Programs & Outreach

Publishing Alliance

MRS publishes with Springer Nature


Focus on Sustainability

  Materials Research Society FoundationFocus on Sustainability (FoS) is an MRS initiative led by the Focus on Sustainability Subcommittee and designed to raise the awareness of the nexus between materials, materials research, and sustainable practice.   Meeting the challenges of sustainable development requires an integrated approach that places materials science in the context of societal, environmental, and economic drivers. MRS is helping its members discover the valued role of sustainable materials practices to a sustainable world. The Society also seeks to develop members' technical expertise and understanding of the complex interrelationships between materials science and other disciplines.



Why Do You Think Sustainability Is an Important Issue?

Joseph Andler

Joseph Andler
Purdue University

I see sustainable engineering as the pathway to a sustainable society. It is hard to envision the long-term viability of any product if its social, economic, and environmental implications are not considered.

Carolina Duque Sierra

Carolina Duque Sierra
Universitat de Barcelona/KU Leuven

We are living in a critical point of history, and I believe it is crucial to focus on sustainability to be part of the solution and not the problem, to help build stronger communities that are conscious of the impacts we have on the environment, and to be aware of how our actions can have a significant effect on the planet and others.

Headshots of David Graf and Isabel Gessner

David Graf and Isabel Gessner
University of Cologne
For us, sustainability plays a major role in developing green synthetic pathways toward new materials in the field of alternative energy solutions, as well as biomedical applications.


The Materials Research Society is well-positioned to partner and support academia, government, industry, and society in their efforts to advance sustainable sourcing, development, production, and reuse of materials. 

Building on its demonstrated strengths, MRS is uniquely suited to impact three areas: research, government advocacy, and public outreach. For the past several years, there has been a steadily increasing emphasis within the society on materials and materials science for a sustainable world. This has resulted in the production and delivery of numerous sustainability-focused forums, symposia and publications.

Focus on Sustainability Logo

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."  —Brundtland Report

Learn More about MRS and Sustainability


George Crabtree's Legacy

George Crabtree, widely recognized and admired as a brilliant, passionate materials scientist and champion of superconducting materials and better batteries, passed away on January 23, 2023, at the age of 78. He was a renowned materials scientist and director of the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR) at Argonne National Laboratory. He had many connections with the Materials Research Society (MRS) and was a critical player in developing its increasingly important role in energy materials through his position on the editorial board of the MRS Energy & Sustainability journal and as an active advisor for MRS Bulletin. The 2023 MRS Fall Meeting's Sustainability by 2050 Panel features a tribute to George's legacy. Panelist Y. Shirley Meng joins MRS TV to discuss George's legacy and creating a sustainable future.



Two MRS awards recognize members for their work in developing sustainable energy solutions and advancing materials science and technology through education, communication and engagement. The MRS Nelson "Buck" Robinson Science and Technology Award for Renewable Energy recognizes the development of novel sustainable solutions for the realization of renewable sources of energy. The MRS Impact Award honors outstanding individuals who have displayed excellence in areas of science communication, education, advancing diversity, mentoring, or community engagement.

Moderated Panel Discussions

These panel events, co-organized by the MRS Energy & Sustainability Journal and the MRS Focus on Sustainability Subcommittee, convened top experts to discuss scientific, technological and sociological complexities relating to energy, the environment and sustainability. 


MRS has programs dedicated to outreach. MRS is committed to engaging the public in materials science and sustainability issues. Learn more about outreach programs.


Learn more about MRS's publications that focus on sustainability issues, including the textbook, Fundamentals of Materials for Energy and Environmental Sustainability, MRS Energy & Sustainability, special issues of MRS Bulletin, and the Energy Quarterly section of MRS Bulletin.

Special Events, Summits, Forums

Learn more about special events related to sustainability, including the Materials Needs for Energy Sustainability by 2050 Panels and special forums held during MRS Spring and Fall Meetings, and the 2011 World Materials Summit.

Social Media

Make professional contacts via the MRS LinkedIn subgroup, Materials for Energy and Sustainable Development, which addresses materials research challenges to meet global energy and environmental needs for sustainable development.


Sustainability—The MRS Spring and Fall Meetings typically include a cluster symposia focused on topics related to sustainability and energy. Learn more about the sustainability-related symposia by viewing calls for papers, programs and abstracts, proceedings and virtual presentations from these sessions.

Energy—The MRS Spring and Fall Meetings typically include a cluster symposia focused on topics related to sustainability and energy. Learn more about the energy-related symposia by viewing calls for papers, programs and abstracts, proceedings and virtual presentations from these sessions.  


At MRS Spring and Fall Meetings, MRS TV highlights MRS' sustainability programs and talks to members about their sustainability interests.