To develop the Materials Science Area of Advance, we have allocated funding to a number of activities. The overall strategy is to catalyse many activities rather than fully fund a limited amount of large projects. Resources are directed towards promoting development of research, infrastructure, community building and outreach.
Materials for Tomorrow
Materials for Tomorrow is our annual materials science Initiative Seminar. This conference gathers scientists and students at Chalmers as well as other universities, and serves as a meeting place with industry and sociey. Renowned scientists are invited to talk about their work, discuss and in other ways interact with the audience.
In conjunction with the conference, a popular science exhibition called "Material i våra liv" is built, welcoming more than 1,000 students from high school and upper middle school. The students also listen to popular science presentations by PhD students in various fields of materials science.
Networking and partner universities
Networking with the international research community is of importance to get an inflow of new ideas and methodology and to benchmark against the best groups. This includes both outgoing and incoming researchers (faculty and students). We have established formal collaborations with leading international materials science centres - partner universities. This collaboration includes an annnual workshop where researchers from Chalmers and our partner universities meet.
In addition we have allocated funding for exchange also with other institutions. Faculty at Chalmers and GU Biomaterials can apply for funding (for themselves or for PhD-students) to spend time at another institution or to host incoming guest professors, researchers and students. This exchange is not limited to academic environments but can be between academy – academy, academy – industry, academy – institute.
We put a lot of effort in communicating materials science research at Chalmers to the public. Some examples are listed below:
A popular science exhibition highlighting research at Chalmers was built for the 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and may be featured in future events. The exhibition included the building of eight optimist dinghies in different materials, from polythylene to graphene. A blog from the Volvo Ocean Race project (in Swedish) is available.
Through our iniative Chalmers Sports & Technology, many of our researchers interact with society in both research projects and public seminars. At our seminars athletes, coaches and enterprise meet with researchers and students to identify problems where research projects can help improve performance and safety in a range of sports.
We make popular science videos that are published on our YouTube channel. The videos target a broad audience and can be useful both to school children and adults.
In 2015, we launched a photo contest, open to all staff and students at Chalmers and the Department of Biomaterials at University of Gothenburg. The idea is to present materials science research in a popular science way, through photo and text. The top twelve entries are published in a calendar for 2016, which is on sale in Store, in the Student Union Building at Chalmers. For 2017, the contest may grow to include all other research areas at Chalmers, not just materials science.
We are also actively involved in the Gothenburg Science Festival, where we have organized a number of activities, including an augmented reality game taking place at the Chalmers campus, a sports technology activity for school children and in 2016 we build a popular science exhibition in Nordstan, Gothenburg's main shopping centre.
Community building activities are important to us and have been given priority, both within the materials science area as as whole, and within the five excellence profile areas. This also includes promotion of an extended community involving our closest collaboration partners in industry and research institures. Some of the tools we are working with are:
• Supporting topical workshops within an excellence profile area, to stimulate collaboration and create synergies
• Organizing targeted workshops together with companies
• Supporting the organization of international and national conferences at Chalmers and the Department of Biomaterials at the University of Gothenburg
• Newsletter and information meetings to make the community aware of strategies, funding opportunities, activities and research
• Organizing the annual Materials Science Graduate Student Days
, a popular science symposium for PhD students in the Graduate School of Materials Science. The symposium gives the PhD students the opportunity to present their work to fellow graduate students and to discover what is new in Materials Science