Symposium EN16—Combining Materials, Technologies and Societal Awareness to Harvest Natural and Human-Made Energy Sources
Sustainability calls for energy technologies to fulfill yet additional goals related to the longer-term public good. Our society has arrived to a pivotal point where we must address the need to change our daily living and energy consumption towards the sustainable pathways.
There are two hurdles inherent in the sustainability path:
A technological way to promote sustainable energy: New Materials have been widely proposed as substitutes to fossil fuels and other non-sustainable energies. The advent of nanotechnology allows to engineer novel composite materials tailored to any energy application. However, the availability of the constituent materials and the non scalable manufacturing processes has become an obstacle towards the industrialization of those renewable technology. The design of sustainable energy materials should balance the environmental impact of their synthesis with their functionality. Indeed new material processes, which are environmentally, economically and industrially sustainable, are yet to be proposed.
A societal problem: a general lack of education on the subject of energy, which translates into the need for improved public perception and governament regulations. The importance of these materials, how they relate to sustainable energy, and how they can be recycled are a few factors which could be stressed. Transitioning towards a more integrated approach to critical materials combined with education and outreach could have a transformative impact.
This symposium will foster a multi- interdisciplinary approach to the concept of harvesting energy from multiple sources of renewable energy in a highly optimized manner, while using novel and sustainable materials applied to state of the art technologies. For example: while integrating wind, thermal and solar sustainable system is a technical challenge, integrating materials that can be suitable for solar, thermal and for example rf energy harvesting becomes a materials integration challenge. It requires designing materials that also need to be manufactured with industrially compatible technologies. Also welcome are subjects that include developing and implementing large- and small-scale visualizations approaches to materials and technologies integration towards sustainability, which draw immediate attention and sensibility of public, government and education system to understand the energy sustainability challenge.