2017 Erich Bloch Symposium

May 31 - June 1, 2017 | Buffalo, NY

In 2017, we hosted our first large event dedicated to the late Erich Bloch, former director of the National Science Foundation who helped endow the Department of Materials Design and Innovation at UB.

The symposium, presented by MDI's Summer Research Institute, was an opportunity for industry and academia to converge and explore grand challenges in engineering through interdisciplinary materials science education and research.

 

5/25/17

The event highlights MDI, a new science and engineering department at UB.

2017 Agenda

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

7:30 am - 9:00 am   Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:30 am   Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Chair: Krishna Rajan, Erich Bloch Endowed Chair & Empire Innovation Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo 

Welcome: Satish Tripathi, President, University at Buffalo

9:30 am - 10:15 am   The Bloch Legacy and MDI: Promoting Human Resources and Innovation

Chairs: Bill Harris, President and Chief Executive Officer, Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz) and former Assistant
Director of Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation

Bob Corell, Principal, Global Environment and Technology Foundation and former Assistant Director of the Geosciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation

10:15 am - 10:45 am   Break

10:45 am - 12:00 pm   Design for a Healthy Society 

Moderator:  Bruce Pitman, Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo

This session explores the complex interplay between climate and human health.  Guided by the use of advanced data analytical methods, our panel will discuss how materials science together with data science, can play an important role in providing solutions to pressing problems in human health. 

Keynote Speaker:  Rita Colwell, Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland at College Park, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health | President and Chairman of CosmosID, Inc. | Member of the National Academies of Science | 11th Director of the National Science Foundation “Climate, Human Health, Cholera and CosmosID”

Panel Presentations and Discussion

Balaji Narasimham, Vlasta Klima Balloun Chair, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Iowa State University

Ed Lattman, Director NSF-STC BioXFEL- Department of Structural Biology & Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo

D. Scott Mackey, Professor, Department of Geography and Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University at Buffalo

12:00 pm - 12:45 pm   Lunch

12:45 pm - 1:00 pm     Group photo in Grace Plaza

1:00 pm - 1:30 pm   Data Science: enabling convergence across disciplines

Moderator: Krishna Rajan, Erich Bloch Endowed Chair for the Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo 

The theme of “data science” is pervasive in the new Department of Materials Design and Innovation.  In this session, we will discuss the power of data science and its role in enabling the convergence of vastly different and diverse disciplines to promote innovation. 

Keynote speaker:  Sanjay Padhi, Principal at Amazon Web Services, Global Scientific Computing Team "Amazon Web Service:  Evolution of Predictive Analytics: from Bosons to the 'Bottom Line'”

1:45 pm - 3:00 pm   Policy for a Sustainable Society   

Moderator: Liesl Folks, Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Electrical Engineering, University at Buffalo 

Along the entire arc of the life cycle of materials – from the extraction of raw materials, processing, manufacturing, and use of materials, decommissioning and /or recycling of materials, the issues of sustainability and materials science are inextricably linked.  Developing appropriate policies is predicated on decision makers having the full understanding of the relevant scientific information.  This session explores the challenges and strategies for communicating evidence-based information to those who can help develop policies for a sustainable society. 

Keynote Speaker:  Neal Lane, Senior Fellow in Science and Technology Policy, Baker Institute for Public Policy | Malcom Gillis University Professor of Physics and Astronomy Emeritus, Rice University | 10th Director of the National Science Foundation: “Giving the president advice on science and technology - and why it’s getting harder”

Panel Presentations and Discussion: 

Mark Rossi, Executive Director, Clean Production Action

Alan Rabideau, Professor, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo

Pavani Ram, Co-director, Community of Excellence on Global Health Equity and Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, University at Buffalo 

3:00 pm - 3:30 pm   Break

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm   Energy for a Regenerative Economy 

Moderator: Quanxi Jia, Empire Innovation Professor and National Grid Professor of Materials Research, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, Scientific Director of UB’s New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI), University at Buffalo 

Developing energy systems that can accommodate the rapid increase in energy needs for a burgeoning global population and at the same time not amplify their adverse environmental and health impacts is one of the grand challenges facing society.  Materials science can play a critical role in developing technologically viable solutions. Strategies and potential innovations for developing a ‘regenerative economy’ based on an energy infrastructure that is clean and affordable is the focus of this session. 

Keynote Speaker: Terry Sobolewski, Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer, National Grid "The Bridge from a Carbonized to De-Carbonized World: Achieving Societal Change While Preserving Energy Affordably"

Panel Presentations and Discussion:

Ramamurthy Ramprasad, Centennial Term Professor, Deptartment of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut

Abani Patra, Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Department of Energy and Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo

Mark Swihart, Executive Director, New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics and Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University at Buffalo with Paras Prasad, Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry, University at Buffalo

5:00 pm - 6:30 pm   Symposium Reception

Thursday, June 1, 2017

7:30 am - 8:30 am   Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 am - 9:45 am   Innovation for a Global Workforce    

Moderator: Grace Wang, SUNY Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development and Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo

An important goal for the MDI Department is to implement novel approaches to help students obtain the learning skills necessary for interdisciplinary science, as well as for promoting social responsibility.  In this session, we explore the challenges and opportunities in achieving these goals by exploring this topic from numerous perspectives

Introduction: Charles Zukoski, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University at Buffalo

Keynote Speaker: C. Daniel Mote, Jr., President, National Academy of Engineering, “The Grand Challenges for Engineering and the Grand Challenges Scholar Program"

Panel Presentations and Discussion

Venu Govindaraju, Vice President of Research and Economic Development, SUNY Distinguished Professor, Computer Science and Engineering, University at Buffalo

Graham Hammill, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, University at Buffalo

Robin Schulze, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of English, University at Buffalo

9:45 am - 10:30 am   Break

10:30 am - 11:45 pm   Design and Innovation for Materials Science     

Moderator: Olga Wodo, Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation

The concept of “design” is used in many fields and in this session we bring together experts who design materials using concepts that are at the nexus of biology, physical sciences, engineering and architecture.  This serves to demonstrate the intellectual vibrancy of materials science as we explore how innovation in this field is driven by the ability to understand the relationship between shape, form and function of materials, whether it be “atom-by-atom” or “brick-by-brick”. 

Keynote Speaker:  Gavin McIntyre, Co-founder and Chief Scientist, Ecovative Design
                          "Harnessing Biology for Materials Design"

Panel presentations:

Sadasivan Shankar, Margaret and Will Hearst Lecturer in Computational Science and Engineering, Harvard University

Frank Ernst, Leonard Case Jr. Professor and Chair, Deptartment of Materials Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

Kemper Lewis, Director, Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies Community of Excellence (SMART CoE) and Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo with Omar Khan, Co-director, SMART CoE and Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Architecture, University at Buffalo

11:45 pm - 12:15 pm   Interdisciplinary Data Science - harnessing the tools

Moderator: Krishna Rajan, Erich Bloch Endowed Chair & Empire Innovation Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo 

In this session, we will provide case studies on how accelerated materials development, aided by data driven science, can achieve critical solutions for the next generation of transportation systems. 

Keynote Speaker: Brian Storey, Toyota Research Institute's Accelerated Scientific Discovery Program and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Olin College "Accelerated Materials Design and Discovery: Launching a New Industry-University Collaboration"

12:15 pm - 12:30 pm   Closing Remarks

Krishna Rajan, Erich Bloch Endowed Chair & Empire Innovation Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo 

12:30 pm - 2:00 pm   Lunch

2:30 pm - 5:00 pm      Post Symposium Regional Networking Workshop (101 Davis Hall)

Building a regional hub for research, economic and community development

Moderator: Grace Wang, SUNY Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development and Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo

About Erich Bloch

Erich Bloch (January 9, 1925 – November 25, 2016) was a German-born American electrical engineer and administrator. He was involved with developing IBM’s first transistorized supercomputer, 7030 Stretch, and mainframe computer, System/360. He served as director of the National Science Foundation from 1984 to 1990.

Bloch, the son of a Jewish businessman and housewife, lost his parents in the Holocaust, survived the war in a refugee camp in Switzerland and immigrated in 1948 to the United States. He studied electrical engineering at ETH Zurich and received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Buffalo.

Bloch joined IBM after graduating in 1952. He was engineering manager of IBM’s STRETCH supercomputer system and director of several research sites during his career. In June 1984, Ronald Reagan nominated Bloch to succeed Edward Alan Knapp as director of the National Science Foundation. The same year, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. In 1985, Bloch was awarded one of the first National Medals of Technology and Innovation along with Bob O. Evans and Fred Brooks for their work on the IBM System/360.

After stepping down as director of the National Science Foundation, Bloch joined the Council on Competitiveness as its first distinguished fellow. The IEEE Computer Society awarded him the Computer Pioneer Award in 1993 for high speed computing. In 2002, the National Science Board honored Bloch with the Vannevar Bush Award. He was made a Fellow of the Computer History Museum in 2004 “for engineering management of the IBM Stretch supercomputer, and of the Solid Logic Technology used in the IBM System/360, which revolutionized the computer industry.”

In 2014, Bloch donated $1.5 million to the University at Buffalo to establish the Erich Bloch Endowed Chair for the new Department of Materials Design and Innovation.