Joint Meeting

Symposium X—Frontiers of Materials Research

Symposium X—Frontiers of Materials Research features lectures aimed at a broad audience to provide meeting attendees with an overview of leading-edge topics.

Monday, November 30
10:15 am – 11:15 am

Vijay Narayanan

Vijay Narayanan, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
The Golden Age of Materials Innovations—From High-κ/Metal Gate to AI Hardware

High-ĸ/Metal Gates are ubiquitous in CMOS chips and are a product of intense collaborative research across academia and corporate labs. These new materials re-enabled a roadmap for CMOS scaling from FinFET (current) to Nanosheet (future) device architectures.  However, CMOS scaling is slowing down with performance benefits diminishing with each node. At the same time, the need for consuming data has gone up exponentially with deep learning-based AI algorithms being deployed for this purpose and run on specialized AI hardware such as graphical processing units (GPU). However, GPUs consume significant power since data transfer occurs from memory to processor. Resistive Processing Units (RPU) envision artificial neural networks mapped to arrays of non-volatile memory (NVM) elements that execute operations in-memory and constant time, thereby enabling significant power performance benefits. Many NVM elements are being evaluated as RPU but suffer from significant non-idealities and are therefore ripe once again for innovation and collaboration across academia and industry.

About Vijay Narayanan

Vijay Narayanan received his BTech degree in metallurgical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (1995), and his MS degree (1996) and PhD degree (1999) in materials science and engineering from Carnegie Mellon University. After completing post-doctoral research at Arizona State University, Narayanan joined the IBM T. J. Watson Research Center in 2001 where he pioneered high-κ/metal gate research and development from the early stages of materials discovery to development and implementation in manufacturing. These high-κ/metal gate materials form the basis of all recent IBM systems processors and of most low-power chips for mobile devices. Currently, Narayanan is an IBM Fellow and senior manager at IBM Research where he is the strategist for Physics of AI and leads the team developing analog accelerators for AI applications. Narayanan is an IEEE Senior Member and was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2011. He is an author of over 100 journal and conference papers, holds more than 200 patents, and edited one book: Thin Films On Silicon: Electronic And Photonic Applications.


Monday, November 30
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Anke Weidenkaff

Anke Weidenkaff (click for biography), Fraunhofer Research Institution for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies IWKS
Efficient Recycling and Regeneration of E-Mobility Components and Materials

A sustainable future e-mobility requires an efficient circularity of the energy converters with a programmable long lifetime.
Electrochemical energy conversion processes in batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers require full reversibility of local effects, defect formations, phase segregations and redox reactions. Therefore, regenerative or self-repairing materials have to be developed to produce long-lasting devices.

The design of sustainable high performance materials is based on theoretical predictions, life cycle assessment and a profound knowledge on composition-structure-property relationships, defect chemistry, ion mobility assessment and the criticality analysis of applied elements to improve the cycle life of future batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers.

Tuesday, December 1
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Christine Ortiz

Christine Ortiz, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Station1
Socially-Directed Science and Technology — Opportunities and Challenges for the Field of Materials Science and Engineering

We live in an era rife with social inequities and planetary perils, as the collective impact of humans threatens life on earth as we know it, radically transforming our societies and ecosystems. While science and technology and, in particular, the field of materials science and engineering has contributed enormous benefits to humanity, simultaneously it has also been entangled with and contributed to these formidable challenges. In re-imagining a more equitable and sustainable future, let alone bringing it into reality, we must acknowledge, interrogate and understand the historical context, root causes and systemic structures that underpin the scientific and technological enterprise and our discipline, as well as the institutions of higher learning which serve as its foundation.

Science and technology, rooted in social inquiry, inclusion and equity, is more important than ever to our survival, let alone progress. This presentation will discuss a socially-directed approach to science and technology with a focus on the field of materials science and engineering and integration with humanistic fields such as history, the social sciences, including science, technology and society studies; social justice; and civic design and community-based participatory research, in order to interrogate, understand and shape technologically-driven societal impact towards more equitable, ethical and sustainable outcomes. Emerging areas will be considered such as circular materials design for socioresilient infrastructure, the Anthropocene, materials and environmental in/justice, fire safety materials, social inequity and disparate risks to fire, social life cycle assessment and the case of shipbreaking, ethics and socially-directed computational materials.

About Christine Ortiz

Christine Ortiz is a scientist, engineer, professor, scholar, former dean and academic entrepreneur. Ortiz is the Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ortiz has over 180 scholarly publications, has supervised the research projects of more than 100 students from 10 different academic disciplines, and received 30 national and international honors, including the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering which was awarded to her at the White House by President George W. Bush. Ortiz served as the Dean for Graduate Education at MIT between 2010 and 2016, supporting approximately 7,000 graduate students from 100+ countries. With over 25 years of experience in higher education, Ortiz has led cross-institutional initiatives in global education, cross-disciplinary curriculum development, technology-enabled learning, and diversity, equity and inclusion. Ortiz was the founding principal investigator of the MIT University Center of Exemplary Mentoring sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Ortiz has served on or chaired over 50 task forces, working groups, and committees in higher education. Ortiz served as a regional accreditation commissioner for the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Ortiz is the founder of a new nonprofit higher education institution, Station1, that is paving a pathway  of opportunity through a new model of frontier learning and research —socially-directed science and technology.


Wednesday, December 2
10:15 am – 11:15 am

Reshma Shetty

Reshma Shetty, Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.
Designing Biology

Biology is the most powerful technology on the planet. It’s ability to self-repair, self-replicate and make atomically precise structures is unparalleled among manufacturing technologies. At Ginkgo, we are passionate about harnessing the power of biology by designing it. Unfortunately, despite significant advancements in recent years, the tools and technology for biological design remain woefully inadequate relative to the potential of biological technology. Our limited understanding of how biology works means that, for now, biological design is essentially a search problem. At Ginkgo, we are leveraging automation and software to build a genetic engineering foundry that allows us to more cheaply and scalably search potential biological design space for functional organism designs. In particular, I will highlight the value of combining computer-aided engineering software tools, cheap gene synthesis and high resolution-accurate mass LCMS to develop engineered microbes. Then, I'll discuss how we applied these technologies for improving a "living medicine" for the treatment of a metabolic disorder.

About Reshma Shetty

Reshma Shetty co-founded synthetic biology Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc. in 2008.  Spun out of MIT, Ginkgo’s mission is to make biology easier to engineer.  Started in a Cambridge, Massachusetts, apartment, Shetty has helped to grow the company to 200 people and raised $450M in financing. In October 2018, Ginkgo launched Bioworks4, its fourth generation facility for design, fabrication and testing of custom designed microbes. Ginkgo is concurrently engineering more than 50 organisms to spec for customers including Ajinomoto, Cargill and ADM.

Shetty has been active in the field of synthetic biology for 10+ years and co-organized SB1.0, the first international conference in synthetic biology in 2004. In 2005, Shetty and colleagues founded, a wiki for the free sharing of information among biological and biological engineering researchers.  In 2006, she was an advisor to the international Genetically Engineered Machines (iGEM) competition where she was best known for engineering bacteria to smell like bananas and mint.  In 2008, Forbes magazine named Shetty one of Eight People Inventing the Future and in 2011, Fast Company named her one of 100 Most Creative People in Business.  In 2014, Ginkgo became the first biotech company to participate in YCombinator.  In 2018, Business Insider named her one of the most powerful female engineers.

Shetty has a BS degree in computer science from the University of Utah and a PhD degree in biological engineering from MIT.


Wednesday, December 2
2:45 pm – 3:45 pm

Daniel Anderson

Daniel G. Anderson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Biomaterials for the Therapeutic Delivery of Nucleic Acids, Genome Editing Tools, and Cells

High throughput, combinatorial approaches have revolutionized small molecule drug discovery.  Here we describe our work on the combinatorial development of biomaterials for genome editing and cell therapy.  One focus of our work is on the development nanoformulations that can facilitate intracellular delivery of nucleic acids and genome editing tools.  Libraries of degradable polymers and lipid-like materials have been synthesized, formulated and screened for their ability to deliver macromolecular payloads inside of cells.  A number of delivery formulations have been developed with in vivo efficacy, enabling gene suppression with siRNA, gene expression with mRNA, or permanent genetic editing using the CRISPR/Cas9 system.  These formulations have shown efficacy in a range of disease models and species, including primates, and are in varying stages of clinical development.  A second focus of our work is on the development of living, drug factories that can produce therapeutic proteins, on demand in vivo.  Using combinatorial chemistry, we have developed new hydrogel materials that can encapsulate and protect mammalian cells, while avoiding fibrosis and scar tissue formation. These show promise as delivery vehicles for cells, in particular for the treatment of diabetes and hemophilia.  When formulated into microcapsules these materials enable functional, long-term islet transplantation in immune competent, diabetic rodents, as well as normal non-human primates.


Thursday, December 3
1:45 pm – 2:45 pm

Frederick Mau

Frederick Mau, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.
Intellectual Property Filing Strategy, Portfolio Management and Licensing of Material-Related Technologies

A key understanding of intellectual property strategies is essential to build meaningful intellectual property portfolios for material-related technologies. Intellectual property portfolios typically consist of a combination of both patents and trade secret/know-how information. Unlike other technologies, patent filings for material-related technologies such as batteries, catalysts and functionalized materials require additional data, description and documentation to ensure broad protection of the underlying technology.  While patent application filings for mechanical, electrical and software technologies do require a detailed description of the structure and operation of the technology to enable recreation by one of skill in the art, material-related technologies additionally require demonstration of a strong understanding of the underlying mechanism behind the invention coupled with strong support of laboratory data.  Any shortcoming in this area will result in narrow protection covering only the specific aspects of the invention supported by the data provided. This presentation will focus on best practices to ensure proper intellectual property protection for material-related technologies. Additionally, we will discuss how to build intellectual property portfolios around fundamental technologies with an eye toward protection of commercial interests and licensing.

About Frederick Mau

Mau has the position of Intellectual Property Counsel with Toyota Motor North America, Inc.  His job responsibilities include all patent filing, prosecution and patent portfolio management (domestic & foreign) for all Advanced Research, Vehicle Engineering and Manufacturing business units within North America.  Furthermore, Mau handles and/or advises on many other Intellectual property-related matters, which may include patent disputes, patent clearance studies, open source software, intellectual property matters relating to contracts, business establishment and support of IP lobbying efforts for Toyota Government Affairs.  In addition to his role as Intellectual Property Counsel for TMNA, Mau  also oversees the licensing activity for Toyota IP Solutions as Director of Patent Licensing.


Friday, December 4
10:15 am – 11:15 am

Andrea Alu

Andrea Alù (click for biography), The City University of New York
Extreme Wave Interactions in Metamaterials with Broken Symmetries

In this talk, I discuss our recent discoveries in electromagnetics, nano-optics and acoustics showing how suitably tailored meta-atoms and their arrangements open exciting avenues to enable extreme phenomena and new technology based on light, radio-waves and sound. In particular, I discuss venues in which broken symmetries play a pivotal role in establishing emerging phenomena in metamaterials, from geometrical asymmetries and generalized forms of chirality, to time-reversal symmetry breaking and parity-time symmetry. Our work shows how symmetry concepts offer interesting tools to break Lorentz reciprocity and realize isolation without the need of magnetic bias, based on broken time-reversal symmetry induced by mechanical motion, spatio-temporal modulation and/or nonlinearities. Broken symmetries in space and space-time open also the opportunity to induce topological order in metamaterials. The opportunities offered by hybrid metamaterials combining classical photonic material platforms with 2D and quantum materials characterized by exotic lattice symmetries will also be discussed. Finally, the role of parity-time symmetry and non-Hermitian physics in enabling broadband wave manipulations beyond the limits of passive systems will be outlined. In the talk, I will outline the impact of these concepts from basic science to practical technology, from classical waves to quantum phenomena.

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MRS publishes with Springer Nature


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