Materials science and engineering distinguished professor Alexandra Navrotsky recently co-founded Thermodynamics Consortium (ThermoCon), which aims to connect thermodynamics researchers across multiple disciplines to promote thermodynamics research and deepen ties between academia, industry, national labs and equipment manufacturers.
With an increase in the number and complexity of new materials being developed around the world, thermodynamic research hasn't kept up. Thermodynamic data is key to understanding important properties, such as reactivity, materials compatibility, long-term stability and potential environmental contamination and transport, which tell researchers where and how their materials can be used in new systems or technologies.
ThermoCon tackles this challenge by encouraging the development and sharing of methodologies and equipment across industries, as well as collaboration on large research projects. They also plan to work with with equipment manufacturers to develop technologies that are better-suited to researchers's needs. Other key goals involves closing the gap between experimental and theoretical work in materials thermodynamics and training young scientists and engineers.
The consortium was formed in June 2017 at a workshop of experimental thermodynamicists and materials scientists and engineers at the Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Lab at UC Davis. Since then, it has grown to include over 200 experts from 13 countries from fields such as materials science and engineering, chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, geology and mineralogy, including four of Navrotsky's colleagues from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (Subhash Risbud, Sabyasachi Sen, Ricardo Castro and Subhash Mahajan). The consortium has already planned annual meetups, discussions and symposia around the country.