2017 Erich Bloch Symposium

May 31 - June 1, 2017 | Buffalo, NY

group photo outside Davis Hall at UB from the 2017 Erich Bloch Symposium

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.

 

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Speakers and Presenters

Keynote Speakers

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Rita R. Colwell

Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland at College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health | President and Chairman of CosmosID, Inc | 11th Director of the National Science Foundation

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Neal F. Lane

Senior Fellow in Science and Technology Policy at the Baker Institute | Malcolm Gillis University Professor of Physics and Astronomy Emeritus at Rice University | 10th Director of the National Science Foundation

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Gavin McIntyre

Co-founder and Chief Scientist at Ecovative Design

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C. Daniel Mote, Jr.

President, National Academy of Engineering

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Sanjay Padhi

Principal, Amazon Web Services' Global Scientific Computing Team

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Terence Sobolewski

Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, National Grid US

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Brian Storey

Toyota Research Institute's Accelerated Scientific Discovery Program and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Olin College

Moderators and Panelists

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Robert W. Corell

Principal, Global Environment Technology Foundation

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Frank Ernst, PhD

Leonard Case Jr. Professor and Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Case Western Reserve University

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Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA

Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Electrical Engineering, University at Buffalo

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Venu Govindaraju, PhD

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

Graham Hammill, PhD

Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean of the Graduate School, University at Buffalo

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William C. Harris, PhD

President and Chief Executive Officer, Science Foundation Arizona

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Quanxi Jia, PhD

Empire Innovation Professor and National Grid Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo, and Scientific Director, New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

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Omar Khan

Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, and Co-leader, Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART) Community of Excellence, University at Buffalo

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Eaton (Ed) Lattman, PhD

Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, Professor, Department of Structural Biology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and Director, BioXFEL, University at Buffalo, and Principal Research Scientist, Hauptman-Woodward Institute

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Kemper Lewis, PhD

Professor and Chair, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Director, Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technologies (SMART) Community of Excellence, University at Buffalo

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D. Scott Mackey, PhD

Professor, Department of Geography and Associate Dean of Graduate Education, College of Arts and Sciences, University at Buffalo

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Balaji Narasimham, PhD

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

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Abani K. Patra, PhD

Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo

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E. Bruce Pitman, PhD

Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo

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Paras N. Prasad, PhD

Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Electrical Engineering, and Executive Director, Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics, University at Buffalo

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Alan Rabideau, PhD, PE

Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, University at Buffalo

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Krishna Rajan, ScD

Erich Bloch Chair and Empire Innovation Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo

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Pavani Ram, MD

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

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Ramamurthy Ramprasad, PhD

Centennial Term Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Connecticut

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Mark Rossi, PhD

Executive Director, Clean Production Action

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Robin Schulze, PhD

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

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Sadasivan Shankar, PhD

Margaret and Will Hearst Visiting Lecturer in Computational Science and Engineering, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

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Mark Swihart, PhD

UB Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, and Executive Director, New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics

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Satish K. Tripathi, PhD

President, University at Buffalo

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Grace Wang, PhD

Vice Chancellor of Research and Economic Development, State University of New York (SUNY)

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Olga Wodo, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Materials Design and Innovation, University at Buffalo

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Charles F. Zukoski, PhD

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, University at Buffalo

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About Erich Bloch

photo of 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.