Sustainable manufacturing on the micro-scale
Demand has increased for responsible manufacturing methods that can respond to pressing environmental challenges like global warming. There is enormous pressure in particular to develop new, sustainable materials for manufacturing in the automotive, aerospace, energy and medical sectors. But it is extremely expensive and difficult to develop these materials using conventional methods.
Dr. Nikolas Provatas, Canada Research Chair in Computational Materials Science and Engineering, is working to change the way that materials are made by addressing one of the coveted goals of materials engineering—the manipulation of manufacturing processes so that new material properties can be developed.
Provatas is using high-performance computing and the principles of condensed-matter physics to model the way that the microstructure of a material forms and changes as it goes through various steps of the manufacturing process. By looking at the way a material behaves on a very small scale and in very small time-spans, Provatas aims to reveal fundamental properties about the way that materials behave during processing.
Provatas seeks to apply this fundamental physical knowledge to the larger scales and time lengths in which material engineers operate, and to have an impact on the way industries process and develop materials.
By examining the basic building blocks of how materials behave, Provatas’ research will pave the way for the design of better and healthier materials.