Kent State names new director of Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute


Torsten Hegmann

Brandon Justice

Kent State’s new director of the Advanced Materials and Liquid Crystal Institute, Dr. Torsten Hegmann, spoke at an inaugural event about his plans for the future of the institution.

    At the event on Tuesday, Hegmann was introduced by Kent State’s President Todd Diacon and Vice President for Research and Sponsored Programs Paul DiCorletto.

    As a co-founder of Torel LLC, a company that uses liquid crystal sensors to detect toxic gases and vapors, Hegmann has experience with modern applications for liquid crystals and advanced materials. 

Hegmann stressed the importance of modernizing the field of liquid crystals, as well as widening the scope of the Institute’s expertise. Hegmann said he would need, “creative people, unique ideas, the right infrastructure and strong cooperation and funding” to achieve his goals as director.

    Hegmann also emphasised the importance of working together and interdisciplinary communication, saying that scientists need to “learn each other’s languages,” so that communication between different fields of science and medicine can lead to advancements in all disciplines.

    The new director said he is excited to see the modern direction that the advanced materials field is taking, focusing more on biology, energy, environment and medicine. One talking point for Hegmann was the significance of bringing more young, multidisciplinary experts into the Institute to foster creative thinking and new ideas. 

             An additional goal Hegmann discussed at the event was securing more funding for the Institute through grants, in order to maintain state-of-the-art equipment. 

             “One of the first major actions [I will take] is to sit down and write a really big grant for a really fancy new piece of equipment,” Hegmann said. “I will try to lead by example. You can’t just preach get more money for equipment if you don’t do your own business.”

    Overall, Hegmann said his goal is to “put the [AMLCI] on the map,” and increase awareness of the Institute’s work in the study of Advanced Materials.