2021 MRS Fall Meeting

Meeting Chairs

Markus BuehlerMarkus J. Buehler
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Markus J. Buehler is the McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT. In his research, Buehler pursues new modeling, design and manufacturing approaches for advanced biomaterials that offer greater resilience and a wide range of controllable properties from the nano- to the macroscale. His interests include a variety of functional material properties including mechanical, optical and biological, linking chemical features, hierarchical and multiscale structures, to functional performance in the context of physiological, pathological and other extreme conditions. His scholarly work focuses on materials modeling, design and experimental efforts, and he has authored several books and more than 400 peer-reviewed publications.  He has given more than 350 invited/keynote/plenary talks across the world and serves on the editorial board of many other peer-reviewed journals. Buehler is an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Engineering Science (SES), and served as the President of SES in 2019. He served as the chair of several conferences, societal committees, and is actively involved in public outreach as well as translation of basic research through entrepreneurship.


Craig FennieCraig Fennie
Cornell University

Craig Fennie is an associate professor in the School of Applied and Engineering Physics at Cornell University. He received his PhD degree in theoretical condensed matter physics from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey in 2006.  Upon graduation, he was awarded the Nicholas Metropolis Fellowship from Argonne National Laboratory. Since June 2008, he has been on the faculty at Cornell University.   His research interests lie at the intersection of materials physics and solid state chemistry and can be broadly characterized as centered on the use of first-principles informed theory to elucidate the fundamental principles that govern the relationship between the structure and the macroscopic behavior of complex bulk, thin film, and heterostructured materials in which lattice, magnetic, orbital, and/or electronic degrees of freedom are active. Fennie is the recipient of the 2010 Young Investigator Award from the Army Research Office, the 2011 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation, the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and a 2013 MacArthur Fellowship. In 2015, he was elected a Fellow of the American Physical Society by the Division of Materials Physics.

Marina LeiteMarina Leite
University of California, Davis

Marina S. Leite is an associate professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Davis. Her group is engaged in fundamental and applied research in functional materials, ranging from energy harvesting and storage to photonics, including the visualization of dynamic physical and chemical processes through the realization of advanced microscopic methods. Leite received her PhD degree in physics from Campinas State University and the Synchrotron Light Source Laboratory in Brazil. She is a member of MRS, the American Chemical Society (ACS), the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE), and a lifetime member of the American Physics Society (APS).

Laura Na LiuLaura Na Liu
Universität Stuttgart

Laura Na Liu received her PhD degree in physics at Universität Stuttgart. She then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and as a Texas Instruments visiting professor at Rice University. Before becoming a professor at the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at Universität Heidelberg in 2015, she worked as an independent group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. In 2020, she joined Universität Stuttgart and became the Director of the 2nd Physics Institute. Her research interest is multi-disciplinary. She works at the interface between nanophotonics, biology and chemistry. Liu’s group focuses on developing sophisticated and smart optical nanosystems for answering structural biology questions, as well as catalytic chemistry questions in local environments.

Cengiz OzkanCengiz S. Ozkan
University of California, Riverside

Cengiz S. Ozkan is a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Riverside. He received his PhD degree in materials science and engineering at Stanford University in 1997. Before joining UCR in 2001, Ozkan was employed in the semiconductor industry. His research involves the design and synthesis of nanoscale materials for energy storage, nanoelectronics and sensor applications; fundamental understanding and characterization of electrical and optical properties of nanoscale materials; and nanoscale structure–property relationships. He has been a member of several prestigious national centers including the SRC MARCO Center for Functional Engineered Nano Architectonics; the SRC STARnet Center for Spintronic Materials, Interfaces and Novel Architectures, and the NCI Center of Excellence of Nanotechnology for Treatment, Understanding, and Monitoring of Cancer. Ozkan has over 300 technical publications including journal papers, conference proceedings, book chapters, edited books; 12 issued US patents; 16 pending patent applications; has given over 150 presentations worldwide; has 18 intellectual properties licensed by the industry, and he is a co-founder of two start-up companies. Most recently, he is the recipient of the European Advanced Energy Materials Award by the IAAM; the John J. Guarrera Engineering Educator of the Year Award by the Engineers’ Council; and he has been appointed as an Honorary Professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Message from the Meeting Chairs

The MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit has long been considered the key forum to present research to an interdisciplinary and international audience. It provides a window on the future of materials science, and offers an opportunity for researchers, developers and entrepreneurs to exchange technical information and network with colleagues.

This year, MRS will be taking the 2021 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit to an exciting new level, offering a Hybrid Event. Presenters and attendees can choose to join us in person in Boston, attend virtually from the comfort of their home or office, or both!

No matter how you attend, the 2021 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit will continue to showcase leading-edge materials research in both fundamental and applied areas. There will be 59 symposia grouped into seven topical clusters, as follows:

Broader Impact
This cluster features two symposia. The first will focus on developing an open source introductory materials science textbook. The second will highlight and celebrate women in materials science and their impact on and contributions to the field—this will feature a number of invited talks by pioneers, leaders and up-and-coming female researchers.

The characterization cluster includes four symposia. One focuses on In Situ and Operando Techniques applied to electrochemical systems, with important implications for energy applications. Chemistry plays a central role in the development and characterization of new inorganic materials, covered in the Solid-State Chemistry of New Materials symposium. Frontiers in Scanning Probe Microscopy—Beyond Imaging of Soft Materials will highlight SPM techniques. The fourth symposium in the cluster will discuss the use of machine learning methods to enhance and accelerate the characterization of materials.

Materials Computing and Data Science
This cluster features three symposia highlighting machine learning for accelerating experimental materials research; advances in atomistic algorithms for modeling in materials science for electronic structure calculations and empirical-potential-based simulations; and pairing simulations and machine learning for materials modeling. All three will incorporate machine learning approaches, which is becoming more valuable and useful for materials development.

Electronics, Optics and Quantum
The largest cluster of the meeting includes 20 symposia covering electronic materials/devices, optical materials, and quantum materials and processes. There are several symposia that cut across these areas. Quantum materials and phenomena are the focus of several symposia including quantum optical materials based on impurities, spin-based sensing with NV-diamond, defect and strain-enabled emergent behavior, quantum-coherent spin dynamics and materials, materials for quantum information. 2D materials ,and heterostructures of various dimensional materials are covered in several symposia. Metamaterials and metasurfaces, as well as metaphotonics, nanophotonics and plasmonics are the focus of two symposia. Long running materials symposia include two on nitride materials, multiferroics and magnetoelectronics. Organic electronics and hybrids, flexible electronics, soft materials for haptics form a group of soft materials-related symposia in the cluster. Other symposia cover diamond and diamond heterojunctions,  contacts and interfaces in optoelectronics, and infrared and thermal photonic materials. Finally, one symposium covers plasma processes in materials.

Energy and Sustainability
There are 14 symposia in this cluster featuring the applications of materials to energy transfer, conversion and storage, as well as addressing issues of materials design and characterization. The theme of sustainability cuts across the symposia in this cluster. Energy generation and storage is covered via solid state batteries, metal sulfides in electrochemical batteries, and hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Sustainability is the focus of four symposia on electronics; green chemistry, circular materials, end-of-life and eco-design; converting atmospheric C, H, O and N into fuels and chemicals; and climate change mitigation technologies. Solar energy and photovoltaics are the major focus of symposia on silicon and halide perovskites. Thermal materials, thermal energy management and thermal harvesting, and mechano-thermo and electrical coupling are covered in three different symposia.

Biomaterials and Soft Materials
A total of 12 symposia cover important aspects of biomaterials and soft materials. One timely symposium focuses on antimicrobial materials against coronaviruses and other nosocomial pathogens.  Nanostructures with Therapeutic and Diagnostic Modalities and 2D Materials for Bioelectronics and Healthcare are two other health-related symposia. Symposia on engineered functional multicellular circuits and bioelectronics cover bio-related electronics aspects. Additive manufacturing for hydrogels is the focus of one symposium. Neuromorphic computing, adaptive bio-interfacing; photo/electrical phenomena at the interface with living cells; soft and healable conducting materials for biological interfaces; and bioelectronics have a focus on electronics and interfacing of materials with biological systems. Finally, three symposia cover biological and bioinspired materials, regenerative engineering, and micro- and nanoengineering of biomaterials for food and agricultural applications.

Structural and Functional Materials
With a total of four symposia in this cluster, three of these focus on additive manufacturing, for emerging applications; functional materials and devices; and polymers, composites and hybrids. The fourth symposium covers current trends in atomic layer deposition (ALD) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD).

Symposium X
This long running Frontiers of Materials Research symposium will feature presentations aimed at a broad audience and on topics at the forefront of research on materials science and engineering.

To complement the symposia, tutorials will provide detailed information on particularly exciting areas of research, and the Exhibit will showcase innovative products and services to advance your work.

For those who attend in person, you will find Boston to be a very accessible and attractive host city. A wide array of restaurants, nightlife, cultural, and sporting events are just steps away from the Hynes Convention Center and hotels. The region also offers an abundance of pre- and post-meeting touring options. It’s a perfect mix of interaction, insights, inspiration, and indulgence!

We look forward to seeing you in Boston and online!

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