Abstract: Biological materials offer deep insights into hierarchical design principles, ranging across scales from atoms to structures. In this talk we review how modeling, experiment and synthesis are integrated to understand, design and leverage novel smart material manufacturing for advanced mechanical properties. This allows us to mimic and improve upon natural processes by which materials evolve, and how they meet changing functional needs. We show how we use mechanics to fabricate innovative materials from the molecular scale upwards, with built-in bio-inspired intelligence and novel properties, while sourced from sustainable resources, and breaking the barrier between living and non-living systems. Applied specifically to protein materials, this integrated materiomic approach is revolutionizing the way we design and use materials, and has the potential to impact many industries, as we harness data-driven modeling and manufacturing across domains and applications. The talk will cover several case studies covering distinct scales, from silk, to collagen, to biomineralized materials, as well as applications to food and agriculture, and focuses on mechanistic insights using scaling laws and size effect studies. A specific focus will be on the use of transformer-based attention models as foundational theories, ultimately applied to solve multi-modal material modeling, design and analysis problems.
Bio: Markus J. Buehler is the McAfee Professor of Engineering at MIT, a member of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering, and the Center for Computational Science and Engineering at the Schwarzman College of Computing. In his research, Professor Buehler pursues new modeling, design and manufacturing approaches for advanced biomaterials that offer greater resilience and a wide range of controllable properties from the nano- to the macroscale. His interests include a variety of functional biomaterial properties including mechanical, optical and biological, linking chemical features, hierarchical and multiscale structures, to performance in the context of physiological, pathological and other extreme conditions. His methods include molecular and multiscale modeling, design, as well as experimental synthesis and characterization. His particular interest lies in the mechanics of complex hierarchical materials with features across scales. An expert in computational materials science and AI, he pioneered the field of materiomics, and demonstrated broad impacts in the study of mechanical properties of complex materials, including predictive materials design and manufacturing. He received many distinguished awards, including the Feynman Prize, the Alfred Noble Prize, the ASME Drucker Medal, the J.R. Rice Medal, and many others. Buehler is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Host: Professor Taher Saif