Thank you!

While the 2024 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit came to conclusion with the end of The Virtual Experience on May 9th, Meeting content will be available online to registered participants through June 15, 2024.

Our congratulations go to the 2024 MRS Spring Meeting Chairs David Cahill of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Mmantsae Diale of the University of Pretoria, Kaining Ding of Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Martin Kaltenbrunner of Johannes Kepler Universität, and Takao Mori of the National Institute for Materials Science for putting together an excellent technical program along with various special events. MRS would also like to thank all the Symposium Organizers and Session Chairs for their part in the success of this Meeting. A thank you goes to the Exhibitors, Symposium Support, and to the sponsors of the Meeting and of the special events and activities.

Contributors to news on the 2024 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit include Meeting Scene reporters Sophia Chen, Matthew Hauwiller, Kazi Zihan Hossain, Molly McDonough, Rahul Rao, and Swati Suman; bloggers Jiachen Feng, Edith Green, and Matt Nakamura; and graphic artist Stephanie Gabborin; with newsletter production by Jason Zimmerman.

Thank you for subscribing to the MRS Meeting Scene newsletters. We hope you enjoyed reading them and continue your subscription as we launch into the 2024 MRS Fall Meeting & Exhibit. The conversation already started at #F24MRS! We welcome your comments and feedback.

2024 MRS Spring Meeting Best Poster Awards

Selected by the Meeting Chairs on the basis of the poster’s technical content, appearance, graphic excellence and presentation quality (not necessarily equally weighted).


Tuesday_Poster Winners_800 wide

Tuesday  poster winners: Di Zhang, Los Alamos National Laboratory (EL06.03.09), Tomiko M Suzuki, Toyota Central R&D Labs., Inc. (EN09.04.08), Ana Paula Kitos Vasconcelos, University of Washington (MF03.04.02), Jianan Shen, Purdue University (MT03.03.05), and Hyunjin Lee, Seoul National University, Institute for Basic Science (SB08.05.06). 



Wednesday Poster Winners_800 wide

Wednesday poster winners: Caitlin V McCowan, Sandia National Laboratories (EL01.06.17), Hyeonjeong Sun, Hanyang University (EL04.08.08), Grace Rome, Colorado School of Mines, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (EN05.10.03), Zhiliang Pan, Vanderbilt University (EN07.10.11), Prajwal Laxmeesha, Drexel University (QT02.07.06), and Yongyi Zhao, Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (SB11.07.07).



Thurs_Poster Winners_800 wide

Thursday  poster winners: Jaeyeong Ha, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) (EL02.08.11), Jingxuan Wang, National University of Singapore (EN07.15.02), Menghang (David) Wang, Harvard University (MT01.09.14), and Zhi Zhang, Peking University (SB04.11.32).




















Keynote: Enhancing Materials Science through Research Collaborations between African and Non-African Institutions

Prof-MaazaMalik Maaza, University of South Africa 

Nanosciences & Nanotechnologies Towards SDGs & Science with Social Impact 

Written by Judy Meiksin and Matthew Hauwiller

The Enhancing Materials Science through Research Collaborations between African and Non-African Institutions session held at the 2024 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit in Seattle continued during the Virtual experience on May 8, with keynote speaker Malik Maaza of the University of South Africa. “Materials science is pivotal within the African landscape,” he said.

Maaza shared several research projects that integrated African indigenous knowledge with nanomaterials characterization and synthesis to innovate new solutions in medicine, sustainability, and optical materials, all tied to addressing some of the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). In assembling the research teams, Maaza intentionally drew members, including graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, from countries throughout Africa and the global south while prioritizing having at least 50% women.

With the world population expected to reach ~2.5 billion in urban areas by 2050, with ~90% of this increase in Asia and Africa, green air-conditioning rises as one of the major technologies that needs to be achieved. According to Maaza, vanadium-based thermochromic nanocoatings are ideal for smart window applications regulating solar heat radiation with zero energy-input. Furthering the studies of vanadium, Maaza and colleagues worked with multilayered V2O5/V/V2O5 stacks deposited onto borosilicate glass substrates. The researchers varied the intermediate V layer within the range of 3–12 nm, which is within the coalescence threshold of vanadium. By controlling the nanoscale thickness of the intermediate V layer, Maaza’s group achieved net control and tunability of the optical transmission modulation in the NIR-IR region.

Maaza talked about his work with nanofluids as a new generation of superior coolants in waste heat recovery as well as for drug delivery. He reported his findings based on his study of Ag-H2O and Ag-C2H6O2 nanofluids; stable Ag-decorated 2D graphene nanocomposites; and gold nanoparticles-decorated graphene nanosheets.

“Zero hunger” is listed as the second SDG. Along with issues of transportation, Maaza said, “This shortage of food [especially] in Africa is related to the fertilizer market.” African countries rely on the import of fertilizer, which—particularly during times of war outside of Africa—can push food prices inexorably high. By hosting research fellows from various countries in Africa, Maaza was able to assemble a research team to study nanoparticles for developing a nanofertilizer prototype.

In the area of medicine, Maaza described research for protection against skin cancer and bacterial infection. His group relied on indigenous knowledge from communities in certain regions in southern Africa that was absent of these health problems. Maaza also covered research for water decontamination—referring to the problem of water scarcity as number six in the SDGs.

Maaza emphasized throughout his talk the value of international and intercontinental collaborations in the development of the materials research field in African countries toward global community benefits.

View Science Art Winners — 2024 MRS Spring Meeting

Congratulations to this year's winners! 

Visualization methods provide an important tool in materials science for the analysis and presentation of scientific work. Images can often convey information in a way that tables of data or equations cannot match. Occasionally, scientific images transcend their role as a medium for transmitting information and contain the aesthetic qualities that transform them into objects of beauty and art.

See this year's winning images here.


Symposium MT03: Machine Learning Methods, Data and Automation for Sustainable Electronics

Nathaniel Park, IBM Research

Using Domain Specific Language to Enable Artificial Intelligence for Polymer and Catalyst Design

Written by Kazi Zihan Hossain

Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping different domains, including materials science and polymer chemistry. However, new polymer development is being obstructed due to a lack of well-developed open-source data. Additional efforts are often required to represent the existing experimental data with available models properly. To overcome the issue, Nathaniel Park and colleagues from IBM research have developed and presented a domain-specific language, Chemical Markdown Language (CMDL), specifically for polymers. CMDL allows researchers to use simple syntax to document complex polymeric structures and experimental results through the IBM Materials Notebook. They demonstrated the capability of CMDL by creating new polymers and catalysts through generative AI and validating them through experimentation. The research team is also improving the CMDL to integrate more features to allow seamless integration of AI in materials development.