MRS recognizes the critical role volunteers have in the future of the society. MRS is committed to maintaining a support infrastructure for volunteers, especially a high-quality headquarters staff focused on partnering with volunteers to advance the MRS Mission.
The tremendous growth and success of MRS is due to the energy, enthusiasm and vision of many member volunteers. MRS is member-led and member-driven, and there is always a need for new volunteers of varying skills and interests.
Want to affect meeting content? Propose symposium topics to future meeting chairs.
Want to affect the MRS Bulletin content? Submit topics for special issues to the volume organizers.
Interested in government affairs, public outreach or other MRS activities? There are numerous ways in which you might participate, some of which are outlined below.
Your involvement with MRS will help advance the field of materials science and engineering, AND at the same time, it will help you build a strong network of professional contacts and friends. So take a look… and get involved!
The MRS committee structure and task forces offer members an invaluable opportunity to participate in, and profoundly influence, the operation of the society. Operational committees—the operational heart of the society—are made up of energized volunteers with particular interests in areas such as membership, public outreach, academic affairs and more. Many of the successes MRS has seen over the years are the direct result of dedicated volunteers and committee members who have taken on projects and driven them to completion.
Submit a proposal for an MRS symposium or workshop
MRS has long been considered a great “Meeting Society” and that is due to our long-standing policy (unique among scientific societies) of selecting outstanding meeting chairs and empowering them to run their own best possible meeting. Meeting chairs set their own agenda, pick the topics and choose or solicit symposia. The meeting chairs return the favor by empowering their symposium organizers and these groups each drive the content and feel of their own piece of the meeting. Because organizers get such free rein, MRS meetings attract exceptional and energetic scientific leaders who run their symposia in an equally ardent fashion to the meeting. Most importantly, anyone can propose a symposium topic, and historically, over 30 percent of the symposia come from unsolicited proposals. For many members, the MRS meeting and workshop programs provide a first exposure to scientific leadership. To learn more about these exciting opportunities, visit the Meetings section of our website.
Publish a paper or article with MRS
Publishing venues for MRS members are many and varied, and include MRS Bulletin, Journal of Materials Research (JMR), MRS Communications, MRS Energy & Sustainability—A Review Journal and our newest journal, MRS Advances.
MRS membership includes FREE online access to all MRS publications. From an author's point of view, the free online exposure of his or her work to 16,000 members of the materials community is a significant benefit. In addition, our collaboration with Cambridge University Press provides an immediate reader/subscriber base of over 2,500 academic, industrial and government libraries worldwide. Together, the MRS/Cambridge partnership provides authors, and their research, unparalleled and targeted scope, reach and impact.
University chapters are a vital part of MRS and provide an opportunity for students and faculty to meet and promote student interest in materials science. With over 40 active chapters throughout the United States, we also encourage our student members to network among chapters, to compare notes on recent activities and to brainstorm on new projects and issues of common concern. University chapters are eligible for special benefits from MRS (e.g. distinguished speaker support and travel grants) and may be formed by petition to the MRS Board of Directors.
Women in Materials Science and Engineering is the subject of a special breakfast held at both the MRS Spring and Fall Meetings and features a timely discussion of issues facing today’s women in the materials research and engineering professions. If you plan to attend one of our meetings, we urge you to join us for this interactive and informative breakfast event. In addition, MRS members are encouraged to add to their MRS website profile the opt-in for the bi-annual newsletter MRS Community Connections mailing list. The newsletter is a continuing discussion and information exchange on issues affecting women in the materials profession. Women and men are encouraged to participate.
As strange as it may seem, the general public does not entirely understand how exciting materials research is and how it plays a role in their day-to-day lives. For this reason, MRS has created a traveling museum exhibit on materials research called Strange Matter, where visitors enter the fascinating, practical, occasionally bizarre and often beautiful world of materials science through over a dozen hands-on experiences. Many of the museum venues welcome participation of local scientists when Strange Matter comes to their town.
Strange Matter Green Earth is new pioneering educational venture to create an international traveling materials science exhibition that will enable millions of people across the globe to explore ways in which advances in materials can lead to a more sustainable future. MRS has established a network of materials researchers, exhibit designers and science educators across three continents dedicated to working collaboratively to develop three versions of a traveling materials science exhibition that will simultaneously tour North America, Europe and South America. The subcommittee is currently seeking funds to create these globally-relevant exhibitions.
This introductory level course teaches all students that engineering shapes and is shaped by social and cultural variables, and that a career in engineering is not only about math and science, but also about social problem-solving. The Impact of Materials on Society subcommittee is seeking two- and four-year institutions interested in implementing the course and will provide implementation workshops at MRS Fall and Spring Meetings. Future plans include adapting portions of the content for middle and high school classrooms and translating the curriculum into other languages.
Focus on Sustainability is a new MRS initiative designed to raise the awareness of the nexus between materials, materials research, and sustainable practice. MRS is helping its members discover the valued role of sustainable materials practices to a sustainable world. The Society also seeks to develop members' technical expertise and understanding of the complex interrelationships between materials science and other disciplines.
Take advantage of student opportunities at MRS meetings
MRS meetings offer a variety of opportunities for student members with varied interests to get involved. Work as a symposium assistant or help out at Career Central. Prepare research reports for the MRS Bulletin. Volunteer to assist with events exclusive to a particular meeting, like the MRS Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge. Many of these activities enable you to actually earn some money or earn a complimentary membership for the following year. For more information on becoming a symposium assistant or volunteering for other activities, contact us.
Send a message to Capitol Hill
Tell your legislators why support of the physical sciences and science education is necessary—for national security, quality of life and a strong economy. With Materials Voice, you can create personalized letters addressed to your representatives on Capitol Hill—which you can then customize and send via email, or print and send via mail or fax. It's essential that our voices be heard on science policy issues. We invite you to discover Materials Voice, and ensure that your message is heard—with resonance—on Capitol Hill.