Sustainability research at the Smeal College has reached new levels of activity. Our work responds to a substantial upsurge in interest in the business community; firms that previously treated sustainability as window-dressing now consider it essential to their operations and investors increasingly demand an “ESG” focus. However, the business community’s understanding of sustainability must be better informed by science and engineering disciplines to satisfy its stakeholders. This discussion highlights areas for collaboration and invites future conversations on making business more sustainable with science.
IEE focuses on enabling interdisciplinary research in climate and ecosystem change; urban systems; integrated energy systems; water and biogeochemical change, and health and the environment. I will discuss IEE's currently open seed grant call and share thoughts about how to engage more broadly on these topics. Seed grant proposals are due by 5pm on 11/19/21.
We are very excited to announce a call for projects to enable transformative research at the interface of chemistry and life sciences. This initiative is generously supported by the Benkovic Family Foundation and administered by Department of Chemistry in the Eberly College of Science and Penn State’s Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences. We will give a short overview of the call. Proposals must have potential for rapid and high impact at the broad intersection of chemistry and the life sciences. Deadline Nov. 1, 2021.
Faculty from several departments are in the middle stages of developing a research and education center focused on advancing catalysis science at Penn State. While our initial efforts will be in coordinating and enhancing research programs in heterogeneous and electro-catalysis (and the associated materials research needs), we are looking for strategic opportunities to collaborate with research faculty and staff across campus. We are particularly interested in identifying areas where catalysis science might provide unique insight into materials and surface chemistry questions.
Additive manufacturing and 3D printing technology has been around for several decades, but recent advances in materials and processing technology have renewed interest in design, modeling, analysis, and characterization of new materials, parts, and processes that leverage these new capabilities. From novel functionally graded materials to 3D printed ceramics and concrete houses to bioprinting replacement organs, the sky is the limit when it comes to additive materials and manufacturing.
The Convergence Center for Living Multifunctional Material Systems (LiMC2) is a strategic research and educational partnership between The Pennsylvania State University and University of Freiburg. LiMC2 envisions a new paradigm using biological rules and bioinspired approaches to develop materials for resilience, adaptability, and energy harvesting, with the goal of enhancing materials sustainability and broadening the educational mission around academic convergence and global engagement.
Please join us on May 18 for the 7th Annual PPG Pitch Competition Finals and listen to a speaker from PPG.
The relationship between material processing, structure, and properties is challenging to understand and even harder to predict because it is non-linear, high-dimensional, and results from physical phenomena at many scales. While traditional materials design has relied on human intuition to interpret patterns in known materials and infer new ones with similar (hopefully improved) properties, emerging data science tools offer new strategies to expedite materials design. My group is working to gather these strategies into a common framework which can be applied across many different materials science problems. In this talk, I will share some vignettes illustrating our initial progress and discuss the challenges ahead.
Plastic is an amazingly versatile material, whose ever increasing use combined with its durability has led to an ecological crisis. I will highlight some recent work on plastic pollution within freshwater and human consumables. Addressing these challenges requires interdisciplinary expertise and I’m interested in making new connections within Penn State.
With new technologies and innovations coming out each day in a transition to a sustainable economy, we need systems analysis tools to help prioritize research and development targets. Life cycle assessment (LCA) has been widely applied in a variety of industries to quantify the environmental impacts of a product, process, or service across the entire supply chain. In this talk, I will share how we link engineering metrics with sustainability analyses including LCA (for environmental impacts) and techno-economic analysis (for economic viability) under uncertainty, and I invite you to consider how the application of LCA can elucidate sustainability implications of technological innovations and design decisions in your research.
Gaseous signaling molecules such as nitric oxide (NO), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) have recently attracted growing attention due to their regulatory functions in the cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems. My group is developing polymer-based delivery systems for these gas molecules to explore the therapeutic potential. In this talk, I will discuss how polymeric material design is being used to delivery of these gaseous molecules and impact biological functions in cardiomyocytes and vascular endothelial cells.
Ever advanced analytical capabilities are required for the Materials Characterization Laboratory to support the research from >45 PSU departments each year. In this talk we will briefly introduce a few capabilities on the horizon for the MCL: nanoscale infrared spectroscopy - Bruker nanoIR, TEM environmental gas cell- Protochips Atmosphere, and novel surface analysis capabilities.
New approaches are required to understand the spatial heterogeneity within a tumor microenvironment (TME) if we are to elucidate information regarding the reprogramming mechanisms leading to immunosuppression and tumor progression. I will briefly discuss a new ToF-SIMS methodology for comprehensive lipidomic and metabolomic profiling of different types of individual cells on frozen-hydrated tissue sections. This new approach makes it is possible to integrate the spatial multi-omics profiling (metabolites, lipids and proteins) in the same tissue at single cell level, leading to new insights into the role of lipid reprogramming and metabolic response in normal regulation or pathogenic discoordination of cell-cell interactions in a variety of tissue microenvironments.
Water is imperative for health, nutrition, and overall well-being. Yet, 884 million people worldwide lack basic access to improved drinking water sources. While progress has been made on this front, this talk will address the many ways water insecurity manifests and is experienced across the world and in the US. Further it will describe how water insecurity becomes embodied and affects a range of human health outcomes, beyond just water-borne illnesses.
World population growth and fast urbanization are such that we will need to build over the next twenty years as many houses as we have built in the past two thousand years. The talk will describe how innovative design and construction technologies developed to overcome this situation on Earth were used to design a habitat to support the human exploration of Mars. It will also show how the lessons learned from this Martian effort may impact the way we design and make buildings on Earth.
Cellular medicine is growing rapidly. However, there are many technical challenges related to cell manufacturing, delivery, and tracking. In this talk, I will show how my lab uses simple engineering and biomaterials to improve cell culture efficiency. I will also introduce the newly established Sartoris Cell Culture Facility at Huck Institute and call for collaborations from engineers, biologists, and materials scientists to address challenges in cell manufacturing.
Understanding how metallic alloys are processed and perform is one of the oldest scientific pursuits, and over the past two thousand years, a tremendous amount of empirical knowledge has been developed regarding how we can make and use these materials. Surprisingly, this has all been achieved without the ability to `watch’ how these materials evolve as they are being processed and used in-service. However, a new generation of X-ray techniques at synchrotrons (particle accelerators) are allowing us to look inside these materials in-situ, providing new insights into how to better use existing alloys and design new materials.
Current sand shortages symbolize the onset of numerous global challenges within our immediate future - our world has started to run out of resources. In this talk, I aim to inspire you to ponder how our materials, buildings, and infrastructure can take the giant leap to become ‘resource independent.’ Framed with the research challenges of building on Mars, I invite you to consider how the small steps we undertake in extraterrestrial construction can lead to giant leaps to decarbonize our built environment on Earth.
Penn State’s Center for Energy Law and Policy supports interdisciplinary teams from across Penn State that want to use their joint scientific expertise in the service of complex problems in energy, regulation and society. The process of working across many domains is complicated, and how researchers can get their work noticed within the policy system is sometimes daunting - but the potential to have real impact is tremendous. Come learn about how you can work with the Center for Energy Law and Policy, and how we harness the depth of expertise from our university to improve real-world decisions.