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Free and open to the public


Research Pavilion, Room 475 (NanoScience Technology Center)


Modern materials contain extraordinary levels of complexity with components spanning a hierarchy of length scales. Designing materials that contain complex microstructures and demonstrate unique behaviors would be difficult solely using a reductionist approach to materials development. Although this approach has led to many technological breakthroughs, the rapid evolution of technology and the need for a shortened materials development cycle are driving materials scientists toward a more predictive approach based on design.

Our research lies in the basic understanding of the relationship between processing, structure, properties and performance. We use a systems-based materials design approach that couples experimental research with theory and mechanistic modeling for the accelerated development of materials. Microstructural properties are modeled using a toolbox of design models and methods that are strongly tied to materials science. These properties can then be expressed as thermodynamic parameters that can be predicted by using computational thermodynamic tools. Prototypes are then created to experimentally analyze and validate the design models that feed back into the working design for optimizing materials performance while minimizing design iterations. With a clear guide for materials design, large-scale experiments can be avoided while promoting the rapid development of complex materials.

This talk provides an overview of the systems-based design approach and explores several examples of how this methodology can be used to develop materials with uniquely tailored properties and performance.

Michele Manuel is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She received her Ph.D in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University and her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Florida. She is the recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and the TMS Young Leaders Professional Development Award. Her current research is focused on the use of systems-level design methods to advance the development of new materials through microstructure optimization. Of specific interest are biomedical, lightweight, multifunctional, and self-healing alloys.