2020 MRS Fall Meeting

Meeting Chairs

Michael FlatteMichael E. Flatté
The University of Iowa

Michael E. Flatté is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Iowa (UI). His research interests include optical and electrical control of spin dynamics in materials, novel spintronic devices, quantum sensors, and solid-state realizations of quantum computation. Flatté received the AB degree in physics from Harvard University in 1988 and a PhD degree in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1992.  After postdoctoral work at the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara and in the Division of Applied Sciences at Harvard University, he joined the faculty at UI in 1995. He was Director of UI’s Optical Science and Technology Center from 2010-2017. Flatté has over 200 publications and 10 patents. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Physical Society (APS), a member of the Materials Research Society, the Optical Society of America and the American Vacuum Society, and was Chair of the Division of Materials Physics of the APS from 2016-2017. Flatté has an adjunct appointment as professor in the Department of Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands.

Michael RoweMichael P. Rowe
Toyota Research Institute of North America

Michael P. Rowe is a principal scientist at the Toyota Research Institute of North America, having joined Toyota’s North American Research and Development operations in 2008.  He received his BA degree in chemistry with honors from Knox College, and both an MS degree and PhD degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan; continuing with his postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan.  His work focuses on using bottom-up chemical approaches to control nanomaterial properties so that original futuristic ideas can become real-world applications.  Rowe’s current research programs span a broad range of fields including light weight steel composites to reduce environmental impact through improved vehicle fuel economy and artificial muscle soft robotics to assist in the quality of life for elderly and disabled people.  His teams carry research from original concept, to fundamental materials research and finally into systems level device integration.  He has received four Toyota Research Division awards for his research accomplishments.  Rowe and his teams have generated 40 issued patents, in addition to numerous conference presentations and peer reviewed publications.

Sabrina SartoriSabrina Sartori
University of Oslo

Sabrina Sartori is associate professor and head of solid-state synthesis laboratory at the Department of Technology Systems at the University of Oslo. Her research interests include materials for energy storage and conversion, and their characterization via in-situ and operando synchrotron and neutron radiation experiments. She earned her MSc degree in chemistry from the University of Padova and her PhD degree in materials science and engineering from the University of Bologna. She has held research positions at the University of Padova and the Institute for Energy Technology in Norway, before joining the University of Oslo in 2013. From 2015-2017, Sartori was one of the Directors of MRS and currently serves as an expert and leader in several national and international committees, boards and initiatives.

V. Prasad ShastriPrasad Shastri
University of Freiburg

Prasad Shastri is a professor at the University of Freiburg, Germany where he holds the Hermann Staudinger Chair for Biofunctional Macromolecular Chemistry and the BIOSS Professorship of Cell Signalling Environments. He is also the Director of the Institute for Macromolecular Chemistry and one of the core faculty at the BIOSS Center for Biological Signaling Studies, which is one of the national clusters of Excellence in Germany. He received his PhD degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1995 and carried out his post-doctoral work with Robert Langer at MIT. He has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers, and authored several proceedings articles, extended abstracts and book chapters. Shastri has also authored over 50 issued and pending patents in materials science, regenerative medicine and tumor biology. In addition to pioneering several technologies in biomaterials, drug delivery, and nanotechnology, including the In Vivo Bioreactor, a groundbreaking approach for autologous engineering of bone and cartilage, his laboratory is active in the development of biomaterials for controlling cellular microenvironments, in vivo engineering of tissue, intracellular delivery, cancer therapeutics, cancer biology and functional imaging.

Chongmin WangChongmin Wang
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Chongmin Wang is a chief scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and his research interests include the state of the art S/TEM imaging and spectroscopy and their application to materials characterization, especially in situ and operando S/TEM techniques for energy materials. He received his BSc and MSc degrees in physics from Lanzhou University, China and PhD degree in Materials Science and Engineering from University of Leeds, UK.  He worked at Max-Planck Institute for Metal Research in Stuttgart in Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow, National Institute for Materials Science in Japan, and Lehigh University, focusing on atomic level study of grain boundary structure and chemistry using S/TEM. Wang is one of the pioneers on in-situ TEM technique for rechargeable battery research, which has earned him prestigious honors, including the 2016 MRS Innovation in Materials Characterization Award; 2017 PNNL Laboratory Director’s Award for Exceptional Scientific Achievement; 2016 Journal of Materials Research (JMR) Paper of the Year Award; 2012 Microscopy Today Innovation Award. He is also the recipient of R&D100 Award, Rowland Snow Award from the American Ceramic Society, Outstanding Invention Award from Japanese Science and Education Committee, PNNL Exceptional Contribution Awards.  He has published 370 journal papers and several book chapters, and delivered 70 invited talks. He is serving as the principal editor of the Journal of Materials Research and is a Fellow of Materials Research Society.  

 Message from the Meeting Chairs

The 2020 MRS Fall Meeting will be held in the Sheraton Boston Hotel and Hynes Convention Center, November 29 - December 4, 2020.  A flagship meeting in materials community, the meeting provides opportunity for gathering of materials researcher, developer, and entrepreneurs across the globe for information exchange. There will be 51 symposia grouped into eight topical clusters, as follows:

Broader Impact

This cluster features one symposium focused on early career development in materials science, whether the career goal is academia or industry.

Electronics and Optics

This cluster includes eight symposia that feature the unique electronic properties available in traditional and novel materials, harnessed for applications in high-speed or high-power electronic devices for photovoltaics and for light emitters.  In each case the fundamental materials properties will be linked to state-of-the-art device performance. Research in the areas of halide perovskites, two-dimensional materials beyond graphene, diamond heterostructures and low-dimensional chalcogenides will demonstrate the continuing progress in the understanding of their electronic, optical and structural properties, including the application of these properties for improved devices and technologies. Two novel symposia, one on Coulomb interactions in organic devices and one on photomechanical materials and applications, will highlight new functionality in these materials as well as the devices that have emerged from the newly understood physical properties of these materials.


This cluster features nine symposia that feature a broad view of the application of materials to energy transfer, conversion and storage, as well as addressing issues of materials design and characterization. The energy conversion theme includes photovoltaics (PV) based on Si and their development at the module and systems level, as well as emerging functional dielectric materials. Electrochemical energy storage research will be presented with respect to novel material development of batteries for different energy scales, focusing on specific components including metal anodes, solid-state electrolytes, electrode/electrolyte interfaces and advancing safety, cell design and manufacturing. Focus will be given to the recent achievements of Li-based and beyond Li batteries, in addition to redox active materials relevant to flow battery applications. A symposium will be specifically dedicated to instruments, methods developed to investigate in situ and operando relevant electronic and structural transformations in materials and devices for energy conversion, storage and transport. Sustainability of nuclear power via safe processing and management of nuclear waste complements the overview of this cluster.

Flexible, Wearable Electronics, Textiles and Sensors:

This cluster features three symposia that highlight the rapidly growing importance of materials in applications that directly interface with humans and biological systems, both externally as clothing and worn devices and internally as implanted devices.  Specifically, the symposia on flexible electronics and textiles will emphasize the design, fabrication and performance testing of such devices as well as the current research on development of polymer materials, fibers and inks for the aforementioned applications. The challenges associated with designing materials to meaningfully interact with complex biological systems will be emphasized. Facilitating the research in supporting technologies including 3D printing, sensor integration, packaging and electronics will also be featured. Bioelectronic materials will be presented for both the sensing and stimulation of biological signals with implantable devices. Also covered are polymeric hydrogels and other soft materials for neural interface and regeneration; and advances in neural interfacing materials for device level biocompatibility and drug delivery.

Materials Theory, Characterization and Data Science

This cluster features seven symposia that recognize the increasingly strong overlap between advances in materials theory, characterization, and computational methods. This includes an emphasis on machine learning for materials discovery, frontiers of imaging and spectroscopy integrated with big data analytics, theoretical simulations and calculations and approaches with advanced scanning probe microscopies as well as atom probe tomography. In addition, to also be featured, are transport phenomena in van der Waals solids enabled by strain and defect engineering, as well as methods and investigations focused on in situ measurements, especially for dynamic processes in functional materials. A particular focus will be devoted to bridging the gap between basic science and industrial application, technique development and improved data mining algorithms.

Nanomaterials and Quantum Materials

This cluster features seven symposia that provide views into the materials under investigation and the different platforms available in this growing field. Symposia on nanophotonic materials, metasurfaces, metamaterials and plasmonics will demonstrate how the nanoscale structuring of materials lead to remarkable optical properties and devices. Nanotubes, graphene and related nanostructures provide unusual structural and electronic devices as these structures mature. One symposium will focus on nanostructured magnetic materials that exhibit topological excitations such as skyrmions, which can be controlled for low-energy information manipulation. Another will explore novel computational schemes based on neuromorphic materials. In addition, the emergence of quantum technology will enable completely new regimes of computation to evolve.  Symposia topics in quantum systems include the use of correlated magnetic materials, which incorporate spin dynamics for improvements in quantum information control and processing.  The synthesis and characterization of quantum materials, such as topological insulators and unconventional superconducting materials will be featured, along with their applications to quantum information technologies.

Soft Materials and Biomaterials

This cluster features eight symposia that draw inspiration from nature and biological processes and systems. The theory, design, synthesis and device fabrication utilizing soft materials and bio-inspired materials will be examined, and the challenges in the advancement of these fields will be presented. The variation, manipulation and improvement of hydrogels will be featured, along with their applications in robotic and biological systems. Themes will include the investigation of soft materials for innovative and improved human-machine interfaces, electrically conductive materials for integration into biological and electronic systems, materials for neuromorphic computing and sensing, biomaterials for controlled drug delivery and modulation of the immune system for cancer therapeutics. Additionally, materials and systems for regenerative medicine with an emphasis on bio-fabrication, 3D bioprinting, synthetic biology and emerging concepts in microfluidics and organ-on-chips will also be covered. 

Structural and Functional Materials:

This cluster features eight symposia that examine the science and engineering of materials for new and novel functional characteristics.  Materials under extreme conditions of high pressure, stress and magnetic fields will be presented.  The research and development of bulk metallic glasses and the material advantages they offer will be included.  Themes will also cover new concepts and investigations into the expanding areas of metamaterials and topological materials.  The structure-property relationships in the fields of high-entropy alloys, intermetallic-based alloys, compositionally complex alloys and extended defects in metals and alloys will be addressed.  The use of novel materials in printable semiconductor circuitry and devices will be featured.  A broad scope symposium on advancement of 3D printing material technologies will also be held.

Symposium X

Frontiers of Materials Research will feature presentations aimed at a broad audience and on topics at the forefront of research on materials science and engineering.

To complement the symposia, tutorials will provide detailed information on particularly exciting areas of research and the Exhibit will showcase products and services of interest to the scientific community.  The Meeting, Exhibits and Posters will be located at the Hynes Convention Center.

Meeting attendees will find Boston to be a very accessible and attractive host.  A wide array of restaurants, nightlife, cultural and sporting events are just steps away from the Convention Center and hotels. The region also offers an abundance of pre- and post-meeting touring options.  It is a perfect mix of interaction, insights, inspiration and indulgence!

We look forward to seeing you in Boston!