Ben Wang was recently selected as chair of the National Materials and Manufacturing Board (NMMB), National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Wang is executive director of the Georgia Tech Manufacturing Institute, Gwaltney Chair & professor in Industrial and Systems Engineering, and professor in Materials Science & Engineering.
The NMMB is the principal forum at the U.S. National Academies for all national issues related to innovative materials and advanced manufacturing, and has oversight responsibility for National Research Council activities in these technology areas.
The NMMB was created in recognition of the increasing importance of materials science to innovations in engineering and manufacturing. The NMMB combines the charges of two preexisting boards: the National Materials Advisory Board and the Board on Manufacturing and Engineering Design. Its mission is to build on the past achievements of its parent boards by providing objective, independent assessments of the current state of materials and manufacturing research - including at the atomic, molecular, and nano scales - and the applications of new and existing materials in innovative ways, including pilot-scale and large-scale manufacturing, the design of new devices, and disposal.
Previous studies by NMMB have covered diverse, timely, and consequential topics including global supply chains and national security, real-time detection of damage to materials in aerospace applications and of threat agents, integrated computational materials engineering, and management of existing U.S. materials resources. Under the sponsorship of U.S. government agencies such as the Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the National Science Foundation, NMMB will be responsible for the strategic planning, program development, and administrative oversight of studies and other activities that expand this existing body of work.