UTEP Conference Focuses on Future of Materials, Manufacturing for Energy and Emerging Tech

Scientific experts from around the nation will converge on the UTEP campus May 17-18 for the first Materials for Energy and Emerging Technologies (MEET) conference.

The new initiative, designed and developed by Ramana Chintalapalle, Ph.D., and led by the UTEP Center for Transportation Infrastructure Systems (CTIS) and the College of Engineering, will set the stage for leading engineers, scientists, researchers, technology developers and policymakers in the technology industry to discuss and exchange scientific information.

“The world is a changing place and the needs for new materials are changing with it,” said Carlos Ferregut, Ph.D., interim dean of the College of Engineering. “If we are to succeed as engineers, we need to be au fait (have detailed knowledge) with all that is happening in the materials science and engineering field. We need to be aware of what is happening in the materials research and technology world that will impact our own academic and research programs. That is why conferences such as the MEET conference are not only important, they are critical to maintain our competitiveness as a university and as a country.”

MEET 2017 also provides members of the scientific and engineering community an opportunity to present and discuss their latest research progress, innovations and new ideas to design and develop materials and methods to shape the future of these technologies. The conference gives students preparing to enter the industry an invaluable opportunity.

“A conference with experts of this magnitude usually takes place out of town, and that can be expensive for students,” explained Chintalapalle, associate professor and conference chair. “Students will hear from these experts firsthand and spend some individual time sharing details of their related research in a presentation environment.”

Sessions on the agenda cover various topics, including materials for nuclear power plants, photovoltaics, fossil fuel based energy systems and additive manufacturing. The plenary and keynote speakers at MEET-2017 include representatives from the National Nuclear Security Administration, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Nuclear Science and Security Consortium, and several universities.

The conference also includes STEM Outreach, a session specifically for high school students.

“To maintain the U.S. global competitiveness and technological edge and socio-economic benefits in the future, we must ensure that the younger generations are well educated and aware of STEM opportunities,” said Soheil Nazarian, Ph.D., the other principal investigator of the project.

To register for the conference or view the detailed agenda, visit the MEET Conference website. There are sessions open to the public and an extended session for youth.