2019 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit

Symposium ES13-Materials Selection and Design—A Tool to Enable Sustainable Materials Development and a Reduced Materials Footprint

Materials are critical enablers for reducing the resource intensity of society’s industrial, commercial and energy systems. But materials themselves also require resources and can negatively impact humans and the environment, thereby compromising the sustainability of our world. To promote materials development for a more sustainable world, it is essential that the material footprint be better understood and improved for all products and processes. Fundamental research is required that addresses: the creation and sharing of sustainability-related data, metrics and assessments of materials, processes, and performance; use of this knowledge to inform sustainability-focused decision making; improved decision-making tools to enable product and process designers and engineers to incorporate sustainability metrics at the earliest stages of the design phase; and better defined sustainability metrics for policy makers. Strategies must incorporate a life cycle perspective, acknowledging the potential for significant impacts of value recovery at end-of-use, with significant benefits available from remanufacturing, repurposing, reusing, refurbishing, recycling, and materials recovery, thereby reducing the need for continued extraction of virgin feedstock materials. Materials researchers are key to the development and implementation of these important strategies.

This symposium will address the fundamental research challenges associated with properly understanding, assessing and reducing the material footprint of current and future products and commodities that drive our economy and meet the needs of humanity. This symposium will provide a platform for materials researchers and related interdisciplinary experts from industry, academia, and government to present research on sustainable materials development from a life cycle and design perspective, including topics on sustainability-focused materials selection and design tools; data needs, collection and management; and incentivizing change to promote sustainable materials development, and integrated research to move toward circular economies

A complementary suite of sustainability-focused technical and professional development activities is tentatively planned.

A joint session is planned with ES14—Materials Circular Economy for Urban Sustainability.

A tutorial complementing this symposium is also planned, titled "Data-driven Design of Sustainable Materials, Processes and Products in Early Stage R&D: AI/Machine Learning, Coupled with Techno-economic and Life Cycle Analysis, and Metrics for a Circular Economy.”

Topics will include:

  • Materials and processes to facilitate better management of products at end of use: e.g., product remanufacturing, repurposing, reuse and refurbishing; and materials recycling and recovery (Six-R Processes).
  • Decision tools used early in the materials selection and product/process design stage to promote Six-R Processes
  • Alternative materials and manufacturing methods that lead to more sustainable material sets and product lifecycle solutions, including as enablers for building circular economies.
  • Sustainable materials research, development and commercialization case studies (e.g., renewable energy systems such as solar panels and battery technologies, personal electronics design and recycling, advanced functional and/or structural components/products). Strategies for collecting and managing key data sets that support and incentivize Six-R Processes
  • Research into metrics for policy makers to promote Six-R Processes
  • Hazard, life-cycle and materials flow based approaches to motivate materials substitution and Six-R Processes
  • Materials and manufacturing processes that reduce the use of natural resources (e.g., water, raw materials, and energy): lightweighting, efficient manufacturing, processing at ambient conditions
  • Educational and outreach activities to increase exposure, knowledge, and awareness of sustainable materials development concepts

Invited Speakers:

  • Eric Masanet (Northwestern University, USA)
  • Diran Apelian (Worcester Polytechnic Institute, USA)
  • Gabrielle Gaustad (Rochester Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Nancy Gillis (Green Electronics Council, USA)
  • Hongyue Jin (University of Arizona, USA)
  • Joan Krajewski (Microsoft, USA)
  • Seong-Rin Lim (Kangwon National University, Republic of Korea)
  • Dustin Mulvaney (San Jose State University, USA)
  • Elsa Olivetti (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Rogerio Ribas (Companhia Brasileira de Metalurgia e Mineração, Brazil)
  • Mark Rossi (Clean Production Action, USA)
  • Karsten Schischke (Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, Germany)
  • Sangwon Suh (University of California, Santa Barbara, USA)
  • Cassandra Telenko (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Chris Yuan (Case Western Reserve University, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Julie Schoenung
University of California, Irvine

Carol Handwerker
Purdue University

William Olson
ASM International

Alan Rae

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature