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Young Investigator Forum: Design and Application of Next-Generation Multifunctional Materials ― Addressing the New Millennium’s Societal Challenges



Sustainability has become an integral component of research for the 21st century. The key challenges that we are facing include rapid urbanization and growing and aging population, large amount of waste disposed to landfill annually, global impoverishing of natural resources and environment (fossil fuels, minerals, water and energy scarcity, etc.), declining infrastructure, emergency to control carbon dioxide emissions, and climate change. For instance, the development of new bioprobes for reliable detection of diseases at early stage, molecular imaging, targeting and therapy resulting in a better understanding of biological phenomena and ultimately to novel theranostic approaches are crucial for a healthy society, while the development of more efficient energy conversion technologies, fuel cells, and batteries is an essential step facing the increasing demand for (greener and more sustainable) energy supply. Consequently, recent research trends globally cover the search for alternative and reusable energy sources, fast and reliable medical theranostic methods, and new functional materials―in combination with the development of innovative (“greener,” more efficient) synthesis approaches―that exhibit unique properties allowing for their implementation in energy-, health-, and environment-related applications. Keeping this in mind, the focus of this symposium will lay on recent societal challenges in the new millennium, including, but not limited to, energy, health and environmental aspects. In addition, novel materials design paradigms are needed for fabricating multifunctional materials for a broad variety of applications, which can bring game-changing solutions to some of the problems facing us. Herein, the symposium aims to bring together young researchers and scientists from around the globe to discuss new approaches in materials design, synthesis, characterization, and implementation in new technologies, thus to provide a platform for intensive exchange of ideas, knowledge, and network building.


Proposed Session Topics

  • Alternative synthesis approaches for advanced functional materials―quantum dots, nanoparticles, thin Films, and 1-D structures
  • Innovative manufacturing technologies: Green manufacturing, additive manufacturing, etc.
  • New materials for environment applications: Sustainable materials, CO2 capture and storage, membranes and filters for air treatment
  • New materials in energy: Solar cells, fuel cells, batteries, water splitting, and hydrogen generation
  • New materials in biomedicine and health applications
  • Inorganic nanomaterials, carbon-based structures, polymers, or composites
  • Porous, catalytic materials, and multifunctional materials
  • Sensing materials: Innovative sensors for gas, pollutants, drugs, etc.
  • Structural ceramics and nanotechnology
  • Computing, simulation, and theoretical approaches toward new functional materials
  • Technology development and entrepreneurship



Surojit Gupta, University of North Dakota, surojit.gupta@engr.und.edu

Eva Hemmer, University of Ottawa, Canada, ehemmer@uottawa.ca

Valerie Wiesner, NASA Glenn Research Center, valerie.l.wiesner@nasa.gov

Jun-ichi Tatami, Yokohama National University, Japan

G. Costa, NASA Glenn Research Center

Aiguo Zhou, Henan Polytechnic University, China

Dongsheng Wen, University of Leeds, U.K.

Peter R. Wich, Germany

T. Fisher, University of Cologne, Germany




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