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1995 Edition, January 1, 1995

Complete Document

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Active, Most Current

Additional Comments:
B0609 * ISBN: 9780901716927
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Product Details:

  • Revision: 1995 Edition, January 1, 1995
  • Published Date: January 1995
  • Status: Active, Most Current
  • Document Language: English
  • Published By: Maney Publishing (MANEY)
  • Page Count: 214
  • ANSI Approved: No
  • DoD Adopted: No

Description / Abstract:

The socio-economic context in which materials development will be done in the foreseeable future will be radically different from that in which all the speakers and most of the audience were brought up. First, the Golden Age of Science can be dated and marked, albeit fuzzily, from July 16, 1945 (Alamogordo, A-bomb test), to October 21, 1993 (Washington, DC, defeat of SSC). The passage of that era has profound consequences for all science and engineering, including, of course, materials.

The second major historical reality is that industry has abandoned longish-term untargeted research, and is even cutting back on long-term (5-10 year) research in its own product areas. In a 'globalised' RID system, this is unlikely to change. A third major element of the new situation is the worldwide glut in many major materials products, from aluminium ingot to diamond grit. A final major change is the surplus of technical personnel eliminating any national comparative advantage in education.

The concept that science-push (in materials science) can lead to new products and thence to new markets has been weighed in the balance of industrial experience and found wanting. In a very few cases have really new materials led to new markets. Materials very rarely drove systems. Systems pulled out, by demand, those new materials which actually made it into the marketplace. For the materials community it means that in the future, materials will be 'on tap, not on top'. The materials development cycle I foresee is the 'Technology Traction' model, where existing core business technologies will continually move ahead to retain or increase market share pulled by (new) markets in turn pulling on the three kinds of science: S (serendipitous discovery from worldwide sources); S2 (targeted research); S3('on-the-shelf' basic science).

A radically new role for the university sector will appear as 'knowledge managers', doing less on-site research but creating knowledge out of systematically sought out information by careful negentropic analysis, and providing impedance-matched transfers to different users from under-graduate and graduate students and materials industries and policy makers.

Edited by: J.E. Castle, M.J. Kelly