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InnoCentive Challenges: Chemistry

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Origins of "The Material Chemists"


I first web-logged this subject on Monday, September 17, 2007. on "Conversations-on-Innovations".

As a (well) trained metallurgist and materials scientist (chemical-processes & physical-products), I was surprised that Defining Materials Chemistry was an issue, and indeed one which interested the RSC-the Royal Institute of Chemistry, UK-GB and the IUPAC-International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry cf below.

I decided to look more closely into this matter, as far as possible, from the pure & applied chemists view point. Indeed I gained useful insights into the nature of materials in relation to chemical building blocks, atoms, molecules and substances. I also decided to find out specifically what the workshop members where involved in, and in so doing;

-learn more of the specific and specialised chemical contribution to the Material Sciences, Technologies & their Engineering into products,

-learn of the Material Chemists interdisciplinary and pluridisciplinary preoccupations, the common lot of Metallurgists & Material Scientists, especially those, most of us, who have worked in an industrial context: R&D-To-Market, and even personnel management, in a word survival!

-share my "update-experience" by starting a web-log on the subject - these subjects.

-justify time spent, to some small extent, by accepting publicity, mostly AdSense, for adding content due to its appropriate-highly relevant targeting- not to mention the simplicity of its use.



For a wider more open approach cf. "Conversations-on-Innovations" "a wee theory of everything" approach, which has served to generate a number of ideas/concepts worthy of further development. Underlying my web-logs is my deep interest in the major problems facing people and nations globally, planet sustainability and the roles science, scientific method, technology and engineering can play "to mitigate man's legitimate quest for the good-life."

Why choose "The Material Chemists" as a title, you may ask?

Well at this point I am not sure what my contribution to the subject maybe. At this point, I surmise that it may be easier to speak about people and their work in general terms, than the intricacies of their subject(s)-their specialisms, its underlying theory.

Naturally, I would be pleased if "the material(s) chemists" in particular and of course related scientists, technologists, engineers & society in general, find the standards to their liking and contribute if only to reach a wider audience "the global blogosphere"...


Let's recal the conclusions of the RSC meeting in London, 2007, since they have a strong significance in Materials Science, Technology & Engineering in general.

Materials Chemistry is:

- the chemistry of the design, synthesis and characterisation of assemblies of molecules whose properties arise from interactions between them.

- the understanding, synthesis, processing and exploitation of compounds or substances in their assembled form.

-the synthesis, processing, characterisation, understanding and exploitation of compounds that have useful or potentially useful properties and applications.


Since application can be a prime element in motivation, typical areas in which materials chemist work are listed as follows

Areas of application cover:

-structures or functions

-designing and processing

-Characterisation and analysis

NB. “The Key to progress in the defining of materials chemistry was to define what constitutes a material in contrast to just a chemical".

This appears to have been achieved and a succesful conclusion reached at the London workshop.

A fuller account was given in the previous post "Materials Chemistry Defined"
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