New award from The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society recognizes top-performing early-career professionals

Natasha Vermaak, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, is the recipient of a 2020 Frontiers of Materials Award from The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society (TMS).

TMS is a “professional society that connects minerals, metals, and materials scientists and engineers who work in industry, academia, and government positions around the world.”

This new, competitive award is given to top-performing early-career professionals. As part of the award, the honoree organizes a symposium on an emergent technical topic and delivers a keynote lecture during the symposium.

Vermaak delivered her symposium on “Leveraging Materials in Topology Optimization” February 25, 2020, at the TMS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

As reported in the 2019 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Frontiers of Materials Research: A Decadal Survey: Topology optimization is pushing the frontiers of architected material design by decoupling and independently optimizing material properties and functionality.

Topology optimization offers a mathematical framework to determine the most efficient material layout for prescribed constraints and loading conditions. It offers a framework for accessing unexplored and previously unachievable areas of material-property space. Simultaneously, with the development of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, there is enormous potential to design materials and structures, in two and three dimensions, with controlled architecture, topology, and new multifunctional performance. For example, design approaches may include multiple scales, multiple material phases, integration of manufacturing processes and uncertainty.

This topic featured several invited contributions from researchers and artists innovating methods and applications of design and topology optimization for materials.

Natasha Vermaak receives award

MechE associate professor Natasha Vermaak receives a 2020 Frontiers of Materials Award from The Minerals, Metals Materials Society.

Symposium flyer