An Emerging Multi-discipline: Materials Design
Traditionally, design with materials has been a sub discipline of design engineering that addresses materials selection issues for various applications, quite distinct from materials science. The fields of materials science and materials engineering have been predominately concerned with establishing structure-property relations, processing of materials, and measurement of properties. These traditional empirical approaches is increasingly shifting toward design of materials to achieve enhanced functionality in a robust manner, driven largely by advances in theoretical modeling, process modeling and resolution of analytical characterization.
In recent years, the nascent field of materials design has advanced significantly, focusing on the prediction of specific pre-synthetic material properties, both structural and functional in nature. Theoretical and applied solid-state physics is now poised to predict the structure of presently unknown materials possessing desired properties at atomistic/molecular scales.
Georgia Tech is a partner institution in the NSF Center for Computational Materials Design (CCMD), with Penn State as the lead institution. An NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) formed in 2005, the CCMD is a taking bold steps towards integrating systems-based materials design methods with computational materials science and mechanics, as well as experimental property measurements and characterization/validation tools.