Materials science is central to the development of our modern technological society. New materials are required for better performance of existing products, processes and systems. The development of novel materials is also paving the way for completely new technologies and solutions. Scientists at Chalmers are for instance actively engaged in materials for energy production and storage, medical and pharmaceutical technology, mechanical constructions, functional foods, vehicles and transport systems. These areas are keys to achieving a sustainable society and meeting future challenges. Thus, the area of Materials Science is central in Chalmers’ overall strive to contribute to the development of a sustainable society.
Chalmers has a long tradition of outstanding research in materials science. It covers a broad perspective and includes all the important elements of advanced materials research: theory and modelling, synthesis, characterisation and evaluation. The research is a core activity at five departments (Applied Physics, Applied Mechanics, Chemical and Biological Engineering, Microtechnology and Nanoscience, and Materials and Manufacturing Technology), and involves researchers at several others. In total around 70 senior researchers are active in this field. There is also a strong collaboration with the Department of Biomaterials at the University of Gothenburg.
Together, we take on the grand challenges of society from a materials science perspective. Particularly, we have identified the following issues to tackle:
• More materials must be based on renewable feedstock.
• Construction materials must become lighter; lighter constructions save both energy and materials.
• New and improved ways for supply, transport, storage, and conversion of energy require innovative new materials.
• Functional materials, i.e. materials that utilize the native properties and functions of their own to achieve an intelligent action, will become more important.
• Regenerative medicine will put high demands on the materials involving both mechanical aspects and functionality.
Excellence Profiles and Active Fields
The Materials Science Area of Advance has three profiles - Materials for Energy Applications, Materials for Health, and Sustainable Materials - where multi-disciplinary research is carried out spanning from natural science to engineering, and from materials theory to processing. Within each of these profiles, researchers are working in a number of active fields.
Research within these profiles is supported by high quality infrastructures and resources, including Theory and Modelling and Experimental Methods, which focus on the development of new methodology and research infrastructure forming a base for the thematic research.
Staying at the forefront of materials theory, modelling, and experimental tools lays the ground for breakthroughs in materials science.