Workshop: Interdisciplinary Frontiers of Designing Engineering Material Systems; College Station, Texas; 18-19 July 2016
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The acceleration of materials discovery and development has long been recognized as important for solving technological challenges that impact our health, economic well-being, environment and national security. This is the central motivation for the materials Genome Initiative (MGI), which was announced by the White House in 2011, and ongoing efforts in Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME), which has been recognized by the National Academy of Science as being important for accelerated materials development. However, MGI and ICME research efforts tend to be only weakly-directed in the sense that they try to achieve materials with generally good properties (e.g., improved strength, lighter weight) or functionality (e.g., active materials) but often are not connected to a specific engineering design project. The concept of goal-directed design of materials and material systems holds great promise. Rather than relying on a separate process to deliver desirable materials or material systems, engineering designers can engage directly in the development of materials and material systems with the specific characteristics they need. This can lead to engineered systems with higher performance, lower cost, and that are more sustainable. The goal of this workshop is to develop and articulate a vision for an interdisciplinary field of research focused the engineering design of materials and material systems. An interdisciplinary field is one that combines and adapts approaches from two or more fields so they are better suited for a problem of interest. This is in contrast to multidisciplinary research in which investigators pursue a problem using different disciplinary perspectives. To date, the most successful and impactful prior research on designing engineering material systems has been from an interdisciplinary perspective. An opportunity exists to accelerate research in this area by furthering the development of a coherent interdisciplinary community dedicated to understanding materials design problems. This workshop will bring together leading experts in materials and design research to identify ways to advance interdisciplinary research in this area. Participants will identify key knowledge areas for the interdisciplinary field, articulate critical open research questions and formulate steps to further advance the field.