Materials Matter!

I had the honor and privilege to know Wole Soboyejo, from Princeton. He presented a seminar at the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Texas A&M University where I’m staying this week. During his talk he explained how he was moved by a question his mother (a biologist) stated after he explained the important thins he did for aerospace engineering: “what does this mater for ordinary people?”. He explained how this question directed his later career development. What I found more interesting was the way in which he addressed the young audience, showing how the basic knowledge in Thermodynamics, Fracture Mechanics, helps him in seeking solution to problems like early detection of cancer cells, or increasing the life of OLEDs, or solving the problem of furnishing clean water to the poorest of the poorests. Later I had the opportunity to have a dinner with him, invited by Prof. Alan Needleman, his wife Wanda, Prof. Ibrahim Karaman and Prof. Raymundo Arróyave. It was a pleasant night and I could only confirm the first impression I had, he is a remarkable human being. The whole Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the Texas A&M University also impresses me in good sense. It shows all characteristics of an exciting work ambient.

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