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News & Press: SAMPE News

SAMPE Charlotte to Feature Panel on Federal Government Investment in Advanced Materials

Monday, May 6, 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Janie Drake
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The annual SAMPE Conference & Exhibition being held this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, May 20-23, 2019 features a variety of programs that inform and educate materials and processes professionals. A series of panels corrals thought leaders and diverse subject-matter experts to discuss the current and future state of advanced materials. “Policy to Practice: Federal Government Investment in Advanced Materials Research and Development” is one of the highlights. Panelists will discuss the critical role advanced materials play in the U.S. economy and national defense. The diverse panel will offer insights into the process by which policies supporting advanced materials research and development are created and associated legislation enacted. The panel session will be held on Wednesday, May 22 from 9:00AM -11:00AM.

The panel will highlight the process of federal government’s investment and support for advanced materials research and development and how this support is manifested in various federal agency’s budgets and plans. For example, every year the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issues a memorandum to the heads of federal agencies that outlines the Administration’s Research and Development Budget Priorities. The FY20 Memorandum (M-18-22) states that “Agencies should also invest in the development of advanced materials and the associated processing technologies, including high performance materials, critical materials, and additive manufacturing.” Now what? Which federal agencies will honor this recommendation? How will an agency develop an associated plan and execute upon it?

Several years ago, lightweight and high-strength composite materials were deemed a keycrosscutting technology in U.S. clean energy manufacturing, with the potential to reinvent an energy efficient transportation sector, enable efficient power generation, and increase renewable power production. To accelerate the technological advances and research in manufacturing needed to reach cost and performance targets, President Obama announced the Institute for Advanced Composite Materials Innovation (IACMI) which was established via funding and oversight from the Department of Energy (DoE).

The panel will share their knowledge and insights into the somewhat opaque process of “policy to practice”. The panel session will be held on Wednesday, May 22 from 9:00AM -11:00AM.

Mick Maher will moderate the discussion. Maher has more than 30 years of experience in advanced materials and manufacturing experience with DARPA. His specialties include tailorable feedstock and forming, materials development for platforms, and open manufacturing programs.  The panelists include:

  • Dr. Julie Christodoulou is the Director of the Naval Materials Division, Sea Warfare and Weapons Department Office of Naval Research. In this capacity, she oversees “research programs in materials and processing capabilities for the superiority, reliability, affordability, and environmental quality of naval platforms and systems.” Furthermore, she acts as the science and technology executive of the Future Naval Capabilities portfolio, which researches “cross-cutting technologies to lower acquisition, operations, and maintenance costs while addressing warfighter capability gaps.” Together, these programs and portfolio have an annual budget of nearly $150 million. She also contributes to the Advance Manufacturing Partnership’s focus on “metals for reduced system weight.” 
  • Dr. Arun Seraphin is a Professional Staff Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. His specialties include the DoD’s science and technology programs, technology transition issues, defense laboratories, small business innovation research (SBIR) programs, and test and evaluation programs. As the deputy director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) National Security and International Affairs division, he ideated and implemented initiatives and policies related to defense manufacturing and industrial base as well as advancing innovation and collaboration through government research and engineering organizations. 
  • Dr. James Warren has served as the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science for nearly 20 years. During the past several years his primary focus has been the Federal Materials Genome Initiative, which he describes as “a multi-agency initiative designed to create a new era of policy, resources, and infrastructure that support U.S. institutions in the effort to discover, manufacture, and deploy advanced materials twice as fast, at a fraction of the cost.” He has published extensively in the fields of solidification, grain structures, pattern formation, and — more recently — the ways in which artificial intelligence and machine learning can contribute to materials research.
  • Dr. Steve McKnight, Vice President of Virginia Tech’s National Capitol Region, develops strategic initiatives for the university, aligns the school’s seven regional sites, and assists with the development of research, instruction, and outreach opportunities. As a scientist and researcher, his body of work “focuses on advanced polymer composite materials and polymer adhesion science, including innovative composites manufacturing techniques.” His experiences include roles at the National Science Foundation and Army Research Laboratory, where he led a team in the Polymers Research Branch before serving as chief of the Materials Division.

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