The Next Decade of the MGI

The Next Decade of the MGI

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The U.S. Materials Genome Initiative has just begun its second decade. With a goal of accelerating the discovery, design, development, and deployment of new materials into manufactured products, the MGI is focused on the creation of a materials innovation infrastructure. My institution, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has framed its support for the MGI around the need for a data infrastructure that enables the rapid discovery of existing data and models, the tools to assess and improve the quality of those data, and finally the development of new methods and metrologies based on that data. In partnership with agencies across the government, academia, and industry, these approaches are now yielding significant advances. Of particular note is the potential for machine learning and artificial intelligence applications upon these troves of data, which is now being borne out, and the vast consequent opportunities for new discoveries. Additionally, and in light of the many changes in how materials R&D is done, the MGI has released a new strategic plan, charting a plan for next 10 years of an evolving materials innovation infrastructure, harnessing the power of materials data, and building the next generation MGI workforce.

What You Will Learn

  • Explore an overview of the MGI
  • Learn what’s in the 2021 MGI Strategic Plan
  • Discuss challenges to overcome in realizing this vision


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Nonmember $50

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About the Speakers

James A. Warren

Director, Materials Genome Program, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Executive Secretary, National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee on the Materials Genome Initiative

James A. Warren is the Director of the Materials Genome Program in the Material Measurement Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). After receiving his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1992, he took a position as a National Research Council post-doc in the Metallurgy Division at NIST. In 1995, with three other junior NIST staff members, he co-founded the NIST Center for Theoretical and Computational Materials Science, which he has directed since 2001. From 2005-2013, he was the Leader of the Thermodynamics and Kinetics Group. His research has been broadly concerned with developing both models of materials phenomena, and the tools to enable the solution of these models. Specific foci over the years have included solidification, pattern formation, grain structures, creep, diffusion, wetting, and spreading in metals. In 2010-2011, Warren was part of the ad-hoc committee within the Office of Science and Technology Policy’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) that crafted the founding whitepaper on the Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative. Since 2012, Warren has served as the Executive Secretary of the NSTC MGI Subcommittee, coordinating inter-agency efforts to achieve the goals laid out in the MGI.


Charles Ward

Chief of the Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory

Charles Ward is Chief of the Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Division at the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. He leads a $140 million annual investment in manufacturing technology, which seeks to increase producibility and reduce manufacturing cost and risk for technology insertion into Air and Space Force systems. He also provides execution oversight of $2.2 billion in the Defense Production Act Title III program, which establishes, modernizes, and maintains critical industrial capabilities for the Department of Defense. His professional career has spanned over 35 years, serving in several roles in research, engineering, and management. His research has focused on the microstructure-property relationships in titanium and titanium aluminide alloys. He has served as manager for the Department of the Air Force's basic research program in metals and then as an engineer on the F-35’s propulsion program. He also served as staff officer to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, and then Air Force liaison for materials research and development in Europe. Previous to his current position, he served as Director (Acting) of the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, Lead for Integrated Computational Materials Science and Engineering, and Chief of the Metals, Ceramics, and Nondestructive Evaluation Division. He has also served as co-chair of the Materials Genome Initiative Subcommittee under the National Science and Technology Council. Ward received his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, is a Fellow of ASM International, and Editor-in-Chief of the Integrating Materials and Manufacturing Innovation journal.

Download the MGI Workforce Study

After a decade of progress since the initiative was first announced in 2011, TMS released the technical report, Creating the Next-Generation Materials Genome Initiative Workforce, which builds on previous work and offers a series of action plans and recommendations that address the strategic plan’s goals. The study was organized by TMS on behalf of the U.S. National Science Foundation. Download the study at no cost.

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