There’s a YouTube video that John Mauro likes called “A Day Made of Glass.” Give it 5 minutes and 33 seconds and it will give you the future.
Well, the future circa 2011, anyway.
The footage was assembled by Corning Inc., a company that manufactures glass, ceramics and other materials and would really like it if you could be just as excited about all of those things as they appear to be.
I think there’s still many more possibilities ahead.
That shouldn’t be too hard. We’re talking interactive mirrors, digital highway signs, refrigerators that allow you to graffiti photos of your loved ones with the swipe of a finger.
“I think there’s still many more possibilities ahead,” Mauro said.
The credentials behind that statement include 18 years in the Corning machine, where Mauro worked on several iterations of Gorilla Glass, a damage-resistant strain of glass designed to protect your iPhone from its owner.
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had been looking for something more durable than what was readily available on the market 10 years ago.
“The secretary thought it was a prank call and actually hung up on him,” Mauro said.
He’s not one of those guys who got into the glass game for the celebrities, though. Mauro’s childhood memories include dragging his pregnant mother around the Corning Glass Museum in Steuben County, N.Y.
I think I was interested in the beauty of glass and the fact that you could make it in so many different forms.
“I think I was interested in the beauty of glass and the fact that you could make it in so many different forms,” Mauro said
Contact lenses, TV tubes, even the elevator that takes visitors up to his new office on the third floor of the Steidle Building would all tend to support that thesis.
Mauro joined the faculty of the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences late last summer as a professor of materials science and engineering. He’ll spend the rest of this semester in research mode, but is eager to get into the classroom next year.
“I love to teach and I love the energy of being around students,” Mauro said.