The Institute for Materials Research (IMR) welcomed one of its largest gatherings of professors, researchers and visitors to The Ohio State University for its 10th-annual OSU Materials Week.
Each spring, students and researchers from within and outside academia around the world share their work at the IMR event. The goal is to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and celebrate developments in materials-allied research.
IMR Executive Director Steven Ringel welcomed several hundred visitors during the May 8 reception at the Blackwell Inn and Conference Center, kicking off four days of activities.
“OSU Materials Week is a very special event, as it is both a technical conference in which researchers share the latest in innovative materials-allied research, and a celebration of Ohio State’s material community and all of its accomplishments,” Ringel said.
To help integrate new faculty into the materials-allied community, the event featured two days of “cross-cutting sessions” showcasing eight of the newest Materials and Manufacturing faculty members and their work. Each joined the Ohio State this academic year.
“With so much breadth and depth within our campus, building a community from our local strengths and interest, and finding a way to enable easy collaboration were the primary reasons IMR started Materials Week from the outset,” Ringel said.
Three days of “focus sessions” allowed other faculty at Ohio State and researchers outside the university to share their work as well. During these sessions, visitors roam between talks featuring faculty from Ohio State’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, or Chemistry and Biochemistry to Cornell University, the University of Glasgow, the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center or the Honda Research Institute, to name a few.
Ohio State student researchers had a chance to shine during two popular competitions: the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) and Poster Sessions. 3MT challenged five Ohio State students to effectively communicate a distilled, compelling thesis and its significance to an audience outside their specific scholarly focus in three minutes or less.
Nearly one hundred Ohio State undergraduate and graduate students shared their work and received feedback from professors and students of varying disciplines during the Poster Sessions, held over two days.
“What is really clear is that we are doing a lot of things here at Ohio State that will make a difference. And we’ve got great students going through,” said IMR Associate Director Glenn Daehn, who joined 50 volunteer faculty and postdoc judges. “It’s been a privilege and a joy to judge these kids.”
During the awards ceremony, Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce McPheron said IMR helps set an example at Ohio State for working across boundaries in the field of materials research.
“Congratulations on this long trajectory — 10 years of this event but many, many years of commitment to this way of thinking about how we turn our intellectual expertise into actual solutions for society. We are not only informing the best possible journals and our colleagues; we are actually solving problems that matter to people around the world.”
This year’s keynote address was given by renowned professor John A. Rogers, a Northwestern University professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Neurological Surgery. Rogers addressed his research of materials for bioresorbable electronics and application examples, including wireless sensors of intracranial temperature, pressure and electrophysiology designed for use in treatment of traumatic brain injury and electrical stimulators for accelerated neuroregeneration.
Liang-Shih Fan, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, took home two IMR Innovation Awards: Most Patents Filed and Most Invention Disclosures Filed. Robert J. Lee, professor of pharmaceutics in the College of Pharmacy, also won Most Invention Disclosures Filed. The IMR Distinguished Service Award was given to IMR Executive Assistant Jennifer Donovan in recognition of her sustained outstanding performance in support of the institute’s vision and university’s core values.
The 2018 OSU Materials Week was supported by Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP), a 50-50 joint venture between ENGIE and Axium Infrastructure; the Center for Emergent Materials, an NSF Materials Research Science and Emerging Center; and the Office of Energy and Environment.
OSEP is set to offer direct academic collaboration support in a myriad of specific areas, including student financial aid and internships, new faculty positions and the creation of an innovation center on campus. OSEP and IMR collaborated during a February INNOVATE-O-thon event, in which nearly 40 undergraduate students from different disciplinary backgrounds worked together to generate strategies aimed to inspire classmates to alter energy consumption habits and, in turn, improve energy efficiency at the Columbus campus.
The Institute for Materials Research is an interdisciplinary institute that works across colleges and departments at The Ohio State University to facilitate, promote and coordinate research and infrastructure related to the science and engineering of materials.
Story by Mike Huson, IMR Public Relations Coordinator