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November 12, 2010


Travel Notes from the United States of America:

Houston, TX, and San Francisco, CA


Between October 17 and October 21, 2010, I attended the Materials Science & Technology 2010 Conference & Exhibition (MS&T'10), held in Houston, Texas. Before the Conference, I visited the University of California, San Francisco. The aim of my visit was to discuss cooperation possibilities.

The MS&T'10 Conference was organized by the American Ceramic Society, The Minerals Metals & Materials Society (TMS), Association for Iron and Steel Technology (AIST) and ASM International (ASM). The conference included more than 60 symposia of various duration (from single-day ones to those that lasted throughout the Conference) with about 2000 presentations on various materials science and engineering issues. The Conference was accompanied by an impressive exhibition of equipment, products and services (including more than 100 exhibitors). The 60 symposia were divided into ten carefully scheduled sections:


MS&T'10: exhibit 1
MS&T'10:Welcome to MS&T
MS&T'10 - exhibition of equipment, products and services


  • Bioinspired Materials Engineering
  • Next Generation Biomaterials
  • Processing, Characterization and Properties of Honeycombs, Foams, and
  • Surface Properties of Biomaterials


  • ACerS Sosman Award Symposium
  • Advances in Ceramic Matrix Composites
  • Amorphous Materials: Common Issues within Science and Technology
  • Glass and Optical Materials
  • Hexaboride Materials Processing, Properties, and Applications
  • Innovative Processing and Synthesis of Ceramics, Glasses and Composites
  • International Symposium on Defects, Transport and Related Phenomena
  • Multifunctional Oxides


  • Advanced Coatings and Surface Treatments for Corrosion Protection
  • Applications and Experiences of Corrosion-Resistant Materials in the Chemical Process Industry
  • Corrosion and Corrosion Protection of Materials in the Oil and Gas Industry
  • Corrosion Modeling and Life Prediction of Corrodible Structures
  • Corrosion Monitoring and Sensors
  • Managing Corrosion with Fiber-Reinforced Polymers


  • Dielectric Ceramic Materials and Electronic Devices
  • Lead-Free Solders and Next Generation Interconnects: Emerging Issues in Manufacturing, Performance and Reliability
  • Magnetoelectric Multiferroic Thin Films and Multilayers
  • Recent Developments in High Temperature Superconductivity


  • Clean Energy: Fuel Cells, Batteries, Renewables - Materials, Processing, and Manufacturing Energy Materials: Battery Technologies
  • Green Technologies for Materials Manufacturing and Processing II
  • Light Weight Materials for Vehicles and Components
  • Materials Solutions for the Nuclear Renaissance


  • A Symposium in Honor of Professor Reza Abbaschian: Processing, Crystal Growth and Phase Equilibrium of Advanced Materials
  • Dr. John J. Stephens, Jr. Memorial Symposium: Deformation and Interfacial Phenomena in Advanced High-temperature Materials
  • High Strain Rate Behaviors of Composites and Heterogeneous Materials: Experiments, Modeling, and Simulation
  • Multi Scale Modeling of Microstructure Deformation in Material Processing
  • Phase Stability, Diffusion, Kinetics and Their Applications (PSDK-V)
  • Recent Advances in Structural Characterization of Materials
  • Solidification and Crystal Growth Technology for Industrial Applications: Developments in the Past Century
  • Tools, Models, Databases and Simulation Tools Developed and Needed to Realize the Vision of Integrated Computational Materials Engineering

IRON AND STEEL (5 symposia)

  • Advancements in Processing and Properties of Zinc-Coated Advanced High Strength Steels
  • Austenite Formation and Decomposition IV
  • Processing, Microstructure, and Properties of Cast Irons and Cast and Forged Specialty Steels
  • Recent Developments in Steel Processing
  • Steel Product Metallurgy and Applications


  • Advanced Metallic Materials: Technological Exploitation of Mechanical Properties
  • Failure Analysis and Prevention
  • Hardfacing Coatings for Wear and Corrosion Resistance Applications
  • International Symposium on Fatigue of Materials
  • Advances and Emergences in Understanding Structural Materials for Aerospace and Defense: Challenges and Prospects
  • Surface Protection for Enhanced Materials Performance
  • Titanium Alloys for High Temperature Applications
  • Tribological Contacts: Recent Issues and Practical Solutions


  • Controlled Processing of Nanoparticle-based Materials and Nanostructured Films
  • Mechanical Behavior of Low Dimensional Materials
  • Nanolaminated Ternary Carbides and Nitrides (MAX Phases)
  • Nanotechnology for Energy, Healthcare and Industry
  • Nanotube Reinforced Metal Matrix Composites II 
  • Novel Sintering Processes and News in Traditional Sintering and Grain Growth: Applications, Theory, and Nanoscale Challenges


  • Fundamentals, Applications, and Innovations in Heat Treatment
  • High Performance Tooling Materials
  • Joining of Advanced and Specialty Materials XII
  • Laser Applications in Materials Processing
  • New Roles for Electric and Magnetic Fields in Processing, Microstructure Evolution, and Performance of Materials in Energy and Biosciences
  • Shaping and Forming of High Strength Steel, Titanium, and Light Metals

Apart from the above-mentioned symposia, the Conference also featured sessions dedicated to special topics (Materials and Society, awards for technical achievements, Perspectives for Emerging Materials Professionals: Early Strategies for Career Development, etc.). The conference also included ten lectures that bore the names of scientists like Arthur L. Friedberg, Edward Orton Jr., Robert B. Sossman, Rustum Roy, Richard Spriggs, Merton C. Flemings, Richard M. Fulrath, etc.

Rustum Roy

The Conference was opened by the Symposium Science and Society with the lecture dedicated to Rustum Roy given by Arun Seraphin, Assistant Director for Defense Programs at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Rustum Roy was an outstanding figure in materials science. He was born in India in 1924. After World War II, he moved to the USA, where he lived and worked until his death on August 26, 2010. His gave major contribution to various fields of research. For example, the results of his research into sol-gel processing were used (not merely cited) in more than 50,000 scientific articles. Rustum Roy was among the initiators of establishing the Materials Research Society in 1973. In 2003, according to the Institute for Scientific Information, the Materials Science Laboratory at Penn State University, which was founded in 1962 by Rustum Roy and whose director he was for 25 years, was the highest ranking in the world based on the number of highly cited researchers. Rustum Roy was a patron of Indian scientists: many of them completed their PhD theses under his mentorship, after which he helped them find positions at universities, national laboratories or industrial companies

The first plenary lecture was dedicated to global issues like energy, infrastructure, policy and safety. It included three lectures given by Terry Michalske (Energy, Climate and Global Security in the 21st Century), Director of the Savannah River National Laboratory, Robert T. McGrath (Alternative Energy Sources for Reducing Dependence on Fossil Fuels), who occupied various positions in national laboratories, government organizations and universities, and Diran Apelian (Linking Transformational Materials and Processing for an Energy Efficient and Low Carbon Economy: Creating the Vision and Accelerating Realization,, a Howmet Professor of Engineering and Director of the Metal Processing Institute at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). This interesting plenary session presented significant body of information on recent scientific achievements. Energy appears to be a research field that may need a significant contribution by materials science in dealing with its key issues.

MS&T'2010: Plenary speaker Diran Apelian
MS&T'2010: Plenary speaker Terry Michalske
MS&T'10: Plenary speaker Robert McGrath
Diran Apelian
Terry Michalske
Robert T. McGrath
MS&T'2010: All conference plenary
MS&T'10: ASM/TMS Distinguished Lecture
Audeince at the Plenary Session
Mildred Dresselhaus
C. Jeffrey Brinker

A similar session dedicated to advanced materials and nanotechnology was held on October 20. I would particularly like to draw attention to the lecture given by Mildred Dresselhaus of MIT University, in which she focused on carbon materials and graphene, for the study of which Geim and Novoselov, British-based Russian scientists, were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. She also dwelt on thermoelectric materials, which are obviously a priority research issue.

The ACerS Robert B. Sossman Memorial Lecture titled Directing Sol-Gel Processing with Proteins and Living Cells was given by C. Jeffrey Brinker of The University of New Mexico, The UNM Cancer Research and Treatment Center, and Sandia National Laboratories. In the initial stages of his career, C. Jeffrey Brinker was focused on conventional sol-gel processing. A shift towards biosystems considerably broadened his research field, which resulted in significant results in biomedical sciences.

Within the ELECTRONIC AND MAGNETIC MATERIALS section, I chaired the session on Dielectric Ceramic Materials and Electronic Devices and gave an invited lecture on Multi-scale Molecular Designing of Nanoparticles and Functional Materials, which aroused significant interest. The interest in this topic is best reflected in the fact that in the past several years the presentations featured within this symposium have had the most prominent place in the MS&T Conference proceedings, published in the Ceramic Transactions series (currently under the auspices of Wiley Blackwell). I also attended presentations within other symposia (nanomaterials, biomaterials).

The comparison between the results presented at the MS&T’10 Conference and the research carried out at the Institute of Technical Sciences of SASA leads to the conclusion that our research is highly topical. The organizational model presented at the MS&T conferences, including four professional societies, could be successfully applied in Serbia. Only in September 2010 there were three conferences on materials science, two of which were supported by the Ministry of Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia. It would be much better if all these conference were held at the same place, gathering 400-500 participants.

Immediately before the Conference, I visited the University of California, San Francisco, where I had the opportunity to meet representatives of several institutions and discuss possibilities for joint research (during 2010 three research articles were published in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco), and the choice of plenary lecturers for the YUCOMAT 2011 Conference, to be held in Herceg Novi next September.



Prof. Dr. Dragan Uskoković
President of MRS-Serbia and
Director of the Institute of Technical Sciences of SASA
Phone: +381 11 2636 994


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