director for engineering technology at

"Besides creating the only two-year ceramic technology degree in the nation, the team of Orton, the ACerS and COTC, and their close alignment with industry partners, represents the best in public-private partnerships," said Lawson. "We have performed two industry surveys validating the demand for graduates, who will have career opportunities in a range of jobs including research, product development, production, purchasing and quality. The team will also raise scholarships to allow for a diversity of students to participate," Lawson noted.

"The American Ceramic Society was founded to serve the needs of the ceramic manufacturing industry," said Mark Mecklenborg, ACerS executive director. "We welcome the opportunity to continue to meet the evolving needs of industry and to introduce a new generation workforce to the rewards of working with these unique materials."

The Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation and the ACerS have nearly 250 years of combined experience providing services to the ceramic industry, education and the arts.

About the Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation
The Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation, previously the Standard Pyrometric Cone Company, has been providing quality assurance tools for firing ceramic materials for 123 years. Orton's ongoing industry support includes supplying material testing instruments, testing services and education, as well as sponsoring basic materials research.

About ACerS
Founded in 1898, The American Ceramic Society is the leading professional membership organization for ceramic and materials scientists, engineers, researchers, manufacturers, plant personnel, educators, and students. The Society serves more than 11,000 members from more than 75 countries.

About COTC
COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.


Front row, left to right: ACerS Executive Director Mark Mecklenborg, COTC President John M. Berry, Ph.D., Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation General Manager Mark Lawson.

Back row, left to right: ACerS Bulletin Editor Eileen De Guire; ACerS Development Director Marcus J. Fish; COTC Vice President for Workforce Development, Community Affairs, Extended Campuses, and The Gateway Vicki Maple; COTC Vice President for Academic Affairs Lauri White, Ed.D.; COTC Program Director for Engineering Technology Whit Tussing.