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Meeting Chairs

David CahillDavid Cahill
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David Cahill is the Grainger Distinguished Chair in Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and co-Director of the IBM-Illinois Discovery Accelerator Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Illinois after earning his PhD degree in condensed matter physics from Cornell University. He also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the IBM Watson Research Center, where he served as department head from 2010 to 2018. Cahill’s current research program focuses on developing a microscopic understanding of thermal transport at the nanoscale; extremes of low and high thermal conductivity in materials; the interactions between phonons, electrons, photons and spin; and the kinetics and thermodynamics of aqueous and electrochemical interfaces. Cahill received the 2018 MRS Innovation in Materials Characterization Award and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (AAA) 2015 Touloukian Award. Cahill is a fellow of the MRS, AAAS, and American Physical Society.


Mmantsae DialeMmantsae Diale
University of Pretoria

Mmantsae Diale is a professor of physics at the University of Pretoria, where she earned her PhD degree. She is the South African Research Chair in clean and green energy, with an interest in solar energy conversion with a desire to see a life off-grid with photovoltaics (PV) and green hydrogen. Her research in PV systems involves work on hybrid organic/inorganic materials for solar cell applications and Artificial Photosynthesis (AP) systems through natural energy conversions of plants and algae to produce green hydrogen through water splitting. Diale’s significant understanding of the physics and properties of materials gives insight into further developments and actualization of solar devices based on PV and AP. A combination of PV and AP using hybrid system has led to research in this area, resulting in low cost and high efficiency solar cells. Daile has over 150 publications, has given multiple special invitation lectures at physics and materials conferences, and was awarded a National Science and Technology Forum prize in 2018 for capacity building in STEM. Daile is an active MRS member, having served as a symposium organizer and on the Academic Affairs Committee, while working towards increasing support for early career researchers. She is an active member of SAIP, serving on the council from 2010-17, and is a founder of Women in Physics in South Africa. She has collaborated with researchers worldwide and works to develop research and researchers in Africa, using her laboratory space and resources to allow others to prosper. Daile has also been involved in business, serving as an adviser to Just Energy Transition, and is the developer and presenter of the Solar Energy Course for both business and engineering.


Kaining DingKaining Ding
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Kaining Ding is the head of the Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells and Modules Department at Forschungszentrum Jülich. He has been on staff since 2010. Ding studied materials science at the RWTH-Aachen University and has research expertise in silicon heterojunction solar cells and modules, hot-wire chemical vapor deposition technique and integrated PV applications.


Martin KaltenbrunnerMartin Kaltenbrunner
Johannes Kepler Universität

Martin Kaltenbrunner is a full professor at the Johannes Kepler University Linz, heading the Soft Matter Physics Division and the LIT Soft Materials Lab. Kaltenbrunner received his master’s and PhD degrees in physics from the Johannes Kepler University in 2008 and 2012, respectively, working with Siegfried Bauer. He then joined the Someya-Sekitani Lab for Organic Electronics at the University of Tokyo as postdoctoral researcher, leading the “Imperceptible Electronics Team.” Returning to JKU in 2014 as an assistant professor, Kaltenbrunner obtained Habilitation (Venia Docendi) in Experimental Physics in “Soft Electronics” in 2016. In 2019, he was appointed full professor at the Johannes Kepler University. His research group specializes in soft electronics and soft transducers, in particular on sustainable and biodegradable elastic materials and processes for skin-inspired electronics and embodied robotics. They are pioneers in soft and stretchable batteries and solar cells as well as ultrathin and lightweight electronic foils. The group develops materials strategies, design rules and technologies including resilient yet degradable soft and elastic substrates, passive and active components and power sources that enable green wearable (bio)electronics and soft robots. Kaltenbrunner is on the editorial board of Advanced Materials and Advanced Intelligent Systems, recipient of a Starting Grant of the European Research Council, has published more than 66 papers and given over 70 invited, keynote or plenary lectures. He has been an active member of MRS since 2008.


Takao MoriTakao Mori
National Institute for Materials Science

Takao Mori is a deputy director, MANA principal investigator, and group leader at the National Institute for Materials Science in Japan. He is also a professor of the University of Tsukuba and elected Board Member of the International Thermoelectric Society (ITS), slated to be President of ITS starting in 2023. Mori received his PhD degree in physics from the University of Tokyo in 1996. Mori’s broad research interests are to find ways to control structures and properties of inorganic materials. He is especially involved in development of thermoelectric materials and multidisciplinary enhancement principles, such as utilizing magnetism, in order to find new routes to achieve high control over band structures and electrical and thermal transport. Mori is a senior editor of Materials Today Physics and associate editor of Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy, and an editorial board member of Journal of Solid State Chemistry, Advances in Applied Ceramics and Journal of Materiomics. He is a program manager of Japan Science and Technology Agency Mirai Large-scale Program and has published over 300 journal papers, 25 book chapters, and has 35 patents, included 25 awarded.




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