PITTSBURGH-With students participating in a mug drop contest and exhibitors offering analytical equipment, the Materials Science & Technology (MS&T) 2008 exhibit hall was a busy place.

The conference and exhibition took place October 5 to 9 in Pittsburgh, a city celebrating its 250th birthday during MS&T’08.

The forum addressed structure, properties, processing and performance across the materials community, and featured the ACerS 110th annual meeting, the AIST Steel Properties & Applications Conference, the ASM 95th annual meeting and the TMS fall meeting.

Along with conference sessions and the exhibition, the show provided many opportunities for materials science and engineering students. The active Material Advantage student program hosted many student sessions and activities at MS&T, including competitive events, technical sessions and student and alumni receptions.

In addition to the undergraduate student poster contest, students had the opportunity to participate in the mug drop contest. Students fabricated mugs from ceramic raw materials that were judged on both aesthetics and breaking thresholds. Mugs were dropped from successively higher levels until the breaking threshold was reached, the winning mug having the highest successful drop distance.

More than 130 companies were present, marketing products and services for attendees interested in analytical equipment, technical service, publishers and sponsor companies.

The conference was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Opening in 2003, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is the largest Gold LEED certified green convention center in the United States and the first of its kind in the world. The designation is awarded by the United States Green Building Council through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

Next year’s conference also will be held at the Lawrence Convention Center, October 25 to 29, 2009, and abstracts for the conference are due March 15.