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Summarizing the work of nearly a decade of research on spark plasma sintering (SPS), a review is given on the specificities and key factors to be considered in SPS of ceramic materials, based on the authors' own research. Alumina is used primarily as a model material throughout the review. Intrinsic inhomogeneities linked to SPS and operational parameters, which depend on the generation of atomistic scale defects, are discussed in detail to explain regularly observed inhomogeneities reported indoi:10.3390/ceramics3040039 fatcat:bppywzplmjbo5ilwuuwrqsv7em