Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute to Celebrate “50 Years of Innovation” | Kent State University

Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute to Celebrate “50 Years of Innovation”

Photo of Glenn H. BrownThe Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute® and the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State University will host a 50th anniversary celebration of the institute on Friday, Sept. 25, starting at 10 a.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva on the Kent Campus. The event will kick off a yearlong celebration that will culminate with the International Liquid Crystal Conference (ILCC) at the Kent Campus July 31-Aug. 5, 2016.

At the Sept. 25 event, Kent State President Beverly Warren and James Blank, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kent State, will give opening remarks, which will be followed by tributes to former Liquid Crystal Institute directors Glenn Brown, Ph.D., Bill Doane, Ph.D., John West, Ph.D., and Oleg Lavrentovich, Ph.D. At 11:30 a.m., Kent State alumnus Sung Tae Shin, Ph.D. ’94, physics, professor at Kyung Hee University and retired vice president of Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display Co., will present “Technology Strategy for New Jump in the Display Industry.” A lunch buffet and tours of the institute will follow from noon until 2:30 p.m.

Blank will present “The Future of Liquid Crystals” at 2:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Kiva. Other afternoon speakers include Achin Bhowmik, Ph.D., vice president and general manager of Perceptual Computing Group, Intel Corporation; Kent State alumnus Cheng Chen, Ph.D. ’06, chemical physics, director, Panel, Process and Optics Engineering at Apple Inc.; Shin; and Noel Clark, Ph.D., professor of physics at the University of Colorado. Hiroshi Yokoyama, Ph.D., director of Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute, will provide the closing remarks at 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but online registration is required by Sept. 24 at 5 p.m. at



The 2015-2016 academic year also will mark the first year for the new Master of Science in liquid crystal engineering degree program, a first in the United States.

“Through hands-on experience in liquid crystal device design and fabrication as well as fundamental studies of the science and technology, this new program will prepare the next generation of corporate engineers in the liquid crystal field,” Yokoyama said. 

Students also can pursue a Ph.D. in chemical physics, offered since 1994, and participate in basic and applied research with faculty through graduate assistantships. Many of the students publish in prestigious journals, present their research at international conferences and patent new technologies.

Photo of Bill DoaneAbout the Glenn H. Brown Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University
The Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University is world-renowned for liquid crystal technology research, development and education that advance our everyday lives. Founded in 1965 by Glenn H. Brown, it is recognized for the invention of the twisted nematic cell, the heart of liquid crystal display, and it continues to lead liquid crystal research and discovery.  

The Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State advances basic research by providing state-of-the-art facilities and research programs focused on liquid crystal science and display development. The institute focuses on research for a range of multidisciplinary topics from biomedical sciences to smart materials for new energy applications. Pivotal contributions include display tablets, optical shutters, variable transmission windows, projection display devices and flexible displays.  

Alumni of Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute are employed in both academia and top technology companies across the globe, including Apple, Samsung and LG, and continue to make substantial technological advancements in their respective fields. The institute partners with major corporations and government agencies – ChemImage, Kent Displays Inc., Hewlett-Packard, NASA Langley Research Center and more – to continue the advancement and application of liquid crystal technology.  

From 1991 to 2002, a $25 million award from the National Science Foundation for a Science and Technology Center for Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM) allowed Kent State researchers to partner with polymer scientists at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron. This collaboration catalyzed nearly $60 million in additional basic and applied research funding which also led to the creation of several new companies including Kent Displays, AlphaMicron, FITOS, CoAdna Photonics, Hana Microdisplay Technologies and Crystal Diagnostics. 

The Liquid Crystal Institute has recently received grant awards from the state of Ohio, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Energy and NASA, and it has formed research partnerships with liquid crystal display companies, such as LG and BOE.

For more information about the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State, visit

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Photo Captions:
Photo of Glenn H. Brown:
Glenn H. Brown, Ph.D., (1915-1995) established Kent State University’s Liquid Crystal Institute, later named in his honor, on March 18, 1965, and served as its director from 1965-1983.

Photo of Bill Doane:
Bill Doane, Ph.D., joined Kent State University’s Department of Physics faculty in 1965 and served as director of the Liquid Crystal Institute from 1983-1996 and first director of the Advanced Liquid Crystalline Optical Materials (ALCOM) Center from 1991-1996. He co-founded Kent Displays Inc. in 1993. 

Media Contacts:
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595
Jim Maxwell,, 330-672-8028