Mines hosts scientists probing future of materials research

Representatives of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine came to Colorado School of Mines for two days in July as part of an effort to determine the state of materials research in the United States and identify promising directions for study.

“Frontiers of Materials Research: A Decadal Survey” is being conducted at the request of the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation. Town halls have been held across the country to gather community input, while the gathering July 27-28 at Mines was the study committee’s second of five planned meetings.

“Being asked to host the committee clearly indicates the national respect for our materials faculty and programs here and was a great opportunity for Mines and our federal lab and industry partners to showcase the leading work in materials being conducted in the Front Range,” said Michael Kaufman, dean of the College of Applied Science and Engineering and professor of metallurgical and materials engineering.

Panel discussions addressed topics such as the role of materials in addressing global grand challenges such as access to clean water and cheaper solar energy, new frontiers for traditional materials classes, the use of advanced materials and minimizing the risks of new materials. Panelists from Mines came from a variety of departments: Professor Tzahi Cath, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Professor Roderick Eggert, Economics and Business; Associate Professor Amy Clarke and Professor Corinne Packard, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; Assistant Professor Melissa Krebs, Chemical and Biological Engineering; Assistant Professor Nicole Smith, Mining Engineering; and John Poate, emeritus vice president for research.

Individual presentations included talks by Metallurgical and Materials Engineering faculty: Professor John Speer on steel, Professor Ivar Reimanis on ceramics and Assistant Professor Geoff Brennecka on rethinking materials processing.

Also taking part in the panels and presentations were representatives from the University of Colorado Boulder, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Ball Aerospace, CoorsTek and other organizations in the Front Range.

Contact:
Mark Ramirez, Managing Editor, Communications and Marketing | 303-273-3088 | ramirez@mines.edu
Agata Bogucka, Communications Manager, College of Earth Resource Sciences & Engineering | 303-384-2657 | abogucka@mines.edu