Keynote Speakers


photo_andyAndy McConnell is a world authority on glassware of all types, and his books have covered the subject from 1650 to the present. He was the first glass specialist recruited to BBC TV’s Antiques Roadshow, for which he has now recorded ten series. He lectures widely and writes for journals as diverse as the Daily Telegraph, Homes & Antiquesand Glass Circle News.

Andy has traded in antiques since adolescence and was buying on Portobello Road at the age of 14. He has specialised in glass since 1977 when he began supplying a glass gallery in Hamburg, Germany.

Andy is also a trained journalist. After an apprenticeship on Suffolk Free Press, he spent four years, 1972-76, in Hollywood as West Coast correspondent for Sounds and other rock magazines. Back in England, he worked at Island Records, 1978-80, as its promo-video producer. He then spent 6 years, 1988-94, living the ‘good life’ with his family in the Dordogne, southwest France.

Andy returned to writing with his opus, The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass from 1650 [2004]. The research for his 20th Century Glass, [2006], led him on a voyage of discovery across Europe and the US. He has been working for a decade on another tome, Swedish Glass Design, and his new book about The Decanter [600 pages, ACC], will be published in May 2017.

Andy is a spontaneous speaker who is delighted to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for his subject with audiences. His mission is to engage, entertain and educate. ‘I am serious about my subject, but a speaker’s primary responsibility is to take the audience along for the ride. By the end of a talk, no one should be regretting their decision to abandon a comfy armchair for a hard seat in a hall’.

Together with his wife Helen, Andy owns Britain’s largest antique and vintage glass shop, Glass Etc, in the ancient Sussex seaside town of Rye. Voted England’s Antique Shop of the Year by Homes & Antiques readers, it draws on Andy’s collection of around 30,000 pieces, spanning from 1750 to the present.


silke-cProfessor Silke Christiansen is an appointed professor since 11/2013 at the Freie University – Berlin and runs a research unit for Nanoarchitectures for energy conversion at the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Germany.

Moreover, she is heading a research group for Photonic Nanostructures at the Max-Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen, Germany. She has significant experience in the field of nano-materials for energy conversion, sensing and opto-electronics.

She advances materials based on correlated microscopies and spectroscopies for which she operates a “lab@location” with Carl Zeiss AG. She gained her scientific experience at various institutions in Germany and the USA, e.g. IBM’s T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, NY, USA, Columbia University, NY, USA, Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics and the Science of Light in Halle and Erlangen, Leibnitz Institute for Photonic Technology in Jena and the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg. She has more than 320 peer-reviewed publications, more than 10 patents/- applications, more than 7000 citations and an h-index of 42.


ep_vicenzi_image2Dr. Ed Vicenzi is a research scientist at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Conservation Institute (MCI). He utilizes microbeam techniques to study museum specimens and related materials.  Before taking-up his position at MCI he served as the Director of the Analytical Laboratories at the National Museum of Natural History. Prior to that, he was a research staff member at the Imaging and Analysis Facility at Princeton University.  He is an editorial board member for the journal Heritage Science and is the President of the International Union of Microbeam Analysis Societies (IUMAS) and former president of the MicroAnalysis Society (MAS). He obtained a PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MS from the University of Oregon, and a BSc from McGill University, all in Earth Sciences.