MRS Spring Meeting

Phoenix, AZ, USA

March 28-April 1, 2016

Event Website 

Granta at the MRS Spring Meeting

Granta’s Education Team looks forward to meeting with the engineering education community again at this year’s MRS Spring Meeting. If you would like to meet with us to discuss materials education topics, please contact us.

This year we take part in three different events at the MRS:

Granta's Tutorial Session

Teaching the Role of Materials in Sustainable Development—Analystical Frameworks, Crossing Disciplines and Student Engagement

Tatiana Vakhitova, Granta Design
Richard LeSar, Iowa State University
Kevin Jones, University of Florida-Gainesville

Tutorial EE15: Monday, March 28 1-5 p.m. PCC North, 100 Level, Room 123

Materials enable technologies and infrastructure that play a crucial role in worldwide development and that increasingly impact the earth’s climate, water and resources. To identify pathways towards sustainable development, students and researchers must appreciate the multiple factors involved using a systems perspective. What is the balance sheet of impacts considering material sourcing, manufacturing, operation and end of life? What are the direct, indirect and unintended consequences?
Understanding these issues requires frameworks for analysis, insights across disciplines and effective means to engage participants in topics that are often outside their “comfort zone” of knowledge. This tutorial will present effective means to teach these approaches based on the extensive and complementary experience of the instructors. But in addition to educating the upcoming generation of materials researchers, this tutorial will appeal to today’s materials scientists, engineers and technology managers who seek to identify, articulate, and implement changes that improve sustainability while enhancing the bottom line of their organizations.


Time Topic
13.00-15.00 Part I: A Framework for Evaluating Sustainable Development—Five Step Methodology (Tatiana Vakhitova)
15.30-16.15 Part II: Materials and Society–Engaging Learners (Kevin Jones)
16.15-17.00 Part III: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries—Challenges and Successes (Richard LeSar)

* Tutorial EE15 is free to attend. However, advanced registration for the tutorial is highly suggested in order to receive software in advance for a hands-on exercise. Tutorial participants are encouraged to bring laptops that run Windows. This is not a requirement for participation. Register here 

Read more at the event site 

Granta's Professional Development Seminar Talk

Incorporating Sustainability Principles into Your Research

Speaker: Dr Tatiana V Vakhitova

Session: Monday, March 28 6-7:30 p.m. Sheraton, Second Level, Ahwatukee AB

Many materials researchers strive to contribute to technologies that are more “sustainable” than ones we use today. Often, these efforts focus on improving resource efficiency by creating materials and devices that are less energy, water, and material intensive. But for more sustainable technologies to be commercially viable and have a global impact, there are additional considerations, including raw material availability, product lifetime, social and economic dimensions, and how best to balance adverse short-term impacts with potential long-term gains.
Join Dr Tatiana Vakhitova to learn how to incorporate sustainability principles into your research in a more comprehensive way while considering the real-world application of these principles to product design and manufacture. This seminar is aimed at materials researchers of all career stages, from students and postdocs to faculty and industry researchers.

This session will focus on a methodology for incorporating sustainability principles into materials research, including:

  • The material demands and the ability of the global supply chain to meet them;
  • The risks associated with a given material choice, and ways of mitigating the risk by substitution;
  • The ultimate impact of the innovation on natural, manufactured, human, and social capital.

Read more at the event site 

Granta's Talk at the Symposia

Materials for Sustainable Development—Integrated Approaches

Speaker: Dr Tatiana V Vakhitova

Session: Symposium EE15: March 29, 1:30-1:45pm in room PCC North, Level 200, Room 127B

Much Materials research today has, as its primary or one of its secondary aims, to contribute to the technologies that are more “sustainable” than those we now use. The immediate perception this creates is one of resource-efficiency: technology that is less energy intensive, less water intensive and less material intensive than at present. But if the claim of a sustainable development is to be justified, there are further considerations.
Globally, the annual resource-consumption in question (energy, water, materials) are not measured in joules, ccs or grams but in petajoules, cubic kilometers, billions of tonnes. If the research material is to be “disruptive”, making a significant contribution to a more sustainable way of life, will have to be produced on a scale, and in a time-frame, that have a measureable effect on this consumption.
If on this scale there are other consequences: markets are disturbed, people are affected - there are social and economic dimensions, when adverse short-term impacts may have to be justified by long-term gains. It is not the job of materials researchers to solve these problems but to be aware and if they are to make claims that their research has “sustainability” as a tag line, it would be responsible to survey how it might map-out on the larger scale.
The paper will focus on a methodology for thinking about this, starting from the proposed “sustainable development”, exploring the context: the nature of the innovation and the stakeholders that it involves:
1. the material demands and the ability of the global supply chain to meet them;
2. the risks associated with a given material choice and ways of mitigating the risk by substitution;
3. the ultimate impact of the innovation on natural, manufactured, human and social capital

Read more at the event site 

Granta for Education

Granta provides resources and support for anyone teaching materials or related topics across the full range of disciplines in engineering, science, and design. We also help coordinate a series of annual Materials Education Symposia, including the upcoming North American Material Education Symposium at the University of California, Berkeley. If you would like to meet with us to discuss materials education topics or find out more about the Symposium, please contact us.

Granta for Education 

Materials Education Symposia