[Illinois] CSE 2013: Materials Genome Initiative

By Ian Robertson

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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The Materials Genome Initiative, announced by President Obama in June 2011, recognizes the importance of materials science to the well-being and advancement of society and seeks to integrate all components in the materials continuum, including materials discovery, development, property optimization, systems design and optimization, certification, manufacturing and deployment, with each employing the toolset developed within the materials innovation infrastructure. The innovation infrastructure recognizes the need to build communities, expertise and infrastructure in three interrelated areas – computational tools, experimental tools and data. In each area, the vision is on development and application of next generation capabilities in and across all aspects of the materials continuum. The complexity and challenge of activities addressed by this initiative will require a transformative approach to the discovery and development of new materials, optimization and / or prediction of properties of materials, informing the design and manufacturing of material systems, and optimization of use in application. Success, deployment of new materials in applications twice as fast and at half the cost, demands a collaborative, synergistic approach between theory, computation, experiments and informatics. This in turn requires establishing cohesion between what are today disparate research communities. In this presentation, I will outline the challenges and opportunities created by this initiative.


Dr. Ian Robertson, Dean and Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

IAN M. ROBERTSON is the Dean of the College of Engineering and a professor in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to this he was a faculty member in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at a Donald B. Willett professor of engineering at the University of Illinois and served, 2011-2013 as the Director of the Division of Materials Research at the National Science Foundation. He joined the University of Illinois in 1982 as a post-doctoral fellow and was appointed as an assistant professor in 1984, associate professor in 1989, professor in 1995, and served as Head of the Department from 2005-2009. He received a B.Sc. degree (first class) in Applied Physics from Strathclyde University, Glasgow Scotland in 1978 and his D.Phil (Metallurgy) from the University of Oxford in 1982. He is a member of TMS, MRS, AAAS and a fellow of ASM. His research focuses on the use of the electron microscope as an experimental laboratory in which dynamic experiments can be conducted to reveal the atomistic processes responsible for the macroscopic response of a material. He has applied this technique to enhance our understanding of the reaction pathways and kinetics that occur during deformation, phase transformation, irradiation and hydrogen embrittlement of metallic materials. His insight to the mechanisms responsible for hydrogen embrittlement of metals was recognized by the Department of Energy in 1984 when he, along with Howard Birnbaum, received the DOE prize for Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment in Metallurgy and Ceramics. In 2011, he received the DOE EE Fuel Cell Program award for contributions to our understanding of mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement. He was selected recently as the 2014 recipient of the ASM Edward DeMille Campbell Memorial Lectureship. He was a Principal Editor for the Journal of Materials Research from 1995 - 2011, and a Key Reader for Metallurgical Transactions from 1994 to 2011, and in 2009 become a member of the editorial board of Microscopy Today and Editor-in-Chief of the review journal Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science.

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Ian Robertson (2013), "[Illinois] CSE 2013: Materials Genome Initiative," https://nanohub.org/resources/18159.

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