This year’s Phoenix award Person of the Year winner spoke of her passion for glass during an acceptance speech.

Prof Alicia Duran, of the Institute of Ceramics and Glass of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) and President of the ICG, accepted the Phoenix bird sculpture during a glittering ceremony in Madrid, Spain on Friday night.

She was named the Phoenix Committee’s 49th Glass Person of the Year for her services to the glass industry during her 42-year career.

In her acceptance speech she praised the Institute of Ceramics and Glass of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) in Madrid. The institute had welcomed her when she arrived from her native Argentina after completing her degree at the University of Cordoba.

“One month before leaving, I received the offer of a PhD fellowship in Stanford but I decided to come to Spain. My friends and professors thought I was crazy but I never regretted having made that decision,” she told the audience.

She has remained at the institute ever since.

Prof Duran has worked on research projects with a number of glassmakers including Verallia, Vidrala, Vicrila, Saint-Gobain and Guardian.

“This is a clear example that it’s possible to combine collaboration within competition, between companies and countries, between academia and industry, between glass producers and glass end-users.

“Cooperation/collaboration are key words in my life.”

She thanked those who have played a contribution in her career including her first glass teacher Prof. Fernández Navarro; Rosa Menéndez, President of CSIC, Prof John Parker of the ICG and Glass International columnist, and Fabio Nicoletti, ‘my so loved friend in glass.’

Alicia Durán is the second woman to be elected ICG President and the second to receive the Phoenix Award. The first, Alev Yaraman, was present in Madrid to support her long-time friend.

Mrs Yaraman was one of five previous Phoenix Award winners in the audience, the other's being Surasak Decharin, Javier Gutierrez, James O’Callaghan and Helmut Schaeffer

Prof Duran concluded: "Last but not least, I have to deeply thank the Phoenix Award Committee, and particularly to Jean-Luc Logel and Erik Muijsenberg, for this unexpected and superb gift."

Phoenix Chairman Jean-Luc Logel said: "The Phoenix Award Committee has selected Professor Duran to receive this year's prestigious Phoenix Award in recognition of her her extensive work in the furtherance of glass, glass-ceramics and sol-gel materials research."

The Phoenix Award Committee comprises of glass technology suppliers, which nominate their glass person of the year. The banquet is attended by glass suppliers, past winners, glass manufacturers and the winner’s invited guests.

A review of the banquet will appear in a forthcoming issue of Glass International.

Pictured: Alicia Duran with the Phoenix bird.