5 Tech Trends Accelerating Advanced Materials Design in 2021
Historically, designing advanced materials has required a significant amount of patience. Professionals in some creative and scientific fields can see the results of their work right before their eyes, but material engineers have always needed to wait for their designs to be manufactured and then tested to see if a new material’s performance would meet expectations.
Recently, however, several emerging technologies are letting material engineers more freely tinker and iterate to see results from their work much more rapidly. As a result, designers and engineering teams developing advanced materials can test out more ideas, discovering more solutions to pressing problems, faster than ever.
Here are five of those emerging game-changing tech trends for advanced materials designers.
1. Machine learning and artificial intelligence. The rise of machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the single most significant development in the field of advanced materials design over the past decade. ML algorithms simply make materials design much more intuitive than before. They let material engineers make a design change and get immediate feedback about how that new material performs.
Meanwhile, AI is helping designers make discoveries that lead to design changes for materials. As humans, we can observe natural phenomena, develop mathematical models to explain them, and eventually try to replicate them in the materials design process. But AI tools essentially eliminate the intermediary step and uncover physical laws and solve problems without ever having to work out the equations. This technology is revolutionizing sectors like biology and medicine, and it will have an increasingly significant impact on the materials design field in the coming years.
2. Cloud computing. Advanced materials design requires some serious computational power, the type of computing power that until recently was largely only accessible in research labs. Today, the public cloud lets researchers spin up vast resources on a temporary basis, paying only for what they use.