The National Science Foundation, Division of Materials Research will provided funds to support the participation of US students and faculty at the 2013 Africa Materials Research Society Conference to be held at the United Nations Conference Center (UNCC) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. This meeting is comprised of a series of symposia, workshops and short courses. Each symposium will last 1-3 days, with 5-6 parallel sessions running at all times. Most sessions will be technical, with international and African leaders in their respective field making extended presentations and students making shorter presentation or presenting posters. The workshops and short courses will be more pedagogical in structure and content than the regular symposia. The topical areas of the conference include: Materials for Energy; Materials for Life, Health and the Environment; Basic Materials and NanoScience; Computational Material Science; Manufacturing; Metallurgy, Foundry, Processing and Infrastructure; and Materials Education and Networking.

NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY: The project will provide funds that will enable the participation of US students and faculty at the 2013 Africa Materials Research Society Conference. The conference will: - Promote excellence in materials research in Africa and between Africa and the US. - Build a network of US-based materials researchers who are capable of working in multi-national and multi-disciplinary collaborations. - Promote information and resource sharing, exchanges, and development goals in academic, industrial, and national laboratory settings. - Demonstrate how materials research contributes significantly to strategies for social equity and poverty alleviation in a constructive and sustainable manner. - Encourage downstream materials manufacturing and value-adding activities, with a focus on applications in energy, health, construction, transportation, biology, and electronics. - Strengthen facilities and other resources for materials science education, focusing on the higher education sector.

The US participants will include a significant percentage of women and underrepresented minorities.

Project Report

The 7th Africa Materials Research Society biennial Conference was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, December 7-13, 2013. The Conference focused on six materials research themes, including some of special interest to Africa. Key international leaders discussed recent breakthroughs and future directions. The Conference also provided an opportunity for policy, education and networking dialogue, and helped define priorities and challenges for materials research and development in Africa and globally. The organizers encouraged students to participate. This Conference followed previous ones in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania, Morocco, South Africa, and Senegal. Although organizing and running a conference in the developing world remains somewhat of a challenge, the African MRS meeting held in Addis Ababa in December 2013 was a very successful event from many perspectives. NSF support for the event was absolutely essential and was well recognized and appreciated by all present. The primary organizers of the conference were Teketel Yohannes Anshebo (Addis Ababa University), Eric Garfunkel (Rutgers), and Sossina Haile (Caltech/Northwestern). Two NSF staffers participated in the event, Tessema Guebre and Margaret Anne Wampamba, and their help and guidance in planning for the conference was also greatly appreciated by the organizers. Major additional help came from Mona Marei (Alexandria Univ, Egypt, AMRS President), Wole Soboyejo (Princeton/AUST-Abuja), Federico Rosei (INRC, Canada), Joe Zimba, (South Africa), Simon Billinge (Columbia), Geri Richmond (Univ. of Oregon), Sandro Scandolo (ITCP, Trieste), Silke Krol (Austria), and Abdelaziz El Jazouli (Morocco) The intellectual merit of the conference came predominantly in the form of information exchange facilitated by presentations and a poster session in the following general areas: Materials for Energy and Sustainability Materials for Life, Health and the Environment Basic Materials and NanoScience Computational Materials Science Metallurgy, Foundry, Processing and Infrastructure Materials Education and Networking The plenary speaker was Prof. Robert Grubbs of Caltech. Prof. Grubbs gave an exceptional presentation entitled Catalysis and Sustainability: Examples from Metathesis. The talk was an excellent overview of his research and development efforts, including the technologies and products that have resulted from his group’s work over the past three decades. A series of dignitaries opened the conference. They included: Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini-Zuma, African Union Commission Chair Carlos Lopes, UNECA Undersecretary General Martial De-Paul Ikounga, AU Commissioner of Human Resources, Science and Technology Demitu Hambissa, Ethiopian Minister of Science and Technology "Broader Impacts" were central to the Conference – impact in African development, human resource development, and diversity promotion. During the opening session the Kwame Nkrumah Awards for STEM education across Africa, were presented to three African women. Women and under-represented minorities were active at all levels of the Conference.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Materials Research (DMR)
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Michael J. Scott
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Materials Research Society
United States
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