Symposia provide forum for global university-level materials education community to share ideas

Leading educators and authors confirmed as speakers

Cambridge, UK – October 23, 2015. World-renowned educators will share their knowledge at a unique series of symposia next year, where the global university-level materials education community gathers to discuss ideas and best practice in teaching materials across engineering, design and science. If your organisation has an interest in materials teaching, please add the Materials Education Symposia to your published calendar of events.

Granta Design helps to coordinate the Materials Education Symposia across three continents:

  • The 7th North American Education Materials Symposium (NAMES), University of California, Berkeley, March 17-18, 2016;
  • 8th International Materials Education Symposium, University of Cambridge, UK, April 7-8;
  • 2nd Asian Materials Education Symposium, National University of Singapore, December 8-9.

Materials Education Symposia

At the International Materials Educations Symposium

The Independent Advisory Committee is delighted to confirm that speakers at these events will include: Prof Mike Ashby (Cambridge), Prof Sir Harry Bhadeshia (Cambridge), Prof William Callister (Utah), Prof David Dornfeld (UC Berkeley), Dr John Dunlop (Max Planck), Prof Stanley Howard (South Dakota), Prof Mark Miodownik (UCL), Prof James Shackelford (UC Davis), Dr Cyrus Wadia (Nike, formerly of the White House Office for Science and Technology), and Prof Sybrand van der Zwaag (TU Delft).

The symposia include a packed speaker program, interactive discussion sessions, poster sessions and networking opportunities. They have three main aims: to share ideas, experiences, successes and failures; to provoke discussion around these issues; and to expand the links between disciplines that form a key feature of the materials community.

Professor Mike Ashby, chair of the Advisory Committee, picked up on a recent statement from the UK Higher Education Academy (HEA) in which it said that “universities must place more emphasis on teaching quality”, to comment: “The over-emphasis on research achievements and on university finance has eclipsed the first and primary reason that colleges and universities exist: to inspire and educate the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators. The HEA has taken action on a problem that is recognised in colleges and universities in many other parts of the world. There is an emerging emphasis on ways to foster teaching quality. The Materials Education Symposia are a way we can share ideas on ways to carry this forward.”

Speaking after last year’s NAMES, Professor James Shackelford said: "I once again found the NAMES gathering to be an exceptional opportunity to share best practices and new ideas with fellow materials educators." Professor William Callister, who was also at NAMES, said: “This year's symposium was stimulating and delightful; it gave participants an opportunity to rub shoulders with colleagues, make new friends, and learn about innovations in materials education.”

Over the past seven years the symposia have brought together hundreds of people involved in teaching materials-related topics to undergraduates and helped build a vibrant international community. For more information on attending the symposia or submitting abstracts, see

The symposia are coordinated by Granta Design; the Symposia Academic Advisory Committee; and educators at: University of Cambridge, University of California, Berkeley, National University of Singapore, SUTD, and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The organisers are grateful for support from ASM International and MRS Singapore, and additional help from FEMS, TMS, IFEES, the Materials Division of ASEE, and SEFI.

Further information

Further information for media, including download of supporting images:

Granta for Education information:

Granta events:

Download this article as a PDF PDF