ISEN will discover and develop materials that enable new efficiencies in industrial and consumer manufacturing, sustainable energy production, and environmental remediation.
Every product carries an embedded energetic and environmental footprint, determined in large part by its design, component materials, manufacture, and re-use.
The discovery of new materials is fundamental to sustainable product and process design. Our ability to synthesize materials that use benign rather than toxic compounds, or those that are earth-abundant rather than rare, will contribute to the economic feasibility of new green materials over the full lifecycle of products. Likewise, materials like thermoelectrics that can efficiently harvest wasted byproducts for re-use are critical in efforts to maximize our productive potential.
Our scientific and engineering capacity to replace petroleum-intensive materials like plastics with bio-based alternatives, and to precisely build compounds at the atomically-controlled level, is becoming rapidly feasible, opening entirely new frontiers in materials science for sustainability and energy.
Leading these efforts is the Center for Advanced Materials for Energy and the Environment (CAMEE), which is developing new materials for clean energy innovation and environmental remediation.
INTEGRATE Northwestern’s systems design expertise to effectively advise industry on sustainable product development.
LEVERAGE high-power computational modeling platforms to design and create new materials with specific end-use goals.
EXPAND research into nanomaterials that can selectively harvest molecules and compounds for environmental remediation applications.
WHY IT MATTERS:
- Meeting the consumer demand from the growing global middle class will require substantial improvements in the sustainability of products and their component materials.
- Advanced materials discoveries unlock entirely new areas for economic growth in sectors such as medicine, transportation, and infrastructure.