2014 (Archived information)
6th International Materials Education Symposium

The event will be held at Cambridge University

University of Cambridge

Symposium: April 10-11, 2014

Short courses: April 8-9, 2014

The Materials Education Symposia are a unique opportunity to focus on materials teaching in universities and colleges across the range of disciplines in engineering, science, and design. Join us for two days of talks, discussion, interactive sessions, and plenty of opportunity for networking and informal conversation.

See the program here (attendees can download presentations PDFS) »

Download the Symposium Booklet, including full abstracts »

The key theme this year is "'Materials, Systems, Innovation, & Sustainable Development'".

Provisional Agenda—summary

Time Event Venue
Wednesday, April 9: Presenters Dinner
Evening Drinks reception & Presenters’ Dinner Magdalene College, to arrive by punt [weather permitting]
Thursday, April 10: Symposium, day one
8.00 am Registration, Refreshments & Poster setup Clare College
9 am Symposium Day One
12.45 pm Lunch & Poster Session
2.15 pm – 5.30 pm Symposium, continued
7.00 pm – 10.30 pm Drinks reception & Symposium Dinner Clare College
Friday, April 11: Symposium, day two
8.30 am Registration, Refreshments & Poster setup Clare College
9.00 am Symposium Day Two
12.45 pm Lunch & Poster Session
2.15 pm Symposium, continued
5.30 pm Close

The Social Programme includes the Presenters' Dinner on the Wednesday, the Drinks Reception and Symposium Dinner on Thursday, and opportunities for exploring Cambridge on the Saturday.

Short Courses

The Symposium provides opportunities for educators to discuss all aspects of materials teaching. On the two days preceding the event, there will be a chance to focus on just one of these: CES EduPack. These optional short courses are led by Prof. Mike Ashby and will take place in the Cambridge University Engineering Department. Existing users can also join the CES EduPack Development Workshop.

Tue, Apr 8 Introducing Materials and the Environment »
(CES EduPack course)
Wed, Apr 9 Advanced Materials Selection and Eco Design »
(CES EduPack course)
Wed, Apr 9
CES EduPack Development Workshop
(note revised times)


The main Symposium sessions will include:

  • Around 15-20 presentations from an international speaker panel selected by the Symposium Advisory Committee. Talks will cover teaching in the following topic areas: materials science, manufacturing and processes, mechanical engineering, industrial design, aerospace and nuclear engineering, bio engineering, plastics, and sustainable engineering
  • Interactive discussion sessions
  • Socializing and networking over lunches and the Symposium dinner
  • Two days of Poster sessions, with 'Poster Teasers' sessions allowing presenters to briefly introduce their work in the main lecture theater
  • Other activities on the two preceding days including a Presenter's dinner, short courses, networking, and the CES EduPack development meeting

Materials science, as Prof. Mike Ashby argued in his opening talk for this session, is a bridging discipline, linking the pure and applied sciences across many fields. Materials science and materials engineering sit at the intersection of many different subject areas (see figure, right), and play an important role in education and industry as they link the pure and applied sciences across many fields. This breadth makes these subjects uniquely well placed to contribute to the solution of many of today's challenges, particularly:

  • Introducing students to environmental challenges,
  • Encouraging cross-fertilization between disciplines.

The interdisciplinary nature of materials teaching will be a major focus for the Symposia as we explore how materials can link different subjects together, and learn from experiences of teaching materials and processes across the curriculum.

These events for materials educators follow on from the success of previous symposia, which delegates praised for providing extended opportunities for discussion and encouraging the exchange of ideas and experiences related to materials teaching. The symposia fostered an atmosphere of community amongst educators involved in teaching undergraduate materials science across disciplines including engineering, design, and science.

The 2014 symposia are being coordinated by Granta Design, with support from an independent academic Advisory Committee, ASM International, the ASEE Materials Division, SEFI, FEMS, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , and the University of Cambridge. more »