2021 MRS Spring Meeting

Call for Papers

Symposium BI01-Incorporating Sustainability into Materials Science Education, Training and Public Outreach

Materials science is central to the sustainable development of new products and processes, from applications spanning clean energy technologies to water purification, to industrial-scale processes that are energy-efficient and benign to the environment and human health. The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the importance of materials science and how it scaffolds humanity.

Meeting the challenges of sustainable development will require a materials science workforce that is well-educated and trained in the principles of sustainability and how they interface with the broader context of related scientific fields, industrial-scale up, socioeconomics, and policy. Since sustainable technologies must ultimately be adopted by the public to be successful, public perception and outreach are also critical components to enabling a sustainable future.

Many of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), which originated at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012, intersect with the field of materials science. The UN SDGs also inform and underpin the research funding landscape, and represent an opportunity for companies, NGO’s and university researchers and educators to contribute to sustainable development.

This symposium will bring together materials researchers and educators, industry and sustainability leaders, and science communications and outreach specialists. They will share and explore innovative pedagogy, curriculum materials and resources, skillsets required for the future workforce, and public outreach for integrating and employing sustainable systems thinking to ultimately help transform our world.

Topics will include:

  • Techniques and tools for integrating sustainability into materials science courses
  • Sustainability undergraduate and postgraduate programs
  • Interdisciplinary approaches in sustainability education
  • Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals in higher education, and K-12 curricula and pedagogy
  • Informal science education approaches to public awareness, understanding and interest in sustainability
  • Best practices in scientist communication training for public audiences
  • Industry challenges and opportunities in pursuit of corporate social responsibility
  • Globalization and sustainability education
  • Skillsets and knowledge needed in the future materials science workforce
  • Material life cycle assessment/ management
  • Environmental impacts of Materials
  • A tutorial complementing this symposium is tentatively planned.

Invited Speakers:

  • Theresa Davy (Tohoku University, Japan)
  • Marc Fry (Ansys Granta, United Kingdom)
  • Gabrielle Gaustad (Alfred University, USA)
  • Ed Gerstner (Springer Nature Publishing, United Kingdom)
  • Carol Handwerker (Purdue University, USA)
  • Eva Hemmer (University of Ottawa, Canada)
  • Kevin S. Jones (University of Florida, USA)
  • Vasiliki Kioupi (Imperial College London, United Kingdom)
  • Sarah Rodriguez Martinez (ETH Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Elsa Olivetti (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)
  • Elizabeth Pollitzer (Portia, United Kingdom)
  • Rachael Relph (My Green Lab, USA)
  • Jeremy A. Theil (Xperi Corporation, USA)

Symposium Organizers

Yvonne Kavanagh
Institute of Technology Carlow

Ivana Aguiar
Universidad de República
Facultad de Química, Radioquímica, Grupo de Desarrollo de Materiales y Estudios Ambientales (GDMEA)

William Olson
ASM International

Daniel Steinberg
Princeton University
Princeton University Center for Complex Materials/PRISM

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature


Symposium Support