Advanced Materials & Processes

NOV-DEC 2013

Covers developments in engineering materials selection, processing, fabrication, testing/characterization, materials engineering trends, and emerging technologies, industrial and consumer applications, as well as business and management trends

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may well take a full century, the necessary transformation from an economy based in wealth transfer to one grounded in genuine wealth creation can best be served by the establishment of a National Engineering Foundation, equal and opposite to NSF, dedicated to restoring the practice and teaching of technical value creation on our campuses. This would have special impact on MSE, where a recent dominance of reductionism has created the principal cultural barrier to exploitation of the full potential of ICME. Julie: The major challenges we face now will only grow in urgency—providing high standards of living for a growing world population while helping the earth to recover from the demands of that population. Materials are a critical component to the solutions that will provide clean water, clean energy, sustainable food production, stronger and healthier children, and ecological recovery. Our work is to make that solution set as efficient and productive as possible. Jeff: We know that in about 35 years the world population will grow to 9 billion people. This growth, combined with increasing prosperity, will drive enormous energy demand (a 40% increase by 2040) that cannot be met without technological progress in energy conversion, transmission, storage, and efficiency, which will in turn depend on continued advancements in our field. Fusion 28 ADVANCED MATERIALS & PROCESSES • NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2013 is a classic example of energy technology that cannot succeed without new materials that are able to perform well beyond current limits. There will continue to be concomitant environmental impacts. For example, the uncontrolled burning of coal is not going to stop, so carbon will continue to be pumped into the atmosphere; nonproliferation concerns will escalate as nuclear energy sources become increasingly attractive; the role of natural gas innovations will impact today's oil economics and political balances; food issues including production and food security will reach new highs; and inevitably there will be new national security requirements. Depletion will also stimulate innovation. For example, the global helium shortage has troubling implications for science and healthcare. This problem is more likely to be resolved by material science innovation (like higher-temperature superconducting magnets) than by new means of capturing or conserving this escape-prone element. Similarly, geopolitical scarcity is limiting access to rare earths, while changes in the weapons complex, nuclear power generation, and nonproliferation policy are affecting the availability of valuable isotopes like 3He, 99 Tc, and 238Pu. The best response may be alternative solutions from new materials. With technology advancing so rapidly, how can ASM remain relevant to future materials scientists and engineers? Diran: With advancing technology accompanied by an abundance of data, we humans will need a personal touch and attachment to a community more than ever. Information from websites and links is one thing, but knowledge that one obtains from peers through personal interactions is vastly more fulfilling. ASM will continue to provide the forum for this personal enrichment through our peers. ASM has been our community's "LinkedIn" and "Facebook" before Hoffman and Zuckerberg were even born. Greg: It is the very purpose of ASM to rapidly advance technology. In support of this, the ASM Action in Education Committee sponsored an undergraduate materials design competition to foster a stronger design culture in our discipline, and is now undertaking a "Materials Genome Toolset" initiative to distribute software and database systems to undergraduate materials programs to facilitate the ICME revolution. Jeff: ASM should recognize, advocate, and advance its influence in providing forums for the exchange of information and testing of new ideas; creating virtual spaces for the development of materials science networks or communities of practice; educating and motivating young people to enter our field; recognizing and celebrating those that have made a difference and using them to mentor and motivate the next generation. ASM should also play a vigorous role in advocating national policies for broad support of the sciences and engineering. If that is established, we will win our share because of the inherent importance of our field.

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