See all NewsEngineering News

Global Partnership in Materials Science Established

Northwestern and Materials Research Institute in Japan Establish New Center

Northwestern University and the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan have launched a joint research center to address global materials-related challenges in energy, environment, health, and security.

Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro and NIMS President Sukekatsu Ushioda signed the agreement establishing the Center for Materials Innovation at a special ceremony Sept. 6 at Northwestern. Officials from Northwestern and NIMS were in attendance.

The center will be based at Northwestern, and researchers from both institutions will work on collaborative projects. Faculty, students, and postdoctoral fellows from the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science will be involved in the research.

The co-directors are R.P.H. Chang, a professor of materials science and engineering in McCormick, for Northwestern, and Yoshio Aoki, director, External Collaboration Division, for NIMS.

“The areas of energy, environment and security are big challenges that take more than just one country to tackle,” said Chang, who has collaborated with NIMS researchers for more than 10 years. “NIMS is a world leader in fundamental and applied materials research, and we are excited to partner with them and launch this new initiative.”

A senior delegation from NIMS and Northwestern faculty and students participated in a collaborative workshop Sept. 5. Topics included overviews of each institution’s research portfolio, centers and facilities, and talks on a number of specific materials research projects.

NIMS, founded by the Japanese government, conducts fundamental research in materials science and engineering and also promotes practical usage of its results to the public. Key areas of research include materials for energy and the environment as well as nanoscale materials.

For more information on the Center for Materials Innovation, send an email to