NSF Workshop


          NSF Workshop: Interdisciplinary Frontiers of Designing
Engineering Materials Systems

18 – 19 July 2016

Annenberg Presidential Conference Center
1002 George Bush Drive W
College Station, Texas 77843
ph. (979) 862-3488

Hosted by:

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Data-Enabled Discovery and Design of Energy Materials (D3EM) Program

Texas A&M University


The goal of this workshop is to develop and articulate a vision for an interdisciplinary field of research focused the engineering design of material systems. An interdisciplinary field is one that combines and adapts approaches from two or more fields so they are better suited for a problem of interest. This is in contrast to multidisciplinary research in which investigators pursue a problem using different disciplinary perspectives. To date, the most successful and impactful prior research on designing engineering material systems has been from an interdisciplinary perspective. An opportunity exists to accelerate research in this area by furthering the development of a coherent interdisciplinary community dedicated to understanding materials design problems. This workshop will bring together leading experts in materials and design research to identify ways to advance interdisciplinary research in this area.

Questions to be addressed at workshop

  1. What are some of the key open research questions in the context of designing engineering materials and material systems? How should materials and design experts work together to address them?
  2. What is conceptual scope of interdisciplinary field of research on the engineering design of materials and material systems? (i.e., what is in the interdisciplinary field and what remains with the disciplines?)
  3. How should researchers in the new interdisciplinary field evaluate and validate their claims? What are the types of evidence we expect to see in good research in this area?
  4. How can we build a sustainable interdisciplinary research community focused on the design of engineering materials and material systems when starting from separate disciplines?

Workshop Agenda

Click here to view agenda

Plenary Talks

Multiple plenary talks are scheduled to provide context to the broader discussions at the workshop. Plenary speakers include:

  • Chris Paredis, Georgia Institute of Technology. Topic: Design Research and Connections to Materials Problems
  • Surya Kalidindi, Georgia Institute of Technology. Topic: Materials by Design
  • Mary Toney, National Science Foundation. Topic: The DEMS Program at NSF
  • Maura Borrego, University of Texas. Topic: Interdisciplinarity in Engineering Research and Education

Plenary Presentations

    Note: Please click on the presentation to open it.

  1. Integration of Materials Knowledge into Design: Challenges and Opportunities
  2. Design of Engineering Material Systems from an Engineering Design Perspective
  3. Individual and Institutional Strategies for Enabling Interdisciplinary Graduate Research and Training Programs

Suggested Reading


  1. Borrego, M. & Newswander, L. K. (2010). “Definitions of interdisciplinary research: Toward graduate-level interdisciplinary learning outcomes.” The Review of Higher Education, 34(1), p. 61-84. DOI: 10.1353/rhe.2010.0006.
    Click here to view/buy article
  2. Borrego, M. & Cutler, S. (2010). “Constructive alignment of interdisciplinary graduate curriculum in engineering and science: An analysis of successful IGERT proposals.” Journal of Engineering Education, 99(4), p. 355-369. DOI: 10.1002/j.2168-9830.2010.tb01068.x
    Click here to view/buy article
  3. McDowell D. L. & Kalidindi S. R. , “The materials innovation ecosystem: A key enabler for the Materials Genome Initiative.” MRS Bulletin, 2016, Volume 41, Number 04, Page 326 DOI: 10.1557/mrs.2016.61
    Click here to view/buy article
  4. Panchal J. H., McDowell D. L. & Kalidindi S. R. “Key computational modeling issues in Integrated Computational Materials Engineering”,Computer-Aided Design Volume 45 Issue 1, January, 2013 Pages 4-25
    Click here to view/buy article
  5. Pedersen K., Emblemsvag J., Bailey R., Allen J. K. & Mistree F. “Validating design methods & research: The validation square”, presented at ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences September 10-14, 2000, Baltimore, Maryland
    Click here to view/buy article
  6. Seepersad C. C., Pedersen K., Emblemsvag J., Bailey R., Allen J. K. & Mistree F. “The Validation Square: How Does One Validate Design Methods?” in Decision making in engineering design. (W. Chen, K. Lewis, and L. Schmidt, Eds.) New York, NY. ASME Press. Chapter 25, pp. 305-326. 2006.26. 2006.
    Click here to view/buy article


Note: Please click on the report to open it

    1. Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME): Implementing ICME in the Aerospace,Automotive and Maritime Industries
    2. Modeling Across Scales: A Roadmapping Study for Connecting Materials Models and Simulations Across Length and Time Scales
    3. Integrated Computational Materials Engineering: A Transformational Discipline for Improved Competitiveness and National Security

Contact Information

For further information please contact:

Dr.Richard Malak
Associate Professor and Morris E. Foster Faculty Fellow I
Department of Mechanical Engineering
3123 Texas A&M University
College Station, TX  77843
Email: rmalak@tamu.edu