Yvonne Kavanagh, Institute of Technology Carlow
Ivana Aguiar, Universidad de la Republica
William Olson, ASM International
Daniel Steinberg, Princeton University
National Science Foundation
Available on demand
Available on demand - *BI01.07.01
Teaching Materials for Mitigating Climate Change
University of Florida1Show Abstract
Teaching sustainability is a significant challenge given its broad reaching aspects. In a sustainable world our CO2 levels are stable. Currently this is obviously not the case as the CO2 level has exceeded 420ppm for the first time in human history. In an effort to teach students about the sources of CO2 and ways to mitigate this challenge a new class entitled Materials for Mitigating Climate Change has been developed. The goal of this class is to explore the sources of CO2 and how innovations in materials science are being used to address these challenges. The Environmental Protection Agency has divided up the sources of CO2 into 5 categories including electricity, transportation, industry, commercial/residential and agriculture. The relative contributions of each of these sources to the 17GT of excess CO2 produced each year is reviewed. Then each category is broken down by topic and the historical and recent impact of materials innovations on the CO2 emission process are discussed. It is difficult to use these categories exactly given overlap in the areas. For example, industrial source of CO2 also involves transportation and buildings etc. In addition to it being difficult to place an exact figure on the relative contributions of each sector to the total CO2 emissions, it is also difficult to place an exact figure on the potential impact of these innovations. Despite these instructional challenges, it is apparent materials innovations are going to play a critical role if we are to address the rising CO2 levels. This talk will review the topics discussed in the class. It was found that asking the students to discover recent innovations external to the class proved to be an excellent method of engaging non-majors in this topic. While such stories can be captivating the challenge is placing numbers on the relative impact of these discoveries remains. This talk will conclude with asking the audience to contribute their ideas on aspects of this challenge that may have been overlooked.
Available on demand - BI01.07.03
Sustainable Polymer Degradation Using Concentrated Solar Energy
Miriam Sanchez Pozos1
Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México1Show Abstract
The widespread use of plastic has made plastic waste and its accumulation in the environment a matter of great concern because its natural degradation is very slow. However, there is a wide variety of synthetic polymers that subjected to photo-oxidative reactions produced by UV radiation from sunlight, degrade significantly. And if the wavelength of the UV radiation is adequate according to the type of plastic, for example 300 nm for polyethylene (Ibnelwaleed A, 2007), it is possible to maximize its degradation. Therefore, using solar concentration favoring the appropriate wavelength of UV radiation will allow to accelerate the photodegradation process of these wastes and will favor their rapid incorporation into the environment in a friendly way.
In the Faculty of Engineering of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico in the Mechanical Engineering Degree program in the Materials Science subject, as well as in the Engineering Science Postgraduate course, (Materials and environmental sustainability), one of the issues addressed is the degradation of polymeric materials. The degradation of polymers is carried out under different schemes such as:
1- Natural weathering method, (CA)
2- QUV Accelerated weathering (Q-Lab), (CI)
3- Accelerated weathering using a solar concentrator, (CS)
With this practice, students learn that a wide variety of synthetic polymers absorb ultraviolet (UV) solar radiation. The Photo-oxidative degradation is the process of decomposition of the material by the action of light, which is considered one of the main sources of damage exerted on polymeric substrates under environmental conditions. Most synthetic polymers are susceptible to degradation initiated by UV visible light.
The methods to carry out the photodegradation practices are the natural weathering method; Outdoor exposure is performed on specimens mounted on test racks, oriented under standard conditions to expose the material to the full radiation spectrum as well as the temperature and humidity at that location. Another technique used is accelerated aging in accelerated weathering chambers that use UV radiation from the brand (Q-LAB). Finally a solar concentration system is used to super-accelerate the polymeric materials degradation . The materials degraded by the three techniques (CA, CI and CS), are analyzed to observe the formation of cracks, the embrittlement of the materials, the disintegration in powder, and the color changes. Finally, the degraded polymers are characterized by means of FTIR, and mechanical testing in order to determine the aging of the material as a function of time and the intensity of the radiation absorbed by them.
In the Faculty of Engineering of the UAEM, they are consolidated the experience about the development of solar concentration devices, with the knowledge and experience on plastics engineering, to develop postgraduate students’ projects and laboratory practices of undergraduate, students about the use of solar energy in polymers degradation.
For the accelerated degradation practices, a solar concentrating system (patent MX/a/2015/000346) was designed and built. This solar concentrator was conceived to degrade plastic waste much faster than is done with UV radiation chambers (which only are used at the laboratory level). Therefore, this degradation technology can be considered as ecological, since it can be used with a very low environmental impact because it does not require more energy than from the Sun. This accelerated degradation system is mainly focused on treating plastic waste that is no longer susceptible to being reused or recycled.
With the use of the solar concentration system, students learn the scope of the use of solar energy, to replace the use of conventional equipment that consume too much electrical energy.
In the same way, students understand the effects of UV radiation on the degradation of polymers, and therefore the limited use they must make of them.
Available on demand - BI01.07.05
Late News: Plastics in View of Sustainability—An International Initiative Towards Education and Training of Young Scientists
Natalia Tarazona1,Rainhard Machatschek1,2,Jinneth Castro Mayorga3,Felipe Salcedo Galán4,Andreas Lendlein1,2
Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht1,University of Potsdam2,Corporación Colombiana de Investigación Agropecuaria3,Universidad de los Andes4Show Abstract
In the race between technological progress and education, transformative changes are necessary to prepare a future workforce on sustainable thinking and practice, to act on authentic challenges (eg. ecosystem conservation and global economy) while making responsible use of natural resources. Such development of educational approaches could benefit from a strategic international collaboration, including scientific projects, joint programs and capacity building.
Here, we introduce the Transnational Network for Research and Innovation in Microbial Biodiversity, Enzymes Technology and Polymer Science –MENZYPOL, a team effort to integrate inclusive and equitable quality education into research collaboration projects. The project is jointly funded by the Colombian Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation (Minciencias) and the German ministry of education and research (BMBF).
MENZYPOL aims to create a lasting partnership between Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht (HZG) in Germany, Universidad de los Andes (UniAndes) in Colombia and key partners from the Colombian agricultural sector (Agrosavia). The pilot project established in the network concentrates on the exploration of the Colombian biodiversity for the discovery and development of biocatalysts in polymer science. The main focus is to isolate microorganisms with the ability to produce advanced polyesters, and to obtain enzymes that can degrade polyesters from natural and synthetic origin.
Ideally, the DNA and protein sequences of the isolated microorganisms and enzymes, together with their specific activities, will be added to databases to support the identification of other species using predictive analytics. This integrated approach brings together researchers from two different continents aside from requiring a broad range of expertise, from molecular biology all through polymer science and bioinformatics.
The participating students and early career researchers not only gain access to sophisticated research infrastructures or the microbial biodiversity of a megadiverse country, but also to scientific approaches that are far out of the scope of traditional scientific education. This is enabled by giving young scientists the opportunity to learn and to be mentored by experienced researchers. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents a challenge by excluding short-term visits, and extended research stays, which can naturally only be offered to very few. Therefore, the lessons learned in the past months in virtualization of science education and exchange will be used to move activities to the digital world, thereby boosting outreach and accessibility.
Available on demand - *BI01.07.06
Low-cost and Recycled Electronics for Sustainable Education, Discovery and International Innovation
Queen Mary University of London1Show Abstract
Low cost and reusable technology is both a sustainable and scalable approach to education. We show examples of low-cost electronics which have resulted in an International Innovation Competition in Africa. Students are able to push the boundaries of what is possible and create new instruments, rather than only reproduce exercisese pre-made for them. www.tinyurl.com/2020Africa
A new direction that grew out of a Trash-to-Treasure workshop - shows the power of up-cycling old electronics for education. Taking apart consumer electronics has long been a staple in materials education. It is a missed opportunity, however, to note how many times such devices fail for a simple reason, and much of them are still functional, capable of re-use in many other contexts, sometimes for even higher value.
The latter is illustrated with the case of dead hard-drives up-cycled to low-cost centrifuges, which have high specs. These can be used to carry out a number of biological tests. Understanding not only the materials but also the interdisciplinary principles of how suc components integrate into a whole, dynamic system allow holistic teaching incorporating materials, electronics, 3D printing, sensing and more.
Available on demand - *BI01.07.07
Individual-Centric Approaches to Accessibility in Materials Science Education
Theresa Davey1,Rebecca Davenport2
Tohoku University1,Max-Born Institute2Show Abstract
A significant part of tackling sustainability in education is promoting access to quality education for all communities. Promoting diversity in university admissions is a vast challenge, involving addressing unconscious biases and perceptions of competence, but it doesn’t solve the whole problem. Even if a diverse group of people are accepted to study materials science at university, that doesn’t guarantee equal access to education. Time-pressured academics whose institutions undervalue teaching have an understandable overreliance on outdated teaching methods, which can have the unfortunate consequence of magnifying existing inequalities. This talk will present an discipline-based individual-centric approach to higher education teaching that will provide guidelines for working with students to create an inclusive learning environment.
The aim of this approach is to create an environment that promotes student empathy, self-awareness, and confidence in self-advocacy, while balancing competing needs and working within the limitations of a university environment such as large classrooms and non-ideal teaching spaces. The rapid shift to online learning has also revealed potential positive and negative aspects of out-of-classroom teaching, but has also put a significant strain on the mental health of both students and teachers, and exaggerated accessibility issues. Approaches that promote accessibility in the classroom do not always translate directly to online learning environments, but the key idea of individual-focussed education provides a framework for developing best practices for meeting a diversity of student needs and delivering positive student outcomes.
Available on demand - *BI01.07.08
The Repercussions of Gender Bias and Inequalities in Science Knowledge Making
Gender equality, diversity, and inclusion have been identified as essential pre-requisites for excellence in science and scholarship, as well as for the socio-economic development of societies. Nevertheless, inequalities and gender gaps persist, e.g. underrepresentation of women and certain social groups in leadership positions. At the same time, previously overlooked issues emerge as critically important, e.g. the widespread occurrence of sexual harassment in academia. New issues also arise, for instance the gaps in knowledge revealed by the COVID pandemic, and the consequences of the pandemic for higher education and for academic and research careers. Another urgent issue is the lack of progress on gender equality in the UN Agenda 2030 and the need for better, more contextualised and gender-bias free approaches to SDGs implementation. Using the latest understanding of gender and diversity issues in science endeavours, complemented by examples pertinent to materials engineering, this presentation will focus on advancing gender equality, diversity and inclusion in the mechanisms of science knowledge making and application to achieve greater societal relevance and trust in science institutions and knowledge.
Available on demand - BI01.07.09
Writing-to-Learn in Introductory Materials Science and Engineering
Hongling Lu1,Leah Marks1,Timothy Chambers1,Solaire Finkenstaedt-Quinn1,Ginger Shultz1,Anne Gere1,Rachel Goldman1
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor1Show Abstract
M-Write is a campus-wide project which aims to transform teaching and learning in gateway courses through enhanced student engagement and transformative learning. In Materials Science and Engineering (MSE), we are implementing Writing to Learn (WTL) assignments and peer review in courses spanning from introductory undergraduate to advanced graduate levels. The WTL assignments enable students to apply content knowledge to “real-world” situations via writing, which promotes deeper thinking and compels students to explain concepts in their own words. The subsequent peer review and revision processes provide additional learning opportunities as the students give and receive feedback on content and critically self-assess their own work. In this project, we are quantifying the influence of WTL assignments on student understanding of key concepts in introductory MSE courses. The project involves evaluation of the effectiveness of the WTL assignments and their impact on student learning. Both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies are utilized, including pre/post assessment surveys and interviews, as well as analysis of writing products. In this presentation, we will discuss our use of WTL in Introductory MSE. For example, we have used WTL to assist student learning of polymer properties, with a prompt that focuses on polymer recycling and its impact on mechanical properties. Our research suggests that the polymer recycling WTL assignment was effective in promoting understanding of stress-strain behavior of polymers, but that further support is needed to help students connect polymer microscopic properties to macroscopic behavior . The effectiveness of WTL assignments associated with other key concepts including the atomic packing in crystals, ductile vs. brittle failure, interpretation of phase diagrams, and corrosion as it relates to the Flint water crisis will also be discussed.
 S.A. Finkenstaedt-Quinn, A.S. Halim, T.G. Chambers, A. Moon, R.S. Goldman, A.R. Gere, and G.V. Shultz, J. Chem. Educ.94, 1610 (2017).
Yvonne Kavanagh, Institute of Technology Carlow
Ivana Aguiar, Universidad de la Republica
William Olson, ASM International
Daniel Steinberg, Princeton University
National Science Foundation
BI01.01: Innovative Approaches I
Sunday AM, April 18, 2021
8:25 AM - *BI01.01.02
Incorporating Uncertainty in Materials Industrial Ecology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology1Show Abstract
The answer to most questions in environmental assessment for materials choice particularly around materials recovery is, “it depends”. This presentation will focus on sustainability in curriculum within the materials science community and how we enable students to embrace the complexity of sustainability assessment while feeling entirely dissatisfied with the analytical methods used by practitioners. Examples will be drawn from impacts of materials choice on all aspects of the life cycle considering the context in which the material operates and on strategies for addressing and/or mitigating the impact of materials based on industrial ecology principles including dematerialization, substitution, and waste mining. This presentation will focus attention on how one might incorporate variation and uncertainty methodology in course work to account for the context in which the material operates to understand the appropriateness of a particular mitigation strategy.
8:50 AM - *BI01.01.03
Assessing the Contribution of Higher Education Programmes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Vasiliki Kioupi1,Nick Voulvoulis1
Imperial College London1Show Abstract
Universities are engines of societal transformation and can nurture future citizens and navigate them towards sustainability through their educational programmes. In this talk, we will present an assessment framework we developed as part of our research at Imperial College London that Higher Education institutions can use to evaluate the contribution of their educational programmes to sustainability by reviewing the alignment of their intended learning outcomes (LOs) to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the attainment of those LOs by students. The tool is based on a systemic grouping of the SDGs into eight sustainability attributes, namely, Safe Operating Space, Just Operating Space, Resilient Sustainable Behaviours, Alternative Economic Models, Health and Wellbeing, Collaboration, Diversity and Inclusion, and Transparency and Governance. Application of this tool in forty (40) environment and sustainability related Master’s programmes highlighted gaps and areas for further consideration. In addition, we will present results on the application of the tool in a University case study to highlight how it can inform data driven decision-making around interventions to improve the integration of SDGs into curricula and the uptake of sustainability competences by students.
BI01.02: Online Teaching and Computational Resources
Sunday PM, April 18, 2021
10:30 AM - *BI01.02.01
Materials Science for Sustainability—From Research Lab to Student Engagement
University of Ottawa1Show Abstract
Today’s world faces global challenges, such as Societal Health, Environmental and Energy Concerns, that urgently have to be addressed for a sustainable development. While none of these concerns is easy to solve, material scientists are designing the building blocks that are key to sustainable energy and health strategies. Advanced optical materials act as novel optical bioprobes for reliable and early diagnosis of diseases or therapies. Novel optoelectronic/magnetic nanomaterials will increase device efficacy and endow them with yet unseen multifunctionality (photocatalysts, solar, storage devices). Herein, the remarkable optomagnetic properties of the rare-earths (RE) make RE-based materials ideal for biomedical and energy applications. Yet, challenges remain; low emission intensity and efficiency of small nanoparticles (NPs), and reliable and fast synthesis routes. As materials chemists, we are tackling these challenges with new designs of next-generation RE-NPs, accompanied by chemically controlled synthesis, application-oriented surface chemistry, and understanding of structure-property relationships.
While these research activities contribute to sustainability awareness of the small group of students working in our lab, the covid-19 pandemic has triggered a new format of teaching that has the potential to reach larger groups of students, raising their awareness of sustainability. This is the need to transform in-person classes into online courses. While this comes with new challenges, new opportunities arise: Seminar-style lectures for senior undergraduate and graduate students with experts from the fields of energy, environment, chemistry, physics and engineering were found to become popular at the University of Ottawa for students and educators alike. Will this new format of teaching find its permanent place in science curricula?
And how can we reach out further? The MRS Student Engagement Sub-Committee of the Academic Affairs Committee supports student-led activities at MRS events, including networking, science communication, and professional as well as personal development. This presentation will briefly introduce activities and opportunities to interested students and senior mentors.
 D. Stadler, E. Hemmer, B. Anasori, Z. D. Hood, S. Mathur. Career progression through professional engagement: The impact of MRS student-led activities. MRS Bulletin 2020, 45 (4), 306.
10:55 AM - *BI01.02.02
Teaching Sustainable Development to Engineering and Materials Students
Marc Fry1,Tatiana Vakhitova1,Mauricio Dwek1
Ansys Granta1Show Abstract
The Ansys Granta EduPack has supported undergraduate sustainability related teaching since 2007 with the introduction of an Eco Audit Tool – a teaching focused streamlined Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) Tool.
The tool enables the energy and CO2 emissions from each phase of a products life to be visualized, and the costs associated with each stage to be estimated. Based on positive educator and student feedback, in 2013 a new sustainability database was created that contains materials and process data with eco properties, socio-economic data on nations of the world, as well as legislation and regulations related to materials.
Further development added data on critical materials and materials risks.
This was followed in 2019 by the creation of a prototype Social Impact Audit Tool, which follows closely UNEP/SETAC guidelines on social life cycle assessment of products.
These existing and new developments aid teaching of courses on sustainable product design, sustainable engineering and many others, providing simple frameworks, tools and data to help students analyze complex sustainability systems and have informed discussion.
11:20 AM - BI01.02.03
Materials Science Training Programs for Students and Masters with a Specialization in Electronics and Nanoelectronics
Sergey Karabanov1,Irina Kuvakova2,Yuriy Merkulov1
Ryazan State Radio Engineering University1,Social Sciences Institute2Show Abstract
Each stage of the social development creates its own set of intellectual, innovative directions in education. Currently, these areas are: artificial intelligence with the use of digital education (DE); A/B split testing in SEO-DE; video marketing in DE.
The development of materials science largely determines the development of the production of new materials for all areas of human life: medicine, building industry, transport, etc.
Materials science in the education system, especially in the field of electronics and nanoelectronics, ranks high. This is due to both the development of directions in instrument manufacture in the field of electronics and nanoelectronics (MEMS, NEMS, ultracapacitors, etc.), and invention and development of new materials (e.g, graphene). Creation of new methods and equipment for obtaining materials and testing their characteristics is also of great importance.
The paper considers the development of methods and programs for teaching materials science in the field of electronics and nanoelectronics using modern teaching methods (artificial intelligence, split-testing). The acquisition of the information during teaching depends on the initial level of preparation of the trained personnel. Therefore, educational programs correspond to different levels of preparation of the trained personnel: bachelors, masters, students of upgrade training courses. The role of online education, particularly, in teaching materials science is considered.
11:35 AM - BI01.02.04
Incorporating Sustainability in Material Science Education—Adapting Computer Aid Programs in Teaching Materials Sustainability
The Pennsylvania State University1Show Abstract
In the century just ended, engineering recorded its grandest accomplishments. Despite these advances, the human being is face to poses challenges in the upcoming centuries. As the population grows and its needs and desires expand, the problem of sustaining civilization’s continuing advancement, while still improving the quality of life, looms more immediate. The world needs engineers who will seek ways to put knowledge into practice to come over the problem of sustainability. It is of great importance to incorporate concepts of sustainability into material science classes. In this work, I focus on the use of the sustainability component of SolidWorks, a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) tool, in teaching materials sustainability in online classes. The case study presents the virtual model of the product, the software capabilities, and the settings that have to be done for sustainability analysis and the results shown by the software.
11:50 AM - BI01.02.05
Practices of Developing Undergraduate Curriculum on Green Engineering—Materials and Environment to Promote Active Learning
Colorado State University1Show Abstract
As sustainability in product development and the relevant environmental impact raised increasing global attentions, it is critical to educate and train future workforce with the principles of green engineering and how to incorporate the principles in a broad context of science and engineering fields. This presentation will focus on development of undergraduate curriculum to incorporate sustainability into materials science education and the relevant pedagogy, including the online course - distanced learning session. I will share the experience of developing an undergraduate course on green engineering – materials and environment as a technical elective for engineering students and the feedback from the students. I will talk about three important aspects: link sustainability to the early design process, address the need of green engineering in the market, and integration of eco audit in CES Edupack in students’ projects. Particularly, including some topic options on unrealistic materials in the project, e.g., the “uru metal” for Thor’s hammer from Marvel comics, turned out to be an effective pedagogy to motivate the students to look into the sustainability of material selection and processing, as well as to engage active learning.
BI01.03: Outreach Activities
Sunday PM, April 18, 2021
1:00 PM - *BI01.03.01
Learning Through Making—Integrating Makerspaces and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in Science Learning
Sara Rodriguez Martinez1
ETH Zürich1Show Abstract
Science thrives through the making of discoveries, building experiments, developing theories, solving problems. We are driven by all of these actions, but are we always taught that way? The theory of learning through making is not new; constructionism, or the education theory which focuses on how the making of artifacts supports the learner’s understanding of science, has been around for decades. Unfortunately, there’s little support on how to successfully turn theory into practice. In this talk, we will explore how to integrate learning through making in science learning, applicable to both formal and informal learning situations. We will look into finding support in community-led initiatives such as makerspaces and how to interact with such organizations to make our programs better. Makerspaces or Tinkerlabs are now ubiquitous all around the world, as their project-based nature fosters creativity, confidence and other necessary 21st Century Skills. Finally, we will draw from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for topics, projects and demo development, and how to turn them into a common ground for all of your science communication efforts.
1:25 PM - BI01.03.02
The Big Compost Experiment—Using Citizen Science to Engage with the Public About Biodegradable Plastics
Mark Miodownik1,Danielle Purkiss1,Ayse Allison1,Fabiana Lorencatto1,Susan Michie1
University College London1Show Abstract
In 2018 the UK Plastics Pact set a target to make all plastic packaging 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable, and to eliminate all unnecessary single-use packaging by 2025 . Including compostable plastics in the target was important for two reasons: firstly, there are some items such as food packaging, wipes, tea bags, coffee pods, sachets, that being small and highly food contaminated are not to suited to recycling or reuse; secondly, food waste is of major environmental importance and compostable liners play an important role in the route out of the home (government target for all UK households by 2023). But there is a fundamental problem. The biodegradable sector is currently the “wild west” of plastic packaging not just in the UK but also internationally. These materials are largely unregulated, the environmental claims around them exaggerated and the identification of them problematic. Nevertheless, these materials are starting to displace recyclable plastics such as PET due to their popularity with the public and brands. The displacement of reusable or recycling products is not the only problem, contamination of other waste streams is another: compostable plastics are currently incompatible with most Anaerobic Digestive, Industrial Composting systems and recycling systems . Plastics Europe estimate the global market for biodegradable plastics is set to grow to 1.3 million tonnes in by 2023  but it could be much greater if small item formats such as compostable snack packets and chocolate wrappers are produced to meet the Plastic Pact target.
The Big Compost Experiment (launched November 2019)  uses a citizen science approach to gather qualitative data on UK citizens’ opinion and behaviour towards biodegradable plastics and food waste strategies, and quantitative data about the performance of these items under UK home composting conditions. We engaged with more than 8000 citizens and report data from more than 300 home compost experiments from all over the UK . This paper uses an interdisciplinary approach to data collection and analysis, and the evaluation of quantitative statistical and qualitative behavioural experiment data, and fits within a broader context of circular economy research and participatory citizen science.
Our citizen science research shows that 84% of UK households taking part reported that they are more likely to choose products that are marked as “biodegradable” or “compostable” but they are confused about what they are and how to dispose of them. We report on the fate of the biodegradable plastics tested, the majority of which did not fully biodegrade within a home composting environment . We reflect on the role of citizen science in engaging with the public about behaviour change and the materials science of packaging.
1. UK Plastic Pact, www.wrap.org.uk/content/the-uk-plastics-pact (last accessed 28th Oct 2020)
2. Biodegradable plastics: An assessment of their role in the plastic waste crisis., www.plasticwastehub.org.uk(last accessed 28th Oct 2020)
3. Bioplastics Market Report (2018) www.european- bioplastics.org/wp- content/uploads/2016/02/Report_Bioplastics-Market- Data_2018.pdf (last accessed 28th Oct 2020)
4. Big Compost Experiment, https://www.bigcompostexperiment.org.uk (last accessed 28th Oct 2020)
1:55 PM - BI01.03.04
Raising Awareness About Materials Sustainability—Life Cycle Analysis as an Example
Ivana Aguiar1,Isabel Galain1,Romina Keuchkerian1,Maia Mombru1,Maria Perez Barthaburu1
Universidad de la República1Show Abstract
When a consumer is faced with the decision of using a product made of a material or another, there are some preconceived ideas and an excess of information. Should I use a plastic or a paper bag? What factors should I consider? We designed and developed an activity for the general public in the University Chapter Udelar framework, which was carried out in different instances like the Heritage Day or the International Day of Women and Girl in Science in Uruguay. The objective was to help the consumers to make these decisions, providing information about life cycle analysis of different products, and explaining its concept and that of sustainability. Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to design an appropriate demonstration which could involve an interaction with the participants, while at the same time complying with the sanitary measures. We used three typical examples: a paper cup or ceramic mug, a paper or plastic bag, and disposable or cotton diapers. We presented the physical objects and asked the participants to compare the same object but made of different materials, in terms of five of the most common elements taken into account in a Life Cycle Analysis: energy use, water use, water contamination, CO2 emissions, and solid waste. They have to choose which product was more or less intensive in terms of each category, and use the opportunity to speak with them about the relativity of geographic location and the efficiency improvement in productive processes. For this, we created a magnetic board with the items, which could be sanitized, and allowed participants to interact with the game. This involvement meant that participants would appropriate knowledge in a more organic way. In general, the public showed surprise with the results and claimed that this activity will change their actions in the future. Besides, they showed concern about deciding with the proper information, and demonstrated to us the necessity of disseminating this kind of data, to raise awareness about sustainability in our country and in our region.
2:10 PM - BI01.03.05
Impact and Public Outreach of Socially Responsible Strategic Management of a Public Research Institution in the Effective Fight Against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19
Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences1Show Abstract
In 2020, the whole world started to struggle with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As part of socially responsible research, the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, as a public research institution in the Czech Republic, got involved in activities leading to the mitigation of the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 spread.
The main aim of this article is to propose a model of socially responsible management of a public research institution targeted at maximum positive impact for society, improvement of the image of an institution and wide public outreach in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Partial aims include the identification of key problems caused by COVID-19 to the inhabitants of the Czech Republic; the description of socially responsible strategic management of the FZU applied for the fight against COVID-19, the specification of the institute corporate culture and communication, the selection, description and evaluation of the most important FZU research projects with the accent on material physics and with a potential to contribute to the mitigation of the negative impact of the coronavirus on society, a set of recommendations for the application of the model to practice and its use in future crises.
For the research, both primary and secondary sources of data and the methods of induction and deduction have been used. The proposed model is based on real FZU strategic management and the functionality of the model has been verified in practical use.
It has been proven by the real use in the crisis time of the pandemic that the proposed model of socially responsible strategic management of a public research institution has brought positive results leading to the decrease in the danger of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 in the Czech Republic. It is assumed that the model will be applicable and effective also when dealing with future crises. The broader issue of socially responsible strategic management of a public research institution in relation to crises has been growing in importance and will be researched further.
BI01.04: Technical Aspects
Sunday PM, April 18, 2021
4:00 PM - *BI01.04.01
Creating Sustainable Systems—From Stakeholder Decision-Making to Materials and Supply Chains
Congying Wang1,Carol Handwerker1
Purdue University1Show Abstract
When faculty, students, and even many practicing materials scientists think about sustainability, they frequently focus only on the materials and processes that they believe will lead to a sustainable product, very much a “build it and they will come” approach. University curricula in sustainable materials often mirror this view. In contrast, the NSF-funded Purdue-Tuskegee Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) program “Global Traineeship in Sustainable Electronics” was based on the principle that people, their motivations for making certain decisions, and their ability to form trusted partnerships are central to the creation of sustainable materials, processes, and systems. To that end, the cornerstone of the IGERT program’s highly integrated curriculum, international fieldwork experience, and individual research topic mix was Elinor Ostrom’s General Framework for Analyzing the Sustainability of Social-Ecological Systems (Science, 2009) for which Ostrom was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics. Faculty and three graduate student cohorts from Purdue and Tuskegee in multiple engineering disciplines, anthropology, management, toxicology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics collaborated over 7 years to build the program. In this talk I will present the key program elements and how they have been integrated to prepare students to participate in, and even become leaders in multi-stakeholder sustainable social-ecological systems.
4:25 PM - BI01.04.02
En Route toward Sustainable Organic Electronics
Polytechnique Montréal1Show Abstract
Consumer electronics has broadened access to education and information and contributed to improve our quality of life. Unfortunately, the pervasive expansion of electronics is generating an unsustainable growth of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) that contains toxic substances imposing great pressure on the environment and causing major health concerns (1). The electronics industry requires a paradigm shift: moving away from the planned obsolete strategy that has produced copious amounts of WEEE to an environmentally-responsible circular
approach, placing sustainability alongside performance at the heart of next-gen electronics design and manufacturing. To create this paradigm shift, the Collaborative Research and Training Experience in Sustainable Electronics and Eco-Design (CREATE SEED) initiative (2) trains a new generation of highly qualified personnel with a value-added experience in terms of an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together: chemistry, chemical engineering, engineering
physics, (eco)toxicology, electronic circuit design, hardware engineering, systems analysis, social sciences of the media, environmental economics, sustainable value chains and business models; professional skills in teamwork, communication, management, decision making and leadership. Within the context of CREATE SEED, to alleviate the environmental footprint of electronics and to extend their capabilities in emerging areas focusing on low human- and eco-toxicity, we design
& develop devices based on biodegradable organic electronic materials (3).
We will discuss the case of study of the pigment eumelanin, a bio-sourced candidate for environmentally benign (sustainable) organic electronics. The biodegradation of eumelanin extracted from cuttlefish ink was studied both at 25 °C (mesophilic conditions) and 58 °C (thermophilic conditions) following ASTM D5338 (4) and comparatively evaluated with the biodegradation of two synthetic organic electronic materials, namely copper (II) phthalocyanine (Cu-Pc) and poly(p-phenylensulphide) (PPS). Eumelanin biodegradation reached 4.1% (25 °C)
and 37% (58 °C) in 98 days, and residual material was without phytotoxic effects, while the two synthetic materials, conversely, were not biodegradable. The strikingly different results between bio-sourced and synthetic materials suggest that recurring to organic bio-sourced materials is a viable option to eco-design biodegradable organic electronic materials and devices. 1) Forti V., Baldé C.P., Kuehr R., Bel G. The Global E-waste Monitor 2020: Quantities, flows and the circular economy potential. United Nations University (UNU)/United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – co-hosted SCYCLE Programme, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Bonn/Geneva/Rotterdam. 2) https://www.polymtl.ca/create-seed/en, an initiative funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research
Council of Canada (NSERC). Clara Santato is the Principal Investigator. 3) Zvezdin A., Di Mauro E., Rho D., Santato C., Khalil M., MRS Energy and Sustainability, En route toward sustainable organic electronics, Vol. 7, 2020, E16. 4) Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled Composting Conditions, Incorporating Thermophilic Temperatures. https://www.astm.org/Standards/D5338.htm
4:40 PM - BI01.04.03
3D Printing—Research, Training and Outreach in the Sustainability Ecosystem
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville1,Oak Ridge National Laboratory2,Case Western Reserve University3Show Abstract
There is a high interest in using additive manufacturing or 3D printing to demonstrate sustainability, ecosystems in recycling, and biobased materials research. 3D printing to create devices from polymer and composite materials has appended the design functionality for new materials, including uses in biomedical devices, enabling rapid development. It is an important and emerging industrial production method. While 3D printed polymers can be further classified into thermoplastics, thermosets, and elastomers based on their thermo-mechanical properties, there are many desirable physical and chemical properties that can be combined with design. While important for materials research – it is important to integrate this into teaching curricula in materials science and broadcast in the public arena. This talk will demonstrate for the past 8 years: 1) integration in materials research, 2) teaching curricula development, 3) participation in the broad discussion of sustainable materials for affecting the circular economy. We will emphasize high impact factor peer-reviewed research, online and teaching curricula in 3D printing incorporating the circular economy, and participation in conferences to emphasize sustainability and high-performance materials research in 3D printing. The author has demonstrated these activities and paradigms in multi-institutions, multi-collaborations, and internationally.
BI01.05: How to Engage Materials Scientists and Students to Sustainability?
Sunday PM, April 18, 2021
6:30 PM - *BI01.05.01
Research and Publishing for the Sustainable Development Goals
Springer Nature1Show Abstract
The UN Sustainable Development Goals represent the most urgent, and difficult, challenges facing humanity. Many, such as SDG-13 on Climate Action, represent an existential threat. Meeting these challenges requires the involvement of physicists, chemists, earth scientists, biologists, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, clinicians, economists, entrepreneurs, social scientists and policymakers. But although they all share the same goal, and are try to solve the same sets of problems, they rarely attend the same conferences, read the same journals or even speak the same language. In this talk, I’ll explore some of the philosophical, cultural and systematic barriers that researchers face, and what governments, funders, research institutions and, in particular, publishers need to do to help them make the world a better place.
6:55 PM - *BI01.05.02
Incorporating Sustainability into Materials Science Education—Interest, Requirements and Opportunities
Jeremy Theil1,2,Ivana Aguiar3,Sudheer Bandla4,Ashley White5,Yvonne Kavanagh6
Xperi1,Mountain View Energy2,Universidad de República3,Niagara Bottling4,Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory5,Institute of Technology Carlow6Show Abstract
Throughout the Materials Science community (students, employers, faculty) there is interest in incorporating aspects of Sustainability into the educational experience. In order to quantify that interest as well as the needs of the community, interviews and a survey that recorded direct responses from more than 4% of the MRS membership were made. This survey confirmed the strong interest in implementing sustainability teachings from all peer groups, as evidenced by the high response rate. The major barriers to implementation in different regions, as well as the requirements of new educational resources will be discussed, along with guidance of effective educational experiences and resources encountered. Finally, methods to disseminate these materials to the community at large will be presented.
7:20 PM - BI01.05.03
Engaging and Promoting Sustainability within Professional Societies
Isabel Gessner1,David Graf2,Sanjay Mathur2
Massachusetts General Hospital1,University of Cologne2Show Abstract
Sustainability encompasses almost all fields of our daily life and has become of increasing importance in the area of material science. While materials for sustainable future-leading technologies are developed, the sustainable production of these materials is likewise important. Professional societies such as the Materials Research Society (MRS) offer a versatile and interactive platform for those interested in engaging more in this topic. The aim of this presentation is to give an insight about MRS Focus on Sustainability Subcommittee, its task force activities and MRS Chapter activities that in many cases go beyond the sustainable development in the field of material science but also include inspirations for everyday life changes. Engagement in societies such as the MRS thereby provides a platform that allows to interact with a broad community of material scientists coming from both academia and industry, and therefore offers optimal conditions to find necessary facilitators and multipliers (refers to the UN Sustainable Development Goal no 17 ‘Partnerships for the Goals’).
7:35 PM - BI01.05.04
Materials Chemistry Incorporated into Building Science Identity
Mary Sajini Devadas1,Ellen Hondrogiannis1
Towson University1Show Abstract
Science/STEM identity” is the sense of who students are, what they believe they are capable of, and what they want to accomplish with respect to science by interacting with others in the field. This requires intervention to help the “socializers” (i.e., STEM faculty and UGs) better understand the value and purpose of science literacy themselves so as to encourage students to appreciate science, be aware of possible career options in science, and enjoy learning and doing science. The project involves building “science identity” via the active involvement of Towson University’s (TU) undergraduate student researchers (UG) in 1) engagement in research with the high school (HS) recruits through the apprenticeship model, 2) outreach activities in local high schools. The findings of this work will be presented.
7:50 PM - *BI01.01.01
Sustainability as a Lens for Traditional Material Science Curriculums
Alfred University1Show Abstract
The theoretical and methodological foundations of the sciences and engineering are essential to the removal of barriers to achieving sustainable systems. The teachings of these concepts still lie in traditional academic disciplines such as engineering, science, and mathematics. This structure can often manifest significant barriers to progress in tackling challenging sustainability issues due to an absence of a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary, systems approach. Material science has a particularly relevant set of foundational courses that lend themselves to interesting sustainability integration. Material selection approaches and software have begun to incorporate both economic and environmental “properties” in the decision analysis, highlighting the tradeoffs made in real applications(Ashby, Shercliff et al. 2013). Thermodynamics and kinetics principles can be illustrated in interesting energy conversion examples for next-generation renewable energy storage and production technologies. Other important contributions exist in fundamentals of mining, processing, alloying, phase equilibria, material flow analysis, etc. A variety of recent research is available with additional innovative suggestions (Gipson and Prins 2015, Gunister, Ozturk et al. 2015, Mainali, Petrolito et al. 2015). Integration of sustainability issues into material science curriculum promotes nexus thinking. In many engineering curriculums it can be challenging to promote interdisciplinary thinking when the curricular approach is inherently siloed. This can often lead to a reductionist spiral where “solutions” produce unintended consequences or additional problems. Integration of sustainability into traditional disciplinary curriculums also promotes T-shaped or Pi-shaped student competencies. Broad, transversal skills are being emphasized more by employers; it is imperative that today’s student leave with not just a disciplinary degree but communication, organization, analysis, and critical thinking skillsets (Faris, Kolker et al. 2011, Connor, Sosa et al. 2017). These approaches also help to improve the translation of theory to practice, another key gap cited by employers. Students often struggle to take academic learning and use it directly for on the job skillsets; ABET has emphasized this need in its accreditation processes (Glasgow and Emmons 2007, Passow 2012). Specific examples will be illustrated for a diverse set of courses and curriculum. Results show such an approach can contribute to improved recruitment and retention number and preliminary results appear to also enhance student learning outcomes measured via traditional assessment methods.
BI01.06: Sustainability Education into Action I
Monday AM, April 19, 2021
9:00 PM - *BI01.06.01
Sustainable Science—Let’s Green Our Labs!
My Green Lab1Show Abstract
Recent years have seen the emergence of a green lab movement. Championed by a coalition of scientists, facility managers, engineers, designers, sustainability directors and non-profits, the movement seeks to institutionalize sustainability in laboratories through the adoption of green lab programs. These programs address laboratory sustainability holistically by encouraging scientists to reduce energy, water, waste and hazardous chemical use in the lab.
My Green Lab, a non-profit organization, is at the forefront of the green labs movement. My Green Lab runs several programs around the world for scientists in support of reducing the environmental impact of scientific research, including a Green Lab Certification Program, which uses a global standard for laboratory sustainability, and the ACT Label, which is the industry’s first eco-nutrition label for laboratory products.
This presentation will focus on how My Green Lab effectively engages scientists through the Green Lab Certification Program and will look at some examples of ways that materials scientists can incorporate sustainability into their daily work. We will also look at how manufacturers are using the ACT Label to design more sustainable products and how scientists can use it to make more informed purchasing decisions for their lab.
9:25 PM - BI01.06.02
Intersecting Materials Science with Sustainability Education—A Single-Use Plastics Module for Undergraduate Curricula
Ty Christoff-Tempesta1,Noelle Selin1
Massachusetts Institute of Technology1Show Abstract
Foundational principles of materials science and their application to related fields offer a critical toolkit for contextualizing and addressing pressing sustainability challenges. To this end, we developed an adaptable two-class module focused on the single-use plastics crisis for incorporation into undergraduate curricula. Designed for the gateway introduction to sustainability class at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, “People and the Planet: Environmental Governance and Science,” the module grapples with the proliferation of single-use plastics and their extensive environmental contamination. Students are introduced to a range of materials science principles in the module, including structure-property relationships, environmental interactions of materials, and life cycle analyses. Further, students are afforded the opportunity to consider the single-use plastics crisis through a variety of lenses, including as materials scientists, economists, policymakers, industrial stakeholders, chemists, and more. The module utilizes the Human-Technical-Environmental (HTE) framework and matrix-based approach to analyze the single-use plastics crisis through a pre-module background lecture and briefing paper, an in-class life cycle analysis (LCA) presentation and activity based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, an in-class negotiation activity, pre- and post-class reflection questions, and readings for each class. The resources for this module are made readily accessible so that educators can incorporate any or all of its parts into their courses.
9:40 PM - BI01.06.03
The Joint Undertaking for an African Materials Institute (JUAMI) Life Cycle Assessment Project
Brian Iezzi1,Timothy Tibesigwa2,Edwin Richard3,David Maleko4,Tae Lim1,Muhammad Hashmi1,Jason Hawes1,Carlos Biaou5,Kwasi Amofa5,Steve Skerlos1
University of Michigan–Ann Arbor1,Makerere University2,Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology3,Sokoine University of Agriculture4,University of California, Berkeley5Show Abstract
Social, environmental, and economic life cycle assessments (LCA) have become critical decision-making tools in academia, industry, and government the world over. Materials LCA education has similarly become more common and best practices for teaching methodologies are in continuous development. This project is focused on a peer to peer mentorship model for LCA education in which PhD students in East Africa and the United States work together to develop and execute a comprehensive LCA to assess the sustainability of a local product or system. Specifically, the three pilot projects thus far have focused on biodiesel production in Uganda, the dairy industry in Tanzania, and the municipal solid waste system of Arusha, Tanzania. The model relies on vetted learning modules, developed at the Center for Socially-Engaged Design (CSED) at the University of Michigan, that step the students through the process of goal and scope identification, inventory creation, and impact assessment. This is coupled with close mentorship and support from students who have previously conducted LCAs, live and virtual day-long LCA workshops, and access to an open, high computing power server with best in class LCA software as well as critical databases such as EcoInvent and the Social Hotspot Database. This combined approach of peer to peer mentorship, curated educational materials and support, and access to critical computational infrastructure has proven to be successful in the implementation of the above-mentioned projects, with several currently under review for publication. We believe this model of a community-learning based approach to LCA education can be applied in other areas of the world to help train the next generation of global sustainability practitioners and educators. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation Joint Undertaking for an African Materials Institute (JUAMI) as well as the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Life Cycle Initiative.
9:55 PM - BI01.06.04
Teaching High School Materials Science Through Research
Rowland Hall1Show Abstract
At this pivotal moment, we are facing climate change, movements to increase diversity and equity in science, and a world-wide pandemic. Educators, researchers, and industry leaders are in the unique position to contribute to valuable and necessary changes. Materials scientists are well-suited to address these changes, particularly through sustainability research. With a strong correlation between mentorship in research, especially by teachers, and success of students in their life-long career in STEM (Nature 447, 791–797 (2007), J. of Coll. Stud. Dev. 49(4), 285-300 (2008)), we have developed an innovative curriculum to build mentor-mentee relationships in a high school classroom as students perform original materials science research with motivation to advance sustainable technologies for battery applications.
This course curriculum has three major pillars: motivation, community, and skill development. First, students are motivated by the broader impacts their research can have on the scientific community. With climate change and the need for improved energy technologies, we are inspiring and challenging the students to work on contributing to this research area. Moreover, to foster and model the culture of sustainability in research, students are first computationally investigating structure-property relationships and after identifying compounds with desired properties (e.g. charge/discharge rates, energy storage capacity, nontoxic, renewable, etc), they experimentally test the identified materials. On the experimental side, we are employing sustainable lab techniques, such as glove recycling and strategic experimental design to employ reusable equipment. Secondly, a research curriculum in a high school setting allows for community, collaboration, inclusivity, and diversity to be intentionally implemented into each class. Success and ideas from each student can be celebrated as a group; collaborations between students, mentor, and other scientists in industry and academic institutions can be fostered, and literature can be intentionally selected to highlight research content, diversity of researchers already in the field, and best sustainable research practices for the lab and industry settings. The aspects of allowing students to have mentors and to be exposed to other scientists with similar scientific identities can increase retention in STEM fields and future careers (J. of Coll. Stud. Dev. 49(4), 285-300 (2008)). Thirdly, this course allows students to readily apply their knowledge of math, physics, chemistry, biology, statistics, and engineering knowledge to real science (which is shown to improve retention in STEM (Int. J. of STEM Edu. 5(48) (2018)). They are gaining hands on experience and developing the skills to
- Perform literature reviews
- Design, engineer, and execute experiments
- Evaluate and interpret data and results
- Form conclusions
- Present findings, both verbally, orally, in writing, and in visual depictions.
The ability to consistently have a group of students gathered and working collaboratively on original materials science research allows for the mentoring and molding of future STEM leaders with a solid skill set foundation, sense of community and self-identity in science, and a motivation to pursue sustainable technologies with broader impacts for the scientific community and the world in this pivotal time.
In this work, we will discuss both the curriculum aspects of the course design and observed results from intentionally providing students with hands-on experience in materials science research in a classroom setting as we foster the growth of the future materials scientists.