The Materials Society is the leading scientific society world-wide dedicated to materials and its meetings are the largest and most impactful in the world. In this regard, I am very pleased that I co-organized several MRS symposia and that I am currently one of the Congress Chairs of the International Materials Research Congress (IMRC) 2020 (unfortunately postponed to 2021) in Mexico, an annual international congress co-organized by the MRS. Since my research is very interdisciplinary, I am active in various research organizations ranging from chemistry (GDCh), and physics (APS, DPG), to engineering (IEEE, magnetic society) and materials science (MRS). This reflects my scientific vision that modern materials science combines many of these different research areas and creates new ideas beyond what one can achieve in a single discipline. Therefore, I think it is the right time to be more engaged in an international organization like the MRS which brings all these different interdisciplinary aspects of materials science together. If I were elected to the MRS board, I would focus on expanding membership in Germany and Europe, enhancing diversity, and encouraging world-wide networking, to solve pressing problems of great import to the world. A few comments about myself: I am working in Germany with high level management responsibilities in several organizations and communities and with strong international and American connections, with strong experience in public outreach activities and with a broad knowledge in materials science including materials for energy conversion, spintronics and quantum technologies. Quantum technologies is not so well represented in the MRS and I would like to especially contribute to this area with my expertise.
In the area of energy conversion, sustainability is an absolute must. Modern materials must be sustainable – there are many ways to achieve this goal. A holistic view of materials taking the whole life-cycle, resources and emissions into account is one way to go. Do we really need the most efficient material or can we use a slightly less efficient material that is more environmentally friendly and sustainable? With a background in very different areas I would like to support the MRS in moving in this direction, and, for example, in defining new figures of merit beyond efficiencies for smarter materials. Smart materials can be multifunctional, with varied responses to external stimuli, can be programmable, and could have long lifetimes via regeneration or recycling.
Finally, digitalization of the materials community is another key interest of mine. If one could take all the knowledge that exists within the world of materials community, and digitize it to make it accessible, one could accelerate the discovery of quantum and smart materials and thereby help to find solutions that would improve the quality of all of our lives.
In summary, I believe that the MRS is a powerful instrument of change and I would be honored to help to continue the Society’s excellent work, to expand the interdisciplinarity of its programs and to increase its focus on sustainability.