Energy is the underpinning of all technological progress our society makes. Tapping into energy sources and converting and storing energy into useful forms are challenges humans face within the constraints of limited natural resources and an increasing global demand. Materials lie at the heart of this challenge. By creating novel materials with unique structure, properties and better processes, scientists and engineers in IMSE are creating exciting opportunities to address the grand energy challenge.
Materials science intersects with the fields of environmental science and sustainability in a variety of ways. This involves both developing new materials and conducting basic science research to understand processes governing the behavior of the materials. Specific research areas with emphasis in IMSE include: carbon dioxide capture and conversion (to metal carbonates and other products), treatment for removal of aqueous-phase contaminants, and the surface chemistry of environmental materials from natural and engineered systems.