Visionaries in Technology: Distinguished Speaker Series

Dartmouth Engineering's annual Visionaries in Technology distinguished speaker series honors engineers and scientists whose insights have benefited humanity through revolutionary engineering solutions, paradigm-shifting scientific advances, novel fields of inquiry, or policy-shaping debate.

2022 Visionaries in Technology

Julia Greer, Ruben and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics, and Medical Engineering, Caltech


"Materials by Design—3D Nano-Architected Meta-Materials"

Creation of reconfigurable and multi-functional materials can be achieved by incorporating architecture into material design. In our research, we design and fabricate three-dimensional (3D) nano-architected materials that can exhibit superior and often tunable thermal, photonic, electrochemical, biochemical, and mechanical properties at extremely low mass densities (lighter than aerogels), which renders them useful and enabling in technological applications. Dominant properties of such meta-materials are driven by their multi-scale nature: from characteristic material microstructure (atoms) to individual constituents (nanometers) to structural components (microns) to overall architectures (millimeters and above).

Our research is focused on fabrication and synthesis of nano- and micro-architected materials using 3D lithography, nanofabrication, and additive manufacturing (AM) techniques, as well as on investigating their mechanical, biochemical, electrochemical, electromechanical, and thermal properties as a function of architecture, constituent materials, and microstructural detail. Additive manufacturing (AM) represents a set of processes that fabricate complex 3D structures using a layer-by-layer approach, with some advanced methods attaining nanometer resolution and the creation of unique, multifunctional materials and shapes derived from a photoinitiation-based chemical reaction of custom-synthesized resins and thermal postprocessing. A type of AM, vat polymerization, has allowed for using hydrogels as precursors, and exploiting novel material properties, especially those that arise at the nano-scale and do not occur in conventional materials.

The focus of this talk is on additive manufacturing via vat polymerization and function-containing chemical synthesis to create 3D nano- and micro-architected metals, ceramics, multifunctional metal oxides (nano-photonics, photocatalytic, piezoelectric, etc.), and metal-containing polymer complexes, etc., as well as demonstrate their potential in some real-use biomedical, protective, and sensing applications. I will describe how the choice of architecture, material, and external stimulus can elicit stimulusresponsive, reconfigurable, and multifunctional response.

About Julia Greer

Julia Greer

Julia Greer obtained her SB in chemical engineering with a minor in advanced music performance from MIT and a PhD in materials science from Stanford. Before joining Caltech in 2007, she worked at Intel and was a post-doc at PARC. She is currently Caltech's Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Materials Science, Mechanics, and Medical Engineering. Greer has more than 170 publications, has an h-index of 67, and has delivered over 100 invited lectures. She received the inaugural AAAFM-Heeger Award and was named a Vannevar-Bush Faculty Fellow by the US Department of Defense and a 20/20 Visionary by CNN. She has received multiple career awards and is an active member of the scientific community through professional societies (MRS, SES, TMS). Greer is the Director of the Kavli Nanoscience Institute at Caltech and serves as an associate editor for Nano Letters and Science Advances. She is also a concert pianist who performs solo recitals and in chamber groups.

VIT Image Contest

Some images in research can captivate the mind and inspire thoughtful questions. Students, postdocs, and research scientists: You are invited to submit images related to your research that exemplify these attributes. Images will be judged both for their aesthetics and the curiosity that they inspire.

Submission Information & Guidelines

Image Requirements

  • High-resolution digital image (at least 300 dpi)
  • File name format: FirstName_LastName_VIT
  • Informative title
  • Complete description
  • Method/s or equipment used

Submit an image

Rules and Judging Information

  • Images are judged more for aesthetics than scientific quality.
  • Images may be obtained by any technique or be the result of modeling and simulation.
  • Color enhancements and other modifications are welcome for artistic effect.
  • Multiple submissions by a single person are permitted.
  • Submitted images may be included in a display and/or slideshow, including names and captions, on the day of the event, and may also be featured on Thayer's website.
  • Top three winners receive a certificate signed by Dean Abramson.

See past Submissions

Past Visionaries

"Riding Data Waves: From Ripples to Tsunamis"

Brenda Dietrich (2019)

Geoffrion Professor of Practice, Cornell Engineering's School of Operations and Information Engineering

"Resonant Systems for Physical and Biochemical Sensing"

Roger T. Howe (2018)

William E. Ayer Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University

"Navigating the Turbulence of the Global Energy System"

Arun Majumdar (2017)

The Jay Precourt Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Co-Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University

"Computational Thinking: My vision for the 21st Century"

Jeannette M. Wing (2016)

Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research Consulting Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University

"Symbiotic Systems for The Future of Energy, Water, and Food"

Alexander H. Slocum (2015)

Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering, MIT

"Machine-to-Machine Transportation Systems"

Jennifer Healey (2014)

Research Scientist, Systems and Software Research Lab at Intel

"'Simplicity' as a Component of Invention"

George M. Whitesides (2012)

Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University