2010 Indo-American Frontiers of Engineering Symposium

Advanced Engineering Materials

March 12, 2010 11:00 – 12:30

The impact of materials science and engineering on society can be witnessed throughout history.  From the stone-age through to the industrial revolution, civilizations have benefited from advances in engineering materials.  A similar revolution is taking place today, with the discovery and investigation of new materials that affect such diverse fields as medicine to space exploration to transportation systems to quantum computing.  New synthesis techniques and analysis/characterization tools are enabling the development of materials whose fundamental properties are based at length scales in the nanometer range and below.  Smart materials with the ability to monitor and react to their surroundings and even self-heal are being explored.  Bulk metallic glasses, multifunctional materials, hybrid materials are all subsets of advanced materials causing great excitement in the science and engineering community.  The development of bio-materials and bio-compatible soft materials is causing a revolution in the medical field; new fields of inquiry are being defined on an almost daily occurrence as a result of these advances. Soft materials are also being investigated for use in the electronics industry.  Cellular materials are being implemented in several sectors, such as transportation and thermo-mechanical systems, especially where weight reduction and multifunctionality are required.  Multiferroic materials with magnetic and ferroelectric capabilities are revolutionizing data storage capabilities in computing.  The examples are limitless.  These advances have also stretched the capabilities of many materials characterizing tools to their limits and caused significant progress in instrumentation, for example the development of aberration corrected transmission electron microscopes to characterize sub-nanometer length features.  These advances would not have made possible without the collaborative efforts of researchers whose expertise spans a variety of fields— such as engineering, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine.  The societal impact of these advances is also a point of discussion.  For example, ethical debates have been raging on the potential harm created by nanomaterials.  Regardless, progress in advance materials research has been phenomenal both at the fundamental research level and commercially.  This symposium will explore some of the most cutting edge research in the field of advanced engineering materials.  Advances in materials synthesis, novel applications, new characterization tools, and ongoing scientific and engineering challenges will be discussed.