Multiscale Materials Design
Date: June 22-25, 2015 | Tuition: TBD | Continuing Education Units (CEUs): TBD
*This course has limited enrollment. Apply early to guarantee your spot.
Application Deadline »
As the demand for high-performance materials with superior properties, flexibility, and resilience grows, a new design paradigm from the molecular scale upwards has revolutionized our ability to create novel materials. This course covers the science, technology, and state-of-the-art in atomistic, molecular, and multiscale modeling, synthesis, and characterization. Through lectures and hands-on labs, participants will learn how superior material properties in nature and biology can be mimicked in bioinspired materials for applications in new technology. Bridging multiple hierarchies of length- and time-scales, this course trains participants in applications to polymers, metals, and ceramics, as well as composites. The course also covers sustainable infrastructure materials such as concrete and asphalt.
This course will focus on practical problem-solving computational tools paired with a detailed discussion of experimental techniques to probe the ultimate structure of materials, emphasizing tools to predict key mechanical properties. Case studies of molecular mechanics, bio-inspired composites, and dynamic fracture of composites and polymers will be presented and carried out by participants in computational labs. Simulation codes, algorithms, and details of the implementations of different simulation technologies, including validation, will be presented, including practical issues such as supercomputing (hardware and software), parallelization, graphics processing computing (GPU), and others. Specific focus is on structural polymers and composites, including innovative material platforms such as carbon nanotubes, graphene, and protein materials for bio-inspired materials. Participants will learn state-of-the-art techniques, such as molecular dynamics and coarse-graining, used to cover a range of length- and time-scales.
Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (40%)
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (40%)
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (20%)
Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (70%)
Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (15%)
Labwork: Demonstrations, experiments, simulations (15%)
Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (80%)
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (15%)
Advanced: In-depth explorations at the graduate level (5%)
The participants of this course will learn:
- Practical problem-solving computational tools paired with a detailed discussion of experimental techniques to probe, understand, and design the ultimate structure of materials—from atoms upwards
- Use the tools to predict mechanical properties such as strength, toughness, deformability, and elasticity, as well as optical, thermal, and electronic properties
- Use multiscale tools in energy recovery and sustainable materials and structures
- Demonstrate the synthesis of computationally-designed hierarchical composites using 3‑D printing and other advanced manufacturing techniques, followed by subsequent mechanical testing. Includes validation of computational predictions, focused on fracture toughness and strength
- Critically evaluate and apply the use of computational tools in materials design (synthesis and testing) – molecular mechanics, nanotechnology, multiscale and hierarchical materials, and emerging materials technologies
- The fundamentals and codes to perform state-of-the-art techniques, such as molecular dynamics, molecular mechanics, and coarse-graining, used to cover a range of length- and time-scales
Who Should Attend
This course will be of interest to scientists, engineers, managers, and policy makers working in the areas of materials design, development, manufacturing, or testing. It should appeal to anyone working in materials or in an industry that builds on a material interaction platform (such as pharmaceuticals, regenerative medicine, energy, or construction materials such as concrete) and who is interested in understanding how to optimize a material’s structure and performance. It will be of particular interest to those working in industries which require highly functional materials tailored for specific purposes. The focus on mechanical properties will include domains such as biomaterials and implants, adhesives, construction materials, and structural materials for the aero-astro and automotive industries. There are no prerequisites for the course.
Participants will be exposed to both theoretical and applied concepts and systematically learn the basic methods in this emerging field of computational materials science, allowing them to understand this new technology in the context of their specific material applications. The focus on materials failure enables numerous high-impact applications where materials are designed for structural applications and where fracture processes are critical for the material’s durability.
Applied case studies include hierarchical composites, carbon nanotube and silk-based fibers, and “on-demand” protein-based biomaterials. Through these examples, participants will learn how the merger of traditional notions of “material” and “structure” enables an expanded design space in which new material properties can be achieved by simply rearranging a material’s basic elements, rather than introducing new ones. The systems perspective to materials design used here opens new paths towards understanding, designing, and predicting complex materials behavior for the development of “ultimate materials” that combine the best of all basic elements and that amplify the properties of the building blocks in a synergistic manner.
Detailed lecture notes will be provided with numerous examples and references to the literature sources, articles, and weblinks. The program includes a detailed discussion of manufacturing techniques including 3D printing, self-assembly, microfluidics, and other technologies. We will distribute and analyze material samples designed based on multiscale simulations and manufactured using 3D printing and other techniques. The program includes morning lectures (9 am-12:30pm) and afternoon labs (1:30-5 pm). A reception will be held on Monday and ample opportunities to meet with the instructor and to network with other participants will be provided.
The program is based on two textbooks written by the instructor:
-  M.J. Buehler, Atomistic Modeling of Materials Failure, Springer, 2008
-  S.W. Cranford, M.J. Buehler, Biomateriomics, Springer, 2012
Course schedule and registration times
Class runs 9:00 am - 5:00 pm Monday - Wednesday and 9:00 am - 3:30 pm on Thursday.
Laptops are encouraged for this course. Sofware used will include Visual Molecular Dynamics and web-based tools.
senior manager - new technologies, johnson controls
"I also really appreciated the detail that Dr. Buehler went into on each slide. He documented on the slides the key points that he discussed during his lecture."
engineering manager, national oilwell varco
"Markus Buehler is extremely knowledgeable, and was able to address questions from a very varied audience."
About The Lecturer
Markus J. Buehler
Markus J. Buehler, Head of the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is an internationally renowned materials scientist and Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He directs the Laboratory for Atomistic and Molecular Mechanics (LAMM), leads the MIT-Germany program, and is Principal Investigator on numerous national and international research programs. Buehler’s primary research interest is to identify and apply innovative approaches to design better materials from less, using a combination of high-performance computing, new manufacturing techniques, and advanced experimental testing. He combines bio-inspired materials design with high-throughput approaches to create materials with architectural features from the nano- to the macro-scale, and applies them to various domains that range from composites for vehicles, coatings for energy technologies, to innovative and sustainable construction materials.
Professor Buehler is a sought-after lecturer and has given hundreds of invited, keynote, and plenary talks throughout the world. His scholarly work is highly-cited and includes more than 250 articles on computational materials science, biomaterials and nanotechnology, many in high-impact journals such as Nature and PNAS. He authored two monographs in the areas of computational materials science and bio-inspired materials design, and is a founder of the emerging research area of materiomics. He has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows to explain the impact of his research to broad audiences.
Professor Buehler received the TMS Hardy Award, the MRS Outstanding Young Investigator Award, the ASME Thomas J. R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, the ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Medal, the ASCE Rossiter W. Raymond Memorial Award, the ACS Stephen Brunauer Award, the ASCE Alfred Noble Prize, and the Leonardo da Vinci Award given by the Engineering Mechanics Institute of ASCE. He is also recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award, the United States Air Force Young Investigator Award, the Navy Young Investigator Award, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award, as well as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. He was an invitee at several National Academy of Engineering Frontiers of Engineering Symposia and has delivered several plenary lectures at this forum. He recently received the Harold E. Edgerton Faculty Achievement Award for exceptional distinction in teaching and in research or scholarship, the highest honor bestowed on young MIT faculty. He serves as a member of the editorial board of numerous international publications, including the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, and is Editor-In-Chief of BioNanoScience, a journal he co-founded. He is the founding Chair of the Biomechanics Committee at the Engineering Mechanics Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a member of the U. S. National Committee on Biomechanics, and Co-Chair of the Nanoengineering in Biology in Medicine Steering Committee of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He has chaired several international conferences in the area of materials science and engineering, nanotechnology, nanomedicine, and biomechanics.
Links & Resources
- Engineered Spider Silk - Taking Cues from Biological Materials
- Examining Failure to Test Limits of Materials Function
- Materials Simulation Through Computation and Predictive Models
- Using Computation to Validate Predictability of Materials Models
- MIT Professor Merges Biology And Materials Through Biomateriomics
- Just hanging on: Why mussels are so good at it
Understanding the strength of the shellfish’s underwater attachments could enable better glues and biomedical interfaces.
- Printing artificial bone
Researchers develop method to design synthetic materials and quickly turn the design into reality using computer optimization and 3-D printing.
- Decoding the structure of bone
MIT researchers decipher the molecular basis of bone’s remarkable strength and resiliency; work could lead to new treatments and materials.
- The music of the silks
Researchers synthesize a new kind of silk fiber — and find that music can help fine-tune the material’s properties.
- Markus Buehler named head of Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
An MIT faculty member since 2006, Buehler succeeds Andrew Whittle as CEE department head.
- Seeing the music in nature
From spider webs to tangled proteins, Markus Buehler finds the connections between mathematics, molecules and materials.
- Envisioning Silk Stronger Than Steel
This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please contact the Short Programs office for further details.