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Webinar: Engineering Materials for a Sustainable Future: Findings from the Visioning Event

Engineering stakeholders in the materials engineering space will find this webinar of high interest, as well as academic and industry researchers in chemical engineering, physics, and biology whose focus is on materials science and development.

Leading the engaging webinar are the visioning event co-chairs, Yael Vodovotz, professor and director, The Ohio State University, and Jennifer Dionne, professor of materials science and engineering and Chan-Zuckerberg Investigator, Stanford University.


Multidisciplinary engineering is critical at all stages of sustainable materials scenarios: design, scale-up and manufacturing, and end-of-use. Engineering research is critical to transition to using more sustainable materials throughout the nation’s economy.

The Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA), an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation Engineering Directorate, convened a July 2023 visioning workshop on the future of sustainable materials with a keen focus on three industry verticals: chemical, construction, and single-use consumer materials. Three main research thrusts were explored during the event and will be elucidated in the event’s visioning report. This webinar features the event’s Thematic Task Force chairs, who discuss key findings and answer questions from the audience.


In this webinar, we discuss the future engineering research directions within these three areas:

  • Process and performance research to enable bio-based replacements for petroleum-based materials that meet product specifications. This includes engineering research that expands the role of microbes and enzymes in the material's lifespan to either (a) sustain it, or (b) decompose materials selectively and efficiently at the end of their useful life. 
  • Predictive models/simulations for all stages in materials development encompassing atomistic-to-continuum structure property-function relationships to accurately represent the new materials' properties, processability, and performance. 
  • Facilities design to enable new feedstocks and low-temperature transformations at scale.
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