IMR Members of Technical Staff Welcome Industry Colleagues

IMR Members of Technical Staff recently welcomed colleagues from Worthington Industries to three of Ohio State’s core materials research facilities.  During a recent busy afternoon,  Mark Brenner (at the Semiconductor Epitaxy and Analysis Laboratory – SEAL), Henk Colijn (at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis – CEMAS) and Dr. John Carlin and other Nanotech West Laboratory staff provided tours of their facilities and spoke with colleagues from Worthington Industries to assist their efforts to understand end user markets.
Brenner SEAL Worthington Ind  Colijn CEMAS Worthington Ind 2


In addition to managing labs, conducting research and collaborating with other scientists, our Members of Technical Staff often conduct custom facility tours for industry colleagues, visiting researchers, and Ohio State classes.

Brenner SEAL Worthington Ind 2  Colijn CEMAS Worthington Ind 1

IMR Members of Technical Staff (MTS) are highly skilled technical experts, research engineers and scientists assigned to select research facilities on OSU’s Columbus campus as part of our research enhancement efforts.

Their primary function is to enable world-class research within our core, multi-user facilities.  Their responsibilities include maintaining facilities at peak operating conditions, coordinating between materials user facilities across campus, enabling facility access, providing training and generally being available to assist and, in certain cases, lead research programs.

IMR Members of Technical Staff are a major part of the fabric that enables cross-disciplinary research,  enabling access to researchers not only from Ohio State but also from outside the university.  In addition to dealing with all aspects of maintaining complex instrumentation, including scheduling, data management and financial responsibilities, MTS employees are encouraged to develop research programs and contracts depending upon their own level of expertise and education.


Nanotech West Achieves Green Buckeye Certification

Nanotech West Laboratory recently became the first user facility to achieve Green Buckeye Certification through a process initiated by Aimee Price, Senior Research Associate. Price is a member of the University Energy Committee, a group with representation from throughout campus that reviews and provides recommendations for best practices of campus facility management related to energy. It is through this committee that she first learned of the Green Buckeye Certification efforts on campus, modeled after similar national programs. The intent of the Green Buckeye Certification (GBC) program is to inform and encourage implementation of best practices to improve the sustainability performance of campus offices and laboratories.

Steffen Price Green Buckeye

Paul Steffen and Aimee Price with Nanotech West Lab’s Green Buckeye certificate


As part of the Green Buckeye Certification process, Price and Nanotech West Lab Manager Paul Steffen used the initial application checklist as a tool to evaluate the energy and sustainability of Nanotech West’s facilities and activities. They were able to quickly identify a few areas of improvement where quick changes could be implemented, such as providing recycling bins in the lab’s sink areas so empty bottles of acids that were previously thrown in the trash could be recycled.


After implementing some improvements and completing the detailed questionnaire, Price and Steffen met with Green Buckeye Certification representatives and toured the labs with them before being awarded the certification. The certification process helped lab staff consider their daily practices and energy impacts. “Our staff now think about minimizing the use of items and wasting fewer materials,” explained Price. The next challenge is to extend that sustainable thinking to the lab’s many users, encouraging them to make some changes to their practices in the lab, such as using less solvents, which would reduce waste and expenses.


Some simple yet impactful changes Nanotech West Labs made as part of the Green Buckeye Certification process:

  • Reduced number of freezers from two to one
  • Added recycling containers to labs
  • Requested electronic versions of catalogs and journals
  • Asking vendors if they accept returned empty packaging
  • Communicating with users through meetings, signs, and stickers about the importance of sustainability in the lab and using less solvents and other materials
  • Returning some packing materials to local shipping companies for re-use


This certification process was not Price’s first sustainability effort with Ohio State. Price’s family farm is a key player in the Zero Waste initiative at Ohio Stadium to achieve zero waste by 2025 by diverting 90% of waste away from landfills. After each home game, Price Farms Organics collects compostable materials from the stadium’s kitchens, food vendors, and suites composts it on their Delaware farm, and about two years later returns the “Stadium Scarlet” compost to campus for use in the planters around Ohio Stadium.


Nanotech West is the only user facility certified at this time and currently is one of only nine Green Buckeye Certified Laboratories on campus – the other being six College of Public Health labs in Cunz Hall, the Lerch Lab in the Biomedical Research Tower, and the Sadee Lab in Graves Hall. With over 3,000 laboratories at The Ohio State University, there is a great opportunity for progress to be made in increasing sustainability efforts in campus research environments.


“This is a beginning,” says Price. “It’s an ongoing process, and we have identified areas of opportunity and we’ll continue to work our way through that list of opportunities.” Price said Nanotech West staff continue to work with the Green Buckeye team to identify ways to adapt the current lab questionnaire, making it more universal to better evaluate a broader range of labs and their equipment and uses.

For more information on the Green Buckeye Certification process for campus offices and laboratories, visit:




Dr. Jay Sayre Joins IMR and M&MS in New Leadership Role

Sayre photo

Jay Sayre to Join The Ohio State University as Assistant Vice President for Materials and Manufacturing Sustainability and Director of Innovation, Institute for Materials Research




We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Jay Sayre to the newly created positions of Assistant Vice President for Materials and Manufacturing Sustainability and Director of Innovation, Institute for Materials Research, effective February 15, 2016.

Dr. Sayre joins us from Battelle Memorial Institute, the world’s largest independent research and development organization, where he was Director of Advanced Materials and Director of Internal Research and Development (IR&D) for Energy, Health and Environment. As the Director of Advanced Materials, he was responsible for the management of Battelle’s entire materials workforce in all disciplines related to advanced materials. He also established the Office of the Director of IR&D for Energy, Health and Environment at Battelle, providing technical counsel and thought leadership on technical assessments, intellectual property strategies and strategic relationships with universities.

The newly created position of Assistant Vice President for Materials and Manufacturing Sustainability and Director of Innovation, Institute for Materials Research will provide vision, leadership and strategy for the overall development, coordination and advancement of the Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability (M&MS) Discovery Theme program in collaboration with M&MS faculty leader and Institute for Materials Research (IMR) Executive Director, Prof. Steven A. Ringel, and in conjunction with Discovery Themes leadership. In this leadership role, Dr. Sayre will be actively engaged in M&MS program direction and implementation, faculty cohort development, and the development and implementation of internal and external engagement strategies for a vibrant innovation ecosystem between M&MS faculty, external partners, and across the University.

“I am truly thrilled to have Jay Sayre on board,” says Prof. Ringel. “His proven experience in creating and leading major programs translating basic research in functional and composite materials, with applications in energy and sustainability, into real products by working closely industry, will have immediate impact on advancing the innovation culture we are working to instill with the M&MS program. This includes the pivotal leadership role he will play to enhance the mission and growing success of the Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence, a key College of Engineering center that is now also formally affiliated with the M&MS program and IMR.”

Dr. Sayre holds a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering Science from Virginia Tech, as well as a Master of Science in Polymer Engineering from the University of Tennessee. His interdisciplinary research interests are in translating science and technology into products within the fields of applied mechanics and materials engineering. Specifically, his focus is on fuel cells, polymer composites, failure analysis, dynamic mechanical analysis, multifunctional materials, and energy absorbing materials. His work on polymer composites is focused on multifunctional composites (energy generation and survivability), electrochemical composites (fuel cells and electroactive polymer actuators), and survivability (advanced threat armor composites). His work to date has resulted in numerous invention reports, patents, and patent applications. He was recognized for his achievements by receiving the Inventor of the Year Award, which is the highest recognition of technical achievement given at Battelle.



Learn more:

Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme focus area at

Institute for Materials Research

OSU-IMR-2C-HorizK-PANTONE Materials_Manufacturing_Sustainability_emailheader


IMR Annual Report Now Online

The Ohio State University Institute for Materials Research Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report is now available online. This report – covering Ohio State’s fiscal year period of July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 – features highlights of the OSU materials community and IMR’s activities over the last year.

From the Discovery Themes Initiative to advanced manufacturing, core materials facilities to the 2015 Materials Week conference, take a look inside for the best of our materials community and the many exciting advancements we are taking as we rise to eminence.

IMR FY15 report cover web small

For additional copies of this report, questions about its content, or to provide content for future reports, contact Layla Manganaro, IMR Program Manager, at or 614-247-4685.



New IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics

Steven Ringel, IMR Director and professor and Neal A. Smith Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering, is co-founder of a new scholarly journal, the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics.

The journal was created in response to the rapid expansion of research in the science, engineering and technology of solar cells materials, devices and systems. The peer-reviewed, archival publication will report original and significant research results that advance the field of photovoltaics (PV) and are of primary interest to the photovoltaic specialist. Topics will include fundamentals and new concepts, PV systems, thin-film solar cells, concentrator solar cells, organic PV, and advances in PV characterization. The journal will publish two issues in 2011 and will publish monthly issues thereafter.

Dr. Ringel was the chair the IEEE Photovoltaics Technical Committee, whose primary initiative was to found this new journal, and he now serves as editor of the journal’s “Fundamentals and New Concepts” section. His leadership role in this journal further strengthens the notoriety of OSU photovoltaic (PV) researchers and their impact in the PV field. From the OSU node of the Wright Center for Photovoltic Innovation and Commercialization (PVIC) to a large group of collaborative faculty members performing research in virtually all areas of photovoltaics technology and basic science, OSU is making a major impact in PV innovation.

Related Links

The full ECE department press release can be found online at: 

For more information on the Journal of Photovoltics, visit:

IMR’s 2-page handout on the Ohio State Advanced Photovoltaics Group can be found online at: