TMS to Lead Project to Develop Materials for Improved Energy Efficiency and Reduced Carbon Emissions

The Minerals Metals & Materials Society (TMS) has been commissioned by the Department of Energy (DOE) Industrial Technologies Program (ITP) to lead a project consisting of a two-phased study into areas where new materials and processing breakthroughs can lead to transformational advances in energy efficiency, energy security, and reductions in carbon emissions.

The studies will support DOE in launching two new university-led Manufacturing Energy Systems Centers intended to accelerate both knowledge development and dissemination in distinct manufacturing areas with critical technical needs. The ITP has already requested $10 million in its Fiscal Year 2011 budget for these centers as part of its work to help develop innovative technologies for a clean energy economy.

TMS, a professional society of materials scientists and engineers that is headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, will conduct the project throughout 2010. This project grew from the ASM/TMS Energy Materials Initiative—a collaborative effort by two of the world’s leading materials societies—to provide information resources and connections both within and outside of the materials community to focus and accelerate the pace of development of new energy technologies.

The two phases of the project will hone the focus of the studies to maximize their potential impact.

First, an “Energy Materials Blue Ribbon Panel,” consisting of thought leaders in the materials science and engineering field, will convene in February to identify significant high-impact materials and processing combinations most necessary for an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy. This panel will explore potentially untapped areas of materials and manufacturing science where breakthrough opportunities exist.

Twenty-one panelists representing academia, industry, and government have agreed to participate and will meet on February 18 in Seattle, Washington.

The panel’s recommendations will be captured in a vision document that will be widely disseminated. Dissemination events are planned in Washington, D.C., as well as to the materials community through JOM, the TMS member journal, and other society channels.

In the second phase TMS will convene Technical Working Groups to identify and prioritize critical research and development needed to address the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel. A final report of the highest impact research and development areas identified by the Technical Working Groups will be created and communicated throughout the materials science and engineering community. Society meetings as well as other communication channels will be the primary venues for sharing these results.

The energy project is an excellent fit for TMS, whose members have been focusing in recent years on the potential for materials science and engineering to provide solutions to societal challenges.

“TMS is the home of our professional community, so it is natural for TMS to be the catalyst and provide the vehicle for us to come together to deliberate these energy-related topics and to come up with implementable recommendations,” said Diran Apelian, chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel and Past President of TMS.

The contract was awarded in February, with the final report to be published in December.

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