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Materials Science Research Lecture

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Spalding Laboratory 106 (Hartley Memorial Seminar Room)
Materials Design: Alchemy vs. Artificial Intelligence
Sadas Shankar, Margaret and Will Hearst Visiting Lecturer, Computational Science and Engineering, Harvard,

Abstract: Materials have always been central to the global economy; today we are moving from traditional metallic, ceramics, and polymers to a wide variety of complex materials required for newer applications including microprocessors, smart phones, and composite airplanes. In all these and other applications, development and processing of new materials from concept to product is capital and time intensive.

As one of the earliest industrial proponents and adopters of designing materials and in prototyping faster, we will illustrate with examples in which combinations of methods were used to tailor materials with targeted electronic, optical, chemical, and mechanical properties of materials. Several methods were developed in conjunction with our collaborators as needed-a sort of industrial alchemy. In the second part, I will address the promised potential of Machine Learning methods, to be used in solving problems related to materials by. Although these techniques are powerful and are the basis of Artificial Intelligence-based thinking, our intent is to highlight caution in using these methods to predict complex system behavior. We will also illustrate both examples and counter examples in which a combination of methods including theoretical methods, heuristics, and hybrid methods tailored for materials.

Finally, building on our successful applications, I will also set out an expansive vision of materials design as a general framework for several industries (e.g. glass, aerospace) for accelerating the long route from material conceptualization to real applications. The challenges and the opportunities make this an exciting period in the nexus of science, engineering, and society.

About the Speaker: Sadasivan Shankar is an Associate in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and was the first Margaret and Will Hearst Visiting Lecturer in Harvard University. Dr. Shankar and his team have enabled several critical technology decisions in the semiconductor industrial applications of chemistry, materials, processing, packaging, manufacturing, and design rules for over nine generations of Moore's law including First advanced process control application in 300 mm wafer technology; introduction of flip-chip packaging, 100% Pb-elimination in microprocessors, design of new materials, processing methods, reactors etc.

Dr. Shankar is also a co-founder of Material Alchemy, a "last mile" translational and independent venture in materials design for accelerating materials discovery to adoption, with environmental sustainability as a key goal.

Dr. Shankar earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science from University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Blankenship by phone at 626-395-8124 or by email at [email protected].