Plenary Speakers

All Plenary Lectures will take place in the Audimax (S101/A1), Karolinenplatz 5, 64289 Darmstadt

The MSE is very proud to welcome the following plenary speakers at MSE 2016:


Peter Greil

University of  Erlangen-Nuernberg, Department of Materials Science (Glass and Ceramics), Martensstr. 5, D-91058 Erlangen

Biomorphous Ceramics

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016,  10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Audimax, TU Darmstadt

Inspired by biological concepts of design, microstructure, and property optimization, new biomorphous inorganic materials with advanced functions and structures have attained increasing interest in materials science at the frontier between biology and chemistry. Mimicking the cellular design of natural plant tissue anatomy offers a highly attractive approach for creating a novel class of biomorphous ceramics for functional and engineering applications. Basic principles of conversion of plant derived preforms into oxide and non-oxide ceramics mimicking the initial template structure at various hierarchical micro- and macroscopic levels will be presented. The fabrication of multilayer ceramics from cellulose based precursor offers a high flexibility of shaping including advanced generative manufacturing combined with surface modification via printing technologies. Future concepts refer to intrinsic crack healing capability which may trigger change of ceramic component design and application. Examples of applications in the fields of optical sensors, biomedical bone implant, or catalysis will be demonstrated.


Jörg F. Löffler

Laboratory of Metal Physics and Technology, Department of Materials, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland

Metallic biomaterials for absorbable implant applications

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016,  1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Audimax, TU Darmstadt

Bioinert materials, such as stainless steel, titanium or cobalt–chromium-based alloys, are among the most commonly used biomaterials at present. However, they have limitations and are not always suitable for the intended application. Implants made of bioabsorbable metals, in contrast, are designed to degrade in the body over time and thus do not require later surgical removal. This shortens the total duration of treatment and rehabilitation.

In this talk I will describe the design of a new class of rare-earth-free MgZnCa alloys with high strength and extended ductility, and present their in-vitro and in-vivo degradation performance and biological response. Based on metal-physical design rules, we can tailor the degradation rate of these alloys via purity, Zn-content, and nanometer-sized intermetallic phase formation for the purposes of practically all bioabsorbable implant applications. They may therefore set a new standard in the area of biomaterials.


Yuri Estrin

Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, 3800 Australia

Ultrafine grained metallic materials for permanent and bioresorbable medical implants

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016,  8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Audimax, TU Darmstadt

Contemporary development of metallic implant materials is driven by the biocompatibility requirements combined with the need for improved mechanical performance of biomedical implants. Different paradigms govern this development for permanent and temporary (bioresorbable) implants. While materials for permanent implants, e.g. for bone or tooth replacement, obviously need to be as inert in bodily fluids as possible, those for temporary implants must degrade at a rate comparable with the rate of tissue healing. In this talk some recent developments in research on metallic implant materials will be presented. On the permanent implant side, the effect of nanostructuring on Ti based implant materials will be highlighted. Both bulk and surface properties, including cell response and in vivo bone tissue growth, will be discussed. With regard to temporary implants, magnesium alloys will be considered as materials of choice. We investigate ultrafine-grained Mg alloys whose submicron grain structure was obtained by thermomechanical processing, including severe plastic deformation. The benefits of combined effects of composition and grain size reduction will be elucidated. In particular, the results of recent work on a novel Mg alloy LX41 that contains 4% Li and 1% Ca will be reported. With its low density of less than 1.6 g/cm^3, the alloy is among the lightest structural alloys available to date. It will be shown that an excellent combination of strength, biocorrosion resistance and biocompatibility can be attained by specially designed thermomechanical processing.


Patrice E. A. Turchi

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, P. O. Box 808, Livermore, CA 94551, USA

Why is alloy theory still a matter of principles?

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016,  2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Audimax, TU Darmstadt

Ab initio methodologies provide, in spite of their own limitations that will be briefly commented on, fundamental insight on various materials characteristics. This will be illustrated in the case of chemical-order trends and thermodynamic properties with ab initio-based predictions. In addition, ab initio output plays an important role in supplementing in two ways CALPHAD that is the most versatile and preferred method for assessing the thermodynamics of complex multi-component alloys: either by direct input of ab initio energetics in thermodynamic databases, or, more challenging, by assessing ab initio-based thermodynamics à la CALPHAD.  These two applications will be discussed in the context of phase diagram determination for selected transition metal and actinide-based alloys. Finally a few comments on future prospects in the alloy theory field, of critical importance for advancing materials design, will conclude this presentation.

Work performed under the auspices of the U.S. DOE by LLNL under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.

Topics: ab initio calculations, ground-state properties, thermodynamics, multi-component alloy


Laurent Pambaguian

Engineer in the Materials Technology Section of the ESA - European Space Agency, ESTEC, NL-2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Additive Manufacturing for space industry

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016,  6:15 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.
Audimax, TU Darmstadt

ESA, the European Space Agency has been looking into Additive Manufacturing for more than a decade; it was then still called “rapid manufacturing” referring to the prototyping world. Since then, the Agency has taken a leading role in establishing the required developments to ensure that parts made using these technologies fulfil the specific constrains of a space missions. This has been done by, on the one hand, establishing the technological capabilities of these technologies from a Materials and Processes perspective and, on the other hand, maturing the use of these technologies toward development of high end Space Hardware. It is under ESA funding that the basis for 3D printing lunar regolith was demonstrated. The first additively manufactured platinum based thruster fired was also developed under ESA funding.

Today, the portfolio of ESA activities in Additive Manufacturing expands toward many aspects such as the possibility to print on orbit or on planets, to develop multifunctional parts, to totally redesign parts whilst evaluating the impact that such redesign have on the space mission. ESA, together with the National Space Agencies, strives to help the European Space Industry to maximise the benefits brought by these technologies. Taking leverage from Additive Manufacturing ESA has placed a strong focus of the benefit brought by many advanced manufacturing technologies for space and started a cross-cutting initiative on Advanced Manufacturing where environmental, regulatory and performances aspects will be closely looked at.


Christoph Bartneck

HIT Lab NZ, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, 8140 Christchurch, New Zealand

Material Challenges in Human Robot Interaction

Thursday, September 29th, 2016,  8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Audimax, TU Darmstadt

Physical interaction is the defining attribute for human-robot interaction. The haptic qualities of a robot are essential for its success. A robot must feel right. Currently robot developers design from the inside out. They first develop the robot’s interior before adding a shell around it. While this approach might be suitable for industrial application, it does not fit the requirements for human-robot interaction. We need to design robots from the outside in. First we need to design its appearance and haptic attributes. The material challenges are to develop materials that feel right for a robot. This often means hiding a hard core in a soft shell. This talk tries to define parameters for the materials used in human-robot interaction.


Cesar A. Barbero

Department of Chemistry, Universidad Nacional de Rio Cuarto, 5800, Rio Cuarto, Argentina

Smart Polymeric Nanocomposites and Polymer Alloys. Synthesis and Applications

Thursday, September 29th, 2016,  2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Audimax, TU Darmstadt

Smart hydrogels are three dimensional crosslinked networks of polymer chains where external stimuli (pH, temperature, ionic force) induce a coil to globule transition, making them smart hydrogels. The transition causes large decreases of volume with expulsion of the inner solution. The properties of the hydrogels can be tuned by different strategies: i) changing the polymer molecular structure; ii) structuring the three dimensional morphology of the gels; iii) compositing the gels with nanomaterials. The fabrication of nanocomposites requires bottom-up synthetic methods. Three synthetic methods are described: i) absorption of pre-formed nanomaterials inside pre-formed porous hydrogel matrix; ii) in-situ synthesis of the nanomaterial inside a preformed hydrogel matrix; iii) synthesis of a hydrogel matrix around preformed nanomaterials.

The methods are compared in terms of material characterization and synthetic power. Additionally, a synthetic method is described to make polymer alloys (homogenous polymer blends) where each polymer affect the properties of the other component. Finally, a material combining an electrically conductive material and a smart (thermosensitive) hydrogel is shown to: i) change volume upon exposition to electromagnetic radiation; ii) sense electrically force or pressure; iii) maintain conductivity upon extremely bending/flexing. Technological applications of this kind of materials will be discussed.