Trends and Opportunities in Future Federally Funded Research

Live Event: Thursday, November 19, 2020

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U.S. government agencies provide critical funding support for research and development (R&D) within materials science and engineering (MS&E) and manufacturing-related domains. In this webinar, a roundtable discussion will highlight some key opportunities and trends associated with federally funded R&D in these domains, including some opportunities in which interdisciplinary collaboration and activities are beneficial. A panel of program officers from three federal agencies has been assembled to offer insights and answer questions.

What You Will Experience

  • Learn about some trends and opportunities for federally funded research
  • Gain insight from questions asked to a panel of program officers from three federal agencies: National Science Foundation, Office of Naval Research, and Department of Energy
  • Receive focused feedback on trends and opportunities associated with materials and manufacturing R&D


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Nonmember $50

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About the Speakers

Alexis C. Lewis (Moderator)

Deputy Division Director, Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation, National Science Foundation

Alexis Lewis is the deputy division director for the Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Engineering. She has previously served as a program director for CMMI's Advanced Manufacturing, Materials Engineering and Processing, and Data Initiatives programs. Prior to joining NSF, Lewis was a materials research engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. She holds bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. degrees in materials science and engineering.

Richard W. Fonda

ONR Manufacturing Science Program Officer, Office of Naval Research & US Naval Research Laboratory
"Research Trends and Opportunities with the Office of Naval Research"

This presentation will discuss research program trends, funding opportunities, and proposal suggestions with a focus on the Naval Materials S&T Division (Code 332) of ONR and, more specifically, the Manufacturing Science program.

Richard Fonda received his Ph.D. from the Materials Science Department of the University of Virginia in 1991. He has worked at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory for more than 25 years on a variety of topics including high strength steels, microstructural evolution, three-dimensional microstructures, metallic textile structures, conventional welding, friction stir welding, and additive manufacturing. In 2014, he also became a program officer for the Manufacturing Science programs at the Office of Naval Research, where his focus is on supporting fundamental research on manufacturing technologies of interest to the Navy.

Sarah Kleinbaum

Technology Manager for Lightweight Materials, Department of Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office
"Goals and Challenges for Automotive Lightweighting"

Reducing the weight of a vehicle by 10% results in a 6% to 8% improvement in fuel economy because it takes less energy to move a lighter object. Advanced high strength steel and aluminum are being used in increasing amounts by the automotive industry for this reason. Polymer composites and magnesium offer even greater weight savings but face significant challenges that limit implementation. The Department of Energy funds research to address the technical challenges that prevent the widespread use of lightweight materials to enable more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Sarah Kleinbaum is the technology manager for Joining of Dissimilar Lightweight Materials in the Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office. In this role, she assesses the challenges facing the automotive industry to implement lightweight materials in vehicles and sponsors technical research projects including academia, national laboratory, and industry partners to address those challenges. Sarah also serves as co-director of the LightMAT consortium which seeks to enhance the collaboration between industry and national labs in order to accelerate the development and implementation of lightweight automotive materials. Prior to her work at the Department of Energy, Kleinbaum managed the Materials Analysis and Approval Laboratory for North America at Whirlpool Corp. She received both her Master of Science and bachelor’s degree in materials engineering from Purdue University.

John A. Schlueter

Program Director, National Science Foundation
"Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future"

The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) is a multi-agency partnership that seeks to accelerate the pace of materials development across the Materials Development Continuum. Through use of a computationally-led and data-driven approach, MGI promotes the rapid discovery and deployment of advanced materials that will ensure sustained American leadership in sectors including clean energy, human welfare, and national security. The Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) program at the NSF partners with a number of other federal funding agencies to promote these objectives.

John Schlueter joined the NSF in December 2013 as a program director in the Division of Materials Research, Directorate of Mathematical & Physical Sciences, where he manages the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) program. DMREF is the primary program by which the NSF participates in the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). He received his B.S. from Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, IN) in 1987 with majors in chemistry and physics and a minor in mathematics. He then earned his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) in 1992 under the direction of thesis advisor Tobin Marks. After spending three years as a postdoctoral chemist at Argonne National Laboratory with Jack Williams, he became an assistant chemist in the Chemistry and Materials Science Divisions in 1995 and was promoted to chemist in 1999. Schlueter's experimental research includes the guided synthesis, crystallization, and characterization of molecule-based materials with emergent electronic and/or magnetic properties, including the development of multifunctional materials with applications in magnetism, superconductivity, spintronics, and multiferroics. Through the use of intermolecular interactions, such as hydrogen bonds, he has discovered new classes of superconductors and investigated pressure-induced phase transitions in magnetic coordination polymers. Schlueter was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2015. He has chaired and serves on the Advisory Boards for several international conferences. Schlueter has co-authored over 350 publications (H-index 46) and delivered in excess of 75 invited presentations and seminars at international conferences and institutions. He has mentored six postdoctoral scholars and over 75 undergraduate students.

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