Programs & Outreach

Sustainability Events, Summits & Forums

Materials Needs for Energy Sustainability by 2050

2017 MRS Spring Meeting 
Our ability to achieve an energy-efficient, low-emissions future will depend on achieving significant materials advances over the coming decades. This panel event, co-organized by MRS Energy & Sustainability—A Review Journal and the MRS Focus on Sustainability Subcommittee, will convene top experts to discuss the fundamental materials R&D needed and the geopolitical and international supply-chain implications of possible pathways to realize this vision. A reception will follow and advance registration requested.

Moderator: Sabrina Sartori, University of Oslo


  • Russell R. Chianelli, The University of Texas at El Paso
  • George Crabtree, University of Illinois at Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory
  • Cherry Murray, Harvard University
  • Ellen D. Williams, University of Maryland

Learn more or register here.

MRS Focus on Sustainability Webinar Series

Focus on Sustainability Webinar Series
The MRS Focus on Sustainability Webinar Series featured the relationship between research, materials and sustainability in a dynamic and interactive series of sessions with top experts in the field.

Hosted by Ashley White of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, these sessions covered the importance of sustainable research practices and the many ways that materials researchers are implementing sustainability into their work.

Each session featured talks by leaders in industry and education, followed by an interactive Q&A session with the audience.

Raising Awareness: Sustainability as an Opportunity for the Materials Research Community

2014 MRS Fall Meeting  
The Materials Research Society (MRS) created a one-day Focus-on-Sustainability program of activities at its 2014 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit in Boston, designed to raise the awareness of the nexus between materials, materials research, and sustainable practice. The program provided for opportunities for stakeholders to interact in a variety of ways to build a community of practice –galvanizing action towards, and bolstering participation in, research and education focusing on sustainability and the key role that materials play. Targeted stakeholders included:

  • Current MRS researchers
  • Future research professionals (graduate and undergraduate students)
  • Corporate representatives, specifically corporate social responsibility officers and/or corporate technical leaders with a strong portfolio in sustainable technologies.
  • Community college faculty and students
  • Museum professionals and informal science education experts
  • Sociology and business academics

Sustainability Forum—Building Teams to Tackle Complex Problems

2012 MRS Fall Meeting  
This forum examined the most pressing materials challenges in sustainable development with the goal of generating serious interactions among scientists, engineers, industrial ecologists, economists and other practitioners in this diverse arena. Attendees heard success stories from leading experts, learned best practices, addressed complex challenges and used an interdisciplinary approach to build teams. 
This forum is available for viewing free from MRS OnDemand.

Forum—The Many Facets of Sustainable Development

2012 MRS Spring Meeting
Although the field of materials science and engineering is inherently multidisciplinary, new approaches to sustainable development will require more extensive collaborations with researchers even further outside the boundaries of the current field. The goal of this forum was to encourage a holistic approach toward the science and engineering of sustainable development. Through keynote presentations and case-study panel discussions, the forum covered broad aspects of the field of sustainable development from viewpoints outside of materials science, including industrial ecologists, resource experts, social scientists, economists, and venture capitalists. Representatives from the National Science Foundation (NSF) briefly discussed sustainability-related initiatives at the agency and were on hand during the day to answer questions. 
This forum was recorded and is available for free viewing.

2011 World Materials Summit

The 2011 World Materials Summit provided a forum for the world’s key decision makers and energy experts to focus on the materials research needs for our emerging energy economy. This Summit marked the third in a series of international summits sponsored between the Materials Research Society (MRS), the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) and the Chinese Materials Research Society (C-MRS). As with the prior Summits held in Lisbon, Portugal and Suzhou, China, this was an invitation-only gathering of world renowned technical experts and policymakers, assembled to assess and document the global research and innovation needs, develop policies, and outline the future of advanced energy materials.

Materials Research Enabling Clean Energy and Sustainable Development (PDF)
The role of materials science and engineering in meeting energy and sustainable development challenges is the focus of Materials Research Enabling Clean Energy and Sustainable Development, a publication released as the outcome of a collaborative event organized by three materials research societies—the Materials Research Society (MRS), the European Materials Research Society (E-MRS) and the Chinese Materials Research Society (C-MRS). Available online and as PDF download.

Energy outlook: A perspective from the new generation of materials researchers
An MRS Bulletin editorial written by students who attended the World Materials Summit

2011 World Materials Summit addresses energy, sustainability and water 
February 2012 MRS Bulletin report covering the 2011 World Materials Summit