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International symposium on exploring artificial intelligence for materials science 

April 15, 2024

Update : April 15, 2024

The Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre is hosting the 2nd Annual CEMDI Symposium, bringing together experts from around the world. 

Computational materials science is a rapidly expanding field, both in Québec and internationally. This interdisciplinary approach makes it possible to understand the properties of materials such as ceramics, alloys, and composites, and to predict their behavior under different operating conditions.  

The ultimate goal? Accelerate the discovery and development of new materials by reducing the time and resources allocated to laboratory experiments—something that remains a major challenge, as this is an area where there is still much to discover. 

INRS professors Kulbir Ghuman and Tarek Djerafi are co-organizing the 2nd edition of the CEMDI symposium in collaboration with the Japanese group Perspective on Artificial Intelligence in Materials Science (PAIMS), which is also interested in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in materials science to accelerate materials discovery and development.

The event will take place from May 27 to 29, 2024, at the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre in Bonaventure. It is aimed as much at the research community—professors and students— as well as Quebec companies interested in establishing partnerships and accelerating R&D in the field of materials science.

Professeure Kulbir Kaur Ghuman

“Artificial intelligence is everywhere. But the challenge with AI and materials science is the limited amount of data. It’s very difficult to generate data in this field because the techniques used to do so are expensive and time-consuming. This 2nd CEMDI symposium will focus on the use of AI in computational materials science, particularly in energy and environmental applications. I’m proud that INRS is behind this international initiative.” 

Kulbir Ghuman, researcher specializing in computational materials design and Canada Research Chair in Computational Materials Design for Energy and Environmental Applications

Sustainable energy technologies 

CEMDI, the Computational Energy Materials Design Infrastructure, is led by Professor Ghuman and was established in 2021 to foster the development of innovative materials to solve our society’s energy and environmental challenges. 

“We try to ensure that any technologies we work on are energetically sustainable. CEMDI aims to be a key academic cluster for innovation in the green energy sector, thanks to the collaboration of its members and the advanced computational research carried out here,” she explains. 

Professor Djerafi, an expert in wireless communications, is also focusing on the implementation of AI for energy applications such as sensors. 

Fostering partnerships between industry and academia 

The symposium will feature some 20 speakers from Japan, South Africa, Germany, France and the rest of Canada. It will bring together members of the research community, as well as Québec companies interested in establishing partnerships and accelerating R&D in the field of AI and materials science. 

Québec is home to several key industries that rely heavily on materials for their products and processes, such as aerospace, automotive, electronics, energy, medicine and clean technologies. Computational materials science helps optimize the materials used in these sectors to improve performance, reduce costs and minimize the environmental footprint. 

Encelline Inc., IEEE , PRIMA Québec, and the Royal Society of Chemistry are partners in the event.  

A nod to art and science

Chico Togni, a Brazil artist living in Toronto, will be on site to create a work of art on the theme of environmental and energy issue, using waste materials. Togni has a diverse body of work utilizing fond materials like cardboard, fabric, wood, and metal. Recently he has exhibited at many institutions worldwide, including Kunsthaus Dresden and MdbK Leipzig, Cité des Arts Paris amongst others. Inspired by dumpster diving and the studies of “degrowth”, Chico’s recent exploration into collage and paper maché has led to the creation of the Bellaroche Stories, a series of works narrating the journey of rocks and power tools. As he prepares for the upcoming symposium, Chico sees it as an opportunity to further explore these themes, using waste materials to spark dialogue and inspire eco-conscious living.