Moving Forward from a Pandemic: How the Field of Materials Science Has Adapted (2022 Student-led Symposium): Materials Research and Leadership in Uncertain Times
Program Organizers: Gianmarco Sahragard-Monfared, University of California, Davis; Christine Smudde, University of California, Davis; Jared Stimac; Mingwei Zhang, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Monday 8:30 AM
February 28, 2022
Room: 202A
Location: Anaheim Convention Center

Session Chair: Gianmarco Sahragard-Monfared, University of California, Davis; Christine Smudde, University of California, Davis


8:30 AM Introductory Comments

8:35 AM  
Materials Science during a Pandemic: A National Lab Perspective: Ellen Cerreta1; 1Los Alamos National Laboratory
    After the 2020 TMS Annual Meeting, there was a recognition of a global pandemic – COVID-19. In the following weeks, we had to adjust to the effects of the virus and safety protocols implemented, as a result. This presented countless challenges. In this talk, I will discuss those that were specific to the materials community and how, from a national laboratory perspective, we attempted to navigate those challenges. I will speak to the role a national laboratory can play in a public emergency and give specific examples of work that came to Los Alamos in the months following the realization of this global crisis. Following that, I will discuss the way TMS navigated these challenges and continued to meet the needs of materials professionals. Finally, I will conclude with how I believe lessons from the pandemic will inform how the materials profession does their work in the future.

8:55 AM  
Conducting Materials Research during and after a Global Pandemic: Timothy Smith1; Pete Bonacuse1; 1NASA Glenn Research Center
    The on-going Covid-19 pandemic has brought many significant challenges to nearly all aspects of life. These challenges extend to the field of materials science. With labs closing, supply chains impacted, and travel all but non-existent, many material science studies were severely affected. Still, with these difficulties came new opportunities to modernize how research is performed. Advances in communication and computing power now allow for complex tools such as electron microscopes to be operated virtually from home and with minimal in-person interaction. In addition, sample preparation and optical microscopy characterization can be automated. These advances have allowed for research to progress despite the restrictions. Lastly, this past year has revealed the importance of collaboration and cooperation to improve the quality of research moving forward.

9:15 AM  
When the World Went Remote: Adapting to Crisis and Creating Positive Change during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Paul Mason1; 1Thermo-Calc Software Inc.
     Thermo-Calc Software is a small business developing software and databases for materials design and process optimization, with customers in almost seventy countries. This presentation highlights various ways in which the company responded and adapted to both our staff and our end-users working remotely during the pandemic. Examples will include: How we shifted to a work from home environment, spanning staff in Europe and North America, while maintaining a collaborative workforce, delivering on three major software releases, hiring new staff and supporting each other through the uncertainty. How we responded quickly to our customer needs, providing licenses so they could work at home to keep their programs going, providing live virtual training as well as developing a self-paced learning hub and also creating virtual networking opportunities through student-led webinars and supporting other on-line events. The lessons we have learned and the changes we anticipate in a post-pandemic world.

9:35 AM  
NOW ON DEMAND ONLY: COVID-19 Impacts on Policy and Funding in Materials Engineering - A Perspective from the National Science Foundation: Alexis Lewis1; 1National Science Foundation
    The rapid changes in research, teaching, and collaboration approaches brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic have caused numerous institutions and agencies to rethink policies and programs. In addition to efforts to provide support for current awardees, the Engineering Directorate of the National Science Foundation has focused on those groups who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. A number of new programs have been launched with the aim of addressing potential gaps in research funding opportunities, and improving equity in the review and funding process. Recent opportunities for early and mid-career faculty will be discussed, as well as those focused on promoting research collaboration across institutions. In addition, a new approach to understanding and mitigating bias in the review process will be described. Efforts are ongoing to understand and mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on Engineering students in particular, and audience input is sought in this forum.

9:55 AM Break

10:15 AM  
Lessons Learned during the COVID-19 Pandemic Regarding Antimicrobial Copper-based or Copper-containing Materials/Surfaces: Bryer Sousa1; Danielle Cote1; 1Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic entered the public lexicon as the most significant global pandemic in recent memory, researchers across the worldwide STEM community retooled and refocused their research upon all matters of potential relevance to treating, preventing, mitigating, and understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus as well as the disease. Accordingly, a subset of the contemporary materials science and engineering community began to dedicate more time and resources towards antimicrobial coatings and surfaces as a public health measure. While COVID-19 has subsequently been shown to be transferred via non-contact transmission pathways primarily, the motivation for this work also centers upon the development of a more robust understanding of the micro-structural features and properties of the conventional copper nanostructured copper coatings as they relate to anti-pathogenic contact killing and inactivation applications. Thus, discussion for applying such functional materials to antiviral and antimicrobial applications is considered herein.

10:35 AM  
Copper Ion Release in Copper-based Alloys: Implications on the Transmission of Coronaviruses Originating from Human Contact with Fomite Surfaces: Victor Wallemacq1; Carol Glover1; Tsuyoshi Miyake1; Daniel Engel1; John Scully1; Stephen McDonnell1; 1University of Virginia
    Copper-based alloys promise to reduce the survivability of human coronaviruses on fomite surfaces. As the global economy begins to recover from SARS-CoV-2, engineered passive antimicrobial materials are essential to protect against fomite surface to human transmission of current and future viral diseases. Though previous literature has considered copper for its antimicrobial properties, the details of time-dependent copper alloy corrosion mechanisms and its effects on cation release are not fully understood. Moreover, it is becoming clear that the media in which the viral inactivation test is carried out can impact the results. Here we test the efficacy of copper alloys in various media, including artificial perspiration, assay media, and phosphate-buffered saline. We investigate the surface chemistry, copper release, and each surface's electrochemical properties. The surfaces' antiviral performance is judged by virus unit death over time, evaluated alongside the respective surface states to identify the corrosion mechanics with the greatest antimicrobial efficacy.

10:55 AM  
Challenges and Solutions Associated with Publishing during a Global Pandemic: Susan Sinnott1; 1Pennsylvania State University
    The global pandemic introduced new challenges, and unique solutions, to the procedures associated with publishing research articles. This presentation will describe the ways in which the pandemic influenced the writing and submission of new articles to peer-reviewed technical journals. It will additionally provide insights into the pandemic's influence on reviews of submitted papers, editorial decisions, and the processing of accepted papers.

11:15 AM  
Improvements to the Nanoindentation Technique and Its Use to Measure the Properties of Microfibers: Warren Oliver1; Yujie Meng1; 1KLA
    We present an overview of the various factors affecting the precision and accuracy of the nanoindentation test results at different test conditions with specific focus on Continuous Stiffness Measurement (CSM) technique. As an example of the use of this technique we present results documenting the response of N95 mask microfibers to UV light exposures that are proposed as disinfecting techniques to allow mask reuse. The hardness and modulus of the fibers show significant changes as the exposure is increased. This gives some guidelines as to how many times the masks may be used.