About MRS

Ilke Arslan, Argonne National Laboratory

2021 MRS Board of Directors

Ilke Arslan

Ilke Arslan is currently the Director of the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) and the Nanoscience and Technology Division at Argonne National Laboratory. After receiving her PhD degree in physics from the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), she spent two years at the University of Cambridge working under the National Science Foundation International Research Fellowship and the Royal Society USA Research Fellowship. She has held the Truman Fellowship from Sandia National Laboratories, an Assistant Professorship at UC Davis’ Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, a senior scientist position (and adjunct faculty at UC Davis) at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and a position as Group Leader for Electron and X-ray Microscopy at Argonne’s CNM. Arslan has been honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and the Oppenheimer Science and Energy Leadership Program (OSELP).

Arslan has been heavily involved with the Materials Research Society (MRS) throughout her career. Starting as an undergraduate, she received the MRS Undergraduate Materials Research Initiative Award for performing undergraduate research. As a graduate student, she received the MRS Graduate Student Gold Award. Over her professional career, she has served, and continues to serve, the MRS in numerous ways:

  • Editorial Board of the MRS Bulletin;
  • Meeting Chair for the 2017 Fall MRS Meeting;
  • Symposium Organizer for Fall MRS Meetings in 2013 and 2016;
  • Volume Organizer for the MRS Bulletin;
  • MRS Government Affairs Committee (and until recently the Vice Chair of the GAC);
  • MRS Congressional Visits Day Subcommittee;
  • Represented the MRS to advocate for science on Congressional Visits multiple years; 
  • MRS Women in Materials Science and Engineering Subcommittee;
  • MRS Postdoctoral Award Committee;
  • MRS Undergraduate Materials Research Initiative Committee;
  • Attending and participating in MRS meetings for over two decades.

She also serves on the Editorial Boards of Materials Research Letters and Microscopy and Microanalysis. For the Microscopy Society of America (MSA), she has served as a Tour Speaker for the Local Affiliated Societies since 2008, and organized five symposia and taught three short courses. She has also served on various committees for the American Chemical Society. She has a strong commitment to “giving back” and to promoting the next generation of scientists and engineers through lectures and demonstrations to grade school, high school, and college students.

Arslan’s research has centered around understanding structure-property relationships of materials for energy applications through advanced methods in the (scanning) transmission electron microscope. This includes in-situ liquid imaging to understand the dynamics of nucleation and growth in a native environment, and three-dimensional imaging to understand the true morphology and chemistry of nanomaterials in three dimensions. Most recently, she has led the installation and commissioning of an ultrafast transmission electron microscope at the Center for Nanoscale Materials, bringing this important time-resolved capability to the national and international user community.

Candidate's Statement

There is no other professional society quite like the Materials Research Society (MRS). By its very nature, materials science is a diverse discipline that brings together scientists from every branch of science, instilling diversity in approach and thought. This diversity, combined with the MRS’ strong values in diversity of membership, catapult discovery and innovation within this community. To continue to excel, diversity must be at the core of everything we do.  The mission statement of the MRS is “…the advancement of interdisciplinary materials research and technology to improve the quality of life.” This is a global statement because the quality of life is for all life, and we need all types of people from all over the world to nurture the change we want to see. That is why international membership, diversity in race, diversity in gender, diversity in institution type, and diversity in scientific disciplines in this Society is so critical, and should continue to grow.

One of the lessons I have learned from my visits to Capitol Hill is that science needs a voice. Lawmakers and their staff are very busy people, and do not have time to think about the different aspects of science and why they are important to the taxpayers. It is part of the Society’s job, and our job as scientists, to communicate this importance to the public and to our lawmakers. The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) of the MRS is phenomenal in the advocacy of fundamental science research across many different funding agencies. The GAC, and other committees of MRS can do even more to educate and advocate for science. We can educate our MRS members through webinars and workshops at the annual meetings so that each of our members can be better trained and prepared to share the benefits of science in their local communities. Our members, in turn, can start outreach efforts through their respective organizations to educate the public, and even lawmakers in their respective countries. And last but not least, we must continue to communicate the importance of materials science to the younger generation and get them excited to participate, because they are the future of our global materials science community, and of the MRS. 

I am privileged to have been a part of this community since my undergraduate days. For over twenty years, I have been involved in both the scientific and operational aspects of the MRS. I have served in four of the seven operating committees. With this appreciation of the Society and its members, I would be honored to serve in a new way to continue to promote and grow the MRS: through the Board of Directors.