Autonomous Systems for Materials Development Workshop

September 4-6, 2019 – Singh Center for Nanotechnology

September 4, Morning Session, Open to the Public – Glandt Forum

Advances in Artificial Intelligence, robotics, and in situ methods are disrupting the pace of materials research. The current materials research process is notoriously slow, labor-intensive, and expensive. Materials innovations often take decades from inception to commercialization, requiring huge investments in highly educated researchers using largely tax payer-funded resources; we can no longer afford the status quo. Even with conventional high-throughput experimental and simulation capabilities and emerging laboratory automation, many materials discovery and design problems remain intractable. Closed-loop model-driven autonomous experimentation offers a means of surmounting the high complexity of materials design space by employing fundamentally different algorithms for materials discovery and optimization of synthesis and processing conditions. To fully adopt this new paradigm, the materials community needs to reimagine our experimental and computational infrastructure to support autonomous research systems through automated real-time synthesis, characterization, theoretical modeling, analysis, and decision-making capabilities.

With the first successful demonstrations of fully closed-loop autonomous research systems, it is imperative for the community to identify challenges and define goals and opportunities for future directions. This 2 day workshop on Autonomous Systems for Materials Development will bring a diverse group of experts from all sectors of the materials community together with computer scientists working in the areas of machine learning and autonomous systems. The workshop will begin with a 0.5 day plenary session to establish a common baseline, continuing with facilitated sessions to identify challenges, set goals, and establish opportunities and directions for mutually-important collaborative research directions to engage both the materials and computer science communities. Workshop participants will represent stakeholders from funding agencies, foundations, industry, government, and academia. The workshop proceedings will be summarized in a written report defining the current status, important potential investments, and future goals and directions of the field.