If researcher Angela Belcher has her way, electric cars of the future will be
equipped with lightweight, inexpensive batteries that can store enough electricity
to make driving such vehicles even more practical. Also on her laboratory “to
do” list: developing tougher electronic material so that you’ll never lose your
computer again to an errant glass of water spilled on your keyboard.
Skillfully combining the disciplines of materials science, engineering and
bioengineering, Angela is focused on developing tougher and more effective
materials and devices for clean energy, electronics, the environment and
medicine. What’s even more interesting are the research methods she uses in
developing such materials. These range from actually “growing” the materials
from genetically-modified microscopic organisms (such as harmless bacterial
viruses) to creating more highly durable material compounds based on studying
how abalone shellfish manufacture their tough, water-sealed outer covering.
Angela is Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological
Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she and
her closely-knit research team use nanotechnology (a growing area of science
that focuses on manipulating matter at the atomic and molecular level) to
produce their advanced materials.
Says Angela: ” We like to work on problems that are very hard–but not
Read more about her here.
What types of scientific problems in today society do you think material science can influence?
Find a great short interview with Angela here:
Take a look at a bit of a longer lecture here: