Materials and Manufacturing for Extreme Environments Initiative

Michigan Engineering hosts its first meeting centered around developing solutions for manufacturing systems for extreme conditions

Hypersonic flight environments, additive manufacturing and integrated computations modeling were all topics of conversation at the first Technical Interchange on Materials (TIM) and Manufacturing for Extreme Environments Meeting. The TIM was held on May 21, 2024 on U-M’s Central Campus and organized by Kathleen Sevener from the U-M Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Chinedum Okwudire from the U-M Department of Mechanical Engineering and U-M Aerospace Engineering Professor Mirko Gamba. 

“This event was a long time in the making, and I’m glad that we were able to finally make it a reality. It was wonderful to have a strong showing from participants from government, academia, and industry. We are very grateful to the College of Engineering and the sponsoring departments for their support. I believe this effort will help us at U-M to develop concerted efforts around this topic in the near future,” stated Okwudire after the event took place.

The interchange gathered experts from industry, government and academia to provide space for discussion of potential solutions for addressing challenges for developing systems that can operate in extreme conditions. The combined core expertise from materials science, manufacturing and aerospace structures brought together external collaborators, experts and stakeholders as the first step of the Materials and Manufacturing for Extreme Environments Initiative.

Many topics of discussion were on the table throughout the day-long event. Everything from the needs and opportunities for addressing practical challenges were explored through plenary presentations, thematic presentations and panel discussions, all based around relevant topics in the field. These complex systems conversations included topics such as hypersonic flight systems, re-entry vehicles and space exploration systems. 

The Materials and Manufacturing for Extreme Environments Initiative’s vision is to support the rapid development and characterization of advanced and functionalized materials for applications in extreme environments, as well as develop manufacturing approaches at relevant scales in support of systems development. The collaborative nature of this initiative will tie in key stakeholders with potential partners while exploring opportunities and establishing pathways for academia to support industry needs. 

This TIM was proudly sponsored by the following University of Michigan departments and institutions: Aerospace Engineering, Michigan Materials Research Institute (MMRI), Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Space Institute.