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Invited Speakers' Bios and Abstracts

Keynote Speaker

Ali Sayir

Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments

Ali Sayir
Air Force Office of Scientific Research and NASA Liaison

BIO

Dr. Sayir is currently the Program Manager of Aerospace Materials for Extreme Environments at AFOSR. Dr. Sayir received his Ph. D. in 1990 in Materials Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and held a Diplom Ingenieur Degree from the Technical University of Clausthal, Germany. Dr. Sayir joined NASA Lewis Research Center (now Glenn) in 1990 as a National Research Counsel awardee. Upon joining NASA Glenn, he began a career of eutectic solidification and basic research in polyphase microstructures. He has made contributions in the development and use of advanced high strength, single crystal fibers for high temperature applications, piezo-ceramics with higher temperature capability for actuation devices, and thermoelectric materials and space power applications.

Dr. Sayir has served on national and international committees, and has over 50 invited presentations for the American Ceramic Society, American Physical Society, European Ceramic Society, Electrochemical Society and Materials Research Society. He organized five International Workshops and co-organized 11 symposiums with American Ceramic Society and published over 120 peer-reviewed journal publications. He has been a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society since 2010. He received the Medal for Public Service Award (2003), R & D 100 Award for Laser Fiber Growth (1993), NASA Inventions Board Awards (2009, 2008, 2007), and received numerous recognitions from Industry and government laboratories.

As Point of Contact for Materials and Structures of NASA Hypersonic program, he coordinated materials and structures projects between NASA centers, Department of Defense, Industry and Academia. Since 2008 he has held a Research Associate Professor faculty appointment at Case Western Reserve University in the Department of Materials Science of Engineering and since 2005 has held an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Akron.

ABSTRACT

Transformative breakthroughs most of the time do not originate from the investigations of materials in the equilibrium state but in contrary at the margins of stability, in a regime at the limit or outside of the textbook knowledge within the discipline. In this context, this presentation will embrace materials and processing science approaches that are far from the thermodynamic equilibrium domain; i.e., directionally solidified eutectic structures, highly doped piezoelectric and thermoelectric materials, and other oxide materials with cage structures for electron emission. The intent is to elucidate the complex interplay between phase transitions for electronic/magnetic phase separation and untangle the interdependence between structural and electronic effects. I will also discuss what I consider to be promising research concentration areas within ceramics research for the aerospace materials for extreme environments portfolio of Air Force Office of Scientific (AFOSR), including the focused development of a ceramics processing science laboratory for ceramic matrix composites, the development of materials for use in the hypersonic regime.

Ismaila Dabo

Functional Materials by Design
Virtual Experiments from Atoms to Systems

Ismaila Dabo
Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Ismaila Dabo received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique (France) in 2002 and 2004. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2008. His doctoral research under the supervision of Dr. Marzari was dedicated to predicting the electrical response of quantum systems embedded in electrochemical environments and to studying chemical poisoning in low-temperature fuel cells. After graduation, Ismaila Dabo became a postdoctoral researcher and then a permanent researcher at Ecole des Ponts, University of Paris-Est (France). He joined the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State in 2013.

ABSTRACT

Progress in synthetic chemistry and layer-by-layer assembly has opened up the possibility to design materials that respond in a prescribed way to external constraints, making it feasible to achieve desired functionalities by precise control of their structure and composition. These functional materials have profoundly transformed the technological landscape, pushing back the frontiers of device performance and miniaturization with applications in, e.g., energy storage and conversion and optoelectronic nanotechnologies. Considering the central role played by functional materials in technological innovations, there is a critical need across the academia, the industry, and national laboratories to develop the fundamental knowledge, technical expertise, and infrastructural capabilities for supporting the discovery, development, and deployment of these materials. This breakout session will bring together researchers from the academia and industry to explain how recent advances in computational modeling are being leveraged to solve the inverse design problem of identifying novel materials with targeted functional responses. The remaining challenges facing the computational design of functional materials will also be discussed.

Panelists

  • Dr. Boris Kozinsky – Principal Scientist, Robert Bosch Research and Technology Center
  • Dr. Michael Makowski – Technical Platform Manager, PPG Industries
  • Dr. Adama Tandia – Research Associate, Corning Inc.
  • Prof. John Keith - assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, University of Pittsburgh
  • Dr. Michael Janik – associate professor of chemical engineering, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • Dr. Adri van Duin – professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
     
Esther Obonyo

Humanitarian Materials
Materials at the Human Scale

Esther Obonyo
Associate Professor of Engineering Design and Architectural Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Esther Obonyo's research interests cross multiple disciplines and include climate change and extreme weather events, sustainable structural materials, intelligent information and knowledge-based systems and entrepreneurship. She has won several NSF research grants for projects relating to sustainability, building systems, and building materials. Her work has been included in more than 100 journal papers and conference proceedings and presentations.

ABSTRACT

The innovative design and synthesis of transformational building materials can significantly advance efforts directed at catalyzing economic development at the regional scale through narrowing the global infrastructure gap. Building materials account for one-third of the total cost of construction. This session will focus on identifying specific ways through which the transformational use of humanitarian materials would result in transformative impact for the society through reducing construction costs. It will also enhance the optimal use of scarce materials in building systems, which over time function in an eco-efficient manner. There is a broad scope for addressing these needs through the novel use of building materials. These range from incremental improvements to traditional materials and existing characteristics to the synthesis of new material combinations with additional multifunctional characteristics to radical innovation in materials with entirely new functionalities. Clearly, this vast opportunity for innovation has attracted a lot of attention from researchers across the globe. This notwithstanding, the existing market-ready materials cannot be deployed easily in a low-income context at the scale that would result in transformational impact for economic development, environmentally sustainable, and social prosperity. Leaping successfully over what has become the “valley of death” for many of the non-conventional building materials requires a living lab approach, which allows the key decision makers to incorporate input and feedback from all the stakeholders along the value chain in a timely manner. The panel discussions in this session leverage a new initiative directed at revitalizing New Kensington, PA, into a vibrant community that supports economic growth and sustainable development through entrepreneurism and innovation. A consortium led by Penn State (New Kensington and University Park) and Arconic Technology Center is championing the initiative. The outcomes of this initiative can be adapted for deployment in other low-income communities such as other Rust Belt areas and across the globe in emerging economies such as Sub Saharan Africa.

Panelists

  • Chancellor Kevin Snider – The Pennsylvania State University  (New Kensington branch)
  • Prof. Clive Randall – Director, Materials Research Institute, professor of materials science and engineering  
  • Mr. Stephen B. Leonard - Senior Innovation Lead, Arconic Technology Center
  • Ms. Sara Snider - Volunteer Chair, New Kinsington Corridor of Innovation
Douglas E Wolfe

Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing
New Ways of Making (Additive Manufacturing)

Douglas E. Wolfe
Associate Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering
Department Head of Advanced Coatings at the Applied Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Coming soon...

ABSTRACT

Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have opened a design space that offer the potential to revolutionize how some components are manufactured in that new and novel components and systems can now be fabricated which previously could not due to the complexity of the manufacturing operations.  These manufacturing innovations are pushing performance capabilities to new heights in both industrial and defense sectors.   There are numerous benefits associated with additive manufacturing for polymers, metals, ceramics, and composites (PMC, MMC, CMC) ranging from commercial products to prototypes but there are still some challenges.  This break out session will discuss the various successes with regards to commercial and government implementation and interest as well as future challenges and research opportunities in powder design characteristics/specifications, printing components with the correct geometry and dimensions, part qualification, economic advantages, component size, resolution, etc. that will further develop this technology.  The Pennsylvania State University is home to the Center for Innovative Materials Processing through Direct Digital Deposition (CIMP-3D) which is a world-class resource for advancing and deploying additive manufacturing (AM) technology for critical applications. With a broad mission to advance and deploy AM technology of metallic and advanced material systems to industry, technical assistance to industry through selection, demonstration, validation training, education and dissemination of information. 

Panelists

  • Dr. Richard (Rich) Martukanitz – Co-Director CIMP-3D, Applied Research Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University  
  • Dr. Allison Beese – Materials Science and Engineering Department, The Pennsylvania State University  
  • Dr. William (Bill) Frazier – Chief Scientist, Air Vehicle Engineering, Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) 
  • Dr. David Furrer, Senior Fellow and Director of Manufacturing Technologies, Pratt and Whitney 
  • TBD – Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) 
Joshua Robinson

2D Materials
Building Materials One Layer at a Time

Joshua Robinson
Professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Dr. Robinson obtained his B.S. degree in Physics with minors in Chemistry and Mathematics from Towson University in 2001. He received his doctorate degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Materials Science and Engineering in 2005. From there, he joined the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. as an NRC Post Doctorate Fellow where he developed highly carbon nanotube devices for detection of explosives and nerve agents. In 2007, Dr. Robinson joined the Penn State Electro-Optics Center as a research associate in the Materials Division and most recently (2012) joined the Penn State Materials Science and Engineering Department as an Assistant Professor. In 2013, he co-founded the Center for Two-Dimensional and Layered Materials, and currently serves as Associate Director of the Center. In July 2015, he became Co-Director of the NSF I/UCRC Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC). He has authored or co-authored over 80 peer reviewed journal publications with a significant focus on low dimensional electronic materials. He has patents on chemical and neutron detection, and three pending patents related to 2D materials.  His recent awards include the NSF-CAREER (2015), The G. Montgomery and Marion Hall Mitchell Award for Innovative Teaching (2015), Student Choice MatSE Faculty of the Year (2014), Penn State Miller Faculty Fellowship (2013), Oakridge Young Faculty Award (2013), Corning Faculty Fellowship (2013), Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Award (2012), Alan Berman Research Publication Award (2007), and a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005).

ABSTRACT

Two-dimensional materials have been touted as next generation materials for electronics, photonics, coatings, and composites for more than a decade now. Key to the success of 2D materials will be our ability to conduct leading international and multidisciplinary research on 2D layered materials aiming at finding new phenomena and applications, that could be transformed into high impact products. Penn State has three major centers focused on 2D materials that offer a unique, vertically integrated opportunity to span fundamental science to application, with extremely valuable components including state-of-the-art infrastructure, and research environment. During this breakout session, we will discuss the spectrum of opportunities 2D materials may offer, and how these opportunities may be realized into tomorrow’s technology.

Panelists

  • Robert Lee – Corning 
  • Nicholas Glavin – AFRL 
  • Richard Clark – Morgan 
  • Mauricio Terrones – The Pennsylvania State University
  • Joan Redwing – The Pennsylvania State University
Melik Demirel

Advanced Fibers and Smart Textiles
Recreating an Industry by Adding Value and Sustainability

Melik Demirel
Pearce Development Professor
Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Professor Dr. Melik Demirel holds a tenured professor position in engineering at Penn State, and has a decade of experience in biosensors and nanomaterials. Prof. Demirel’s achievements have been recognized, in part, through his receipt of a Young Investigator Award, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, an Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter Junior Fellowship, the Pearce Development Professorship at Penn State, a Boeing Distinguished Speaker Award. Prof. Demirel received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University and B.S. and M.S. degrees from Bogazici University.

ABSTRACT

Recent advances in the nanotechnology of fibers and textiles combined with parallel improvements in biotechnology and synthetic biology, have demonstrated that more complex materials with properties engineered precisely to optimize performance, can be achieved. These technologies will transition to industrial applications in textile through guidance of the fundamental materials science and successful development of synthesis, integration, and evaluation of novel fibers. The themes that form the core discussion of this breakout session include: (i) Develop revolutionary techniques for synthesis of programmable fibers, (ii) Develop smart fibers using self-assembly of  layered materials and polymers, (iii) Develop novel chemical and molecular doping methods to tailor smart fibers for optical and electronic applications, and (iv) Develop novel characterization techniques across multiple length scales to correlate the process/property relationship of the fibers and textiles. This breakout session brings together a group of leading academics, industrial and government scientists to discuss future opportunities designing advanced and smart fibers for added value, and sustainable textiles applications. 

Panelists

  • Dr. Natalie Pomerantz – Natick US Army 
  • Dr. Andy Liu –  Fashion Institute of Technology 
  • Stephanie Rogers – APEX mills 
  • Felecia Davis – Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Jeff Catchmark – Agricultural and Biological Engineering Bionanotechnology, The Pennsylvania State University
Michael Janik

Redesigning Catalysts at the Nanoscale
Reaction Mechanism in Nanoscale Systems

Michael Janik
Professor of Chemical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Dr. Janik is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering and holds the John J. and Jean M. Brennan Clean Energy Chair. He began his appointment at Penn State in August, 2006. His research interests are in the use of computational methods to understand and design materials for alternative energy conversion systems. Current activities address a wide-range of energy technologies including fuel cells and batteries, hydrogen generation, desulfurization, zeolite catalysis, organic photovoltaics, and CO2 capture and utilization. Research methods emphasize atomistic simulation using quantum chemical methods and kinetic modeling. Janik is affiliated with the PSU Electrochemical Engine Center, Battery and Energy Storage Technology Center, Energy Institute, PSU-Dalian University of Technology Joint Center for Energy Research, and the PSU Institutes of Energy and the Environment. He also holds the title of HaiTian (Sea-Sky) Scholar from Dalian University of Technology.

ABSTRACT

Catalysis contributes to greater than 35% of the global GDP or approximately 3.5 trillion dollars in primary areas such as energy (fuel) production, chemicals (materials) production and foodstuffs.  Although the impact of catalysis on our everyday lives and the global economy is immense, the materials we call catalysts are far from perfect.  Perfection in a catalytic material is a pursuit at many length scales, but the nanoscale represents the ultimate level at which the interaction between catalysts and feedstocks that are subsequently converted into fuels and chemicals occur.  However, the nanoscale features of catalyst can’t be controlled or tuned as needed leading to inefficiencies in current catalytic materials.  To be able to reduce catalytic inefficiencies (i.e., slow production rates, selectivity to undesired products), control of the nanoscale catalyst architecture is imperative.  Control at this scale enables catalyst design.  Advances in experimental and computational methods and their synergy have enabled catalyst design to become reality.  This breakout session brings together a group of leading academics, industrial and government scientists to discuss future opportunities in catalyst design and the sectors most likely impacted by improved catalytic materials.  

Panelists

  • TBD – ExxonMobil
  • Robert M Rioux – Professor of Chemical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University (by Skype) 
  • TBD – DOW personnel   
  • TBD – Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Catalysis Science Program
  • Chunshan Song – Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University 
Jian Yang

Materials for Health
The Road from Biomaterial Science to Medical Device and Patient Care

Jian Yang
Professor of Biomedical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Dr. Yang is a professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University (PSU). Dr. Yang’s research contributes to the innovation of citrate-based biomaterials and their applications in tissue engineering, drug delivery, biosensing, and bioimaging. He was a recipient of NSF CAREER Award (2010) and Outstanding Young Faculty Award of College of Engineering at UTA (2011). In 2016, Dr. Yang was elected to College of Fellows of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Dr. Yang is also serving as an Associate Editor for "Frontiers in Biomaterials" and "Bioactive Materials".

ABSTRACT

Undoubtedly, advances in biomaterial science research will bring tremendous opportunities for the innovation of medical devices to address unmet clinical problems. This breakout session brings together a group of outstanding Penn State Biomaterial scientists and surgeons with entrepreneurial experience and leaders in medical device industry to lead the discussion on the opportunities and challenges in biomaterial innovation, technology translation, Startups, FDA regulations, and patient care.  

Panelists

  • Jim Adair – Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • Melik Demirel – Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Barry Fell – President, SIG Medical Corp. 
  • Dan Hayes – Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University 
  • Donald McCandless – CEO, ConidioTec LLC
  • James Malayter – Managing Partner, Acuitive Technologies, Inc.
  • Elias Rizk – Assistant Professor, Neurosurgeon, The Pennsylvania State University, Hershey 
Chris Giebink

Electronic and Photonics on the Horizon
What are We Building in the Lab Today that will Matter Tomorrow?

Chris Giebink
Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University

BIO

Dr. Giebink joined Penn State in 2011 following a two year postdoctoral fellowship at Argonne National Laboratory. His research interests highlight the combination of organic and inorganic materials in optoelectronic and photonic devices, with a particular emphasis on applications for solar energy conversion and storage. In addition, his group focuses on fundamental physical questions underlying the behavior of charge carriers, excited states and light-matter interaction in disordered and nanostructured semiconductors. He holds five patents and is a member of the Optical Society of America, SPIE, IEEE, the Materials Research Society, and the American Physical Society.

ABSTRACT

The world of electronics is changing. At small scales, we are nearing the end of Moore's law for computing and light is increasingly replacing copper for signal transmission at the board level today and chip level tomorrow. At large scales, new materials and fabrication approaches are driving a range of opportunities from flexible displays to photovoltaic windows, biosensors, and implantable devices with exciting potential for human health. Based on input from leaders in industry, government, and academia, this breakout session will explore some of the emerging photonic and electronic devices that will change the way we process and interact with information, use and conserve energy, and improve our health within the next decade.

Panelists

  • Julie Brown – CTO, Senior VP, Universal Display Corp.
  • Pete Trefonas – Dow
  • Mike Haney – Program Manager, ARPA-E
  • Jon-Paul Maria – NC State/The Pennsylvania State University
  • Tom Jackson – The Pennsylvania State University