Science Café Program

The LRSM, through the NSF-supported Penn MRSEC, continues a series of Science Cafés that began in 2011 to promote NOVA’s four part TV series on materials, ‘Making Stuff with David Pogue,’ on public television. The Science Cafés, which are science talks for laymen about materials-related topic of current interest, will take place at 7:30 pm at Stoney’s British Pub, 3007 Concord Pike, Wilmington DE and The Black Sheep Pub, 247 S. 17th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103, at 6:00 pm.

These programs are free and anyone who is interested is invited to attend. No purchase is necessary.

For further information contact:

Andrew R. McGhie at
215-898-6461
mcghie@lrsm.upenn.edu

Current Schedule

January 17, 2023
Stoney’s British Pub

3007 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE


7:30pm
Erich Stach / Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in Materials Discovery Erich Stach
Materials Science & Engineering, University of Pennsylvania
Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in Materials Discovery
 

Artificial intelligence is increasingly news-worthy, especially with recent advances in the areas of Natural Language Processing (ChatGPT) and image generation (DALL-E). In this presentation, I will describe a vision for a future research paradigm for materials discovery that I believe will emerge from the communities use of these methods. I will describe how we can presently data-mine the scientific literature to help us understand the connections between different research areas, and to help us better understand what is ‘known’ and ‘unknown’ in a given field. This information can be used to suggest where lines of scientific inquiry are likely to be most impactful. Thereafter, I’ll describe the last developments in ‘autonomous’ research, where nearly real-time data analysis can be integrated with artificial intelligence methods to accelerate the development of new materials.


November 15, 2022
Stoney's British Pub

3007 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE


7:30pm
Jeffery G. Saven / Sculpting Protein Jeffery G. Saven
University of Pennsylvania
Sculpting Protein
 

The information in our genes, and those of all organisms, is encoded in polymers (DNA). This information is used to create other polymers: proteins. Many of these spontaneously fold and come together to form molecular machines, enzymes, and scaffolds. Attempts to understand and use this encoding can help us understand nature’s molecules, how to make complex natural systems easier to study, and how to create new tools, devices and materials using nature’s molecules. The design and sculpting of biopolymers and biomaterials will be discussed.


October 18, 2022
Stoney's British Pub

3007 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE


7:00pm
Anthony Sigillito / Building a Quantum Computer Anthony Sigillito
University of Pennsylvania
Building a Quantum Computer
 

At nanometer-length scales and at very low temperatures, the classical physics governing our everyday experiences breaks down and systems behave in strange and bizarre ways. The physics describing these systems is known as “Quantum Mechanics”. Across the globe, engineers are trying to harness quantum properties to make more powerful devices for computing and sensing applications. In this talk, we will discuss some of the strange properties that enable new technologies. We will then discuss one promising quantum computing platform being developed at the University of Pennsylvania – quantum processors based on nanoscale transistors in silicon.


September 27, 2022
Stoney’s British Pub

3007 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE


7:30pm
John M. Vohs / Energy Storage Solutions – Batteries and Fuel Cells John M. Vohs
University of Pennsylvania
Energy Storage Solutions – Batteries and Fuel Cells
 

The conversion from fossil-based energy resources to more renewable sources such as wind and solar has motivated the development of battery and fuel cell technologies for the storage of electrical energy.  In this talk I will review some of the major developments in this area of research that have led to the rapid expansion of the use of a range of battery technologies and will also explore some of the factors that need to be overcome for further developments. Specific examples will include batteries for electric vehicles and flow batteries and reversible fuel cells for grid level energy storage.


August 23, 2022
Stoney’s British Pub

3007 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE


7:30pm
Ottman Tertuliano / Breaking Bones at the Nanoscale to Heal Them Ottman Tertuliano
University of Pennsylvania
Breaking Bones at the Nanoscale to Heal Them
 

Bone fracture is a macroscopic human health issue that is fundamentally dictated by small scale biomechanical properties. During exercise, injury, and repair bone tissue at micro and nano length scale is exposed to dynamic loading regime. However, our current framework for understanding bone fracture is largely based on static and macroscale studies. Our ability to quantitatively assess and mitigate fracture risk during various activities, and to accurately prescribe therapies relies on a fundamental understanding of time-dependent properties of bone tissue at micro and nano length scales. I will explain our why and how we study bones at the nanoscale to understand how the structures begins to break.


video channel button

Check out some past lectures on our Video Channel