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Conference Details - Agenda

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2017 MIT China Conference in Shanghai

October 25-26, 2017
Day 01 | Day 02 All
 

Day 2: October 26, 2017 (Thursday)

8:00 - 9:00

Registration

9:00 - 9:10

Welcome and Introduction

9:10 - 9:50

Innovations in Materials and Devices for Efficient Solar and Thermal Energy Utilization
Human history has very much depended on how we used heat from the sun and terrestrial sources. Over 90% of human society’s energy input is used by first converting it into heat, and yet only 40% of the total energy input is utilized, significantly lower than what the second law of thermodynamics allows. Understanding of basic heat carrier transport and energy conversion at nanoscale can lead to new materials and devices to improve the efficiency of heat utilization. This talk will present some of our work on developing advanced materials and devices to improve the efficiency of solar and thermal energy conversion devices and systems. To lower the cost of solar energy to electricity conversion, we use nanostructures to reduce the thickness of crystalline silicon thin-film solar cells and optically-transparent and thermally-insulating aerogels to replace the vacuum-tube solar collectors in concentrated solar thermal systems. We improve thermoelectric materials via nanostructuring and demonstrate significant improvements in the efficiency of solar thermoelectric energy conversion devices. We also demonstrate the ability of boiling water under unconcentrated sunlight using spectrally selective surfaces. For terrestrial thermal systems, we show that by reflecting infrared radiation back to its emitting heat source, we can significantly improve the efficiency of converting thermally-radiated photons into electricity via thermophotovoltaic devices and the luminous efficiency of incandescent light bulbs. We can turn a battery into an efficient thermal-to-electrical energy converter by cycling it between high and low temperatures. Although polymers are usually thermal insulators, we show that they can be made as thermally conductive as metals by aligning molecular orientations. With properly chosen polymer fiber diameters, we design fabrics so that they are opaque to visible light and yet allow thermal radiation from human body to escape to environment for passively cooling. Nanoscience foundations behind these diverse innovations will be explained along the way.
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9:50 - 10:20

Role of Industry as Launch platform for Innovation

10:20 - 10:40

Networking Break

10:40 - 11:30

Teaching Old Waves New Tricks: The Quest For Acoustic Meta-Materials
For centuries we enjoyed light and sound as tools to manipulate, store and control the flow of information and energy. However, our need to transmit information and energy through these wave channels suffered a physical limit dictated by diffraction. For example, Young’s double slit experiments suggest that for an observer at a distance away from the two slits, one cannot distinguish these slits from one when the gap of these slits are close to wavelength of light. Can we overcome the diffraction limit by bending and folding waves, in a similar fashion to paper origami?

In this seminar, I will present our efforts to fabricate 3D complex microstructures at unprecedented dimensions. In the arena of sound waves, these structures show promise on focusing and rerouting ultrasound through broadband and highly transparent metamaterials. Recently our research effort on acoustic metamaterials has been expanded to tailoring the wavefront and energy flow of elastic waves. In the optical domain, we report our development of optical imaging probes to measure the distinct local modes in the nanostructures that promote electron-photon interaction down to layers of a few atoms thick, which promise for efficient light emission and detection. These novel metamaterials could be the foundation of broadband photo-absorbers, directional emitters, as well as compact and power-efficient devices.
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11:30 - 12:10

Bio-machines and Bio-manufacturing
While human tissues are mostly soft, wet and bioactive; machines are commonly hard, dry and biologically inert. Bridging human-machine interfaces is of imminent importance in addressing grand challenges in health, security, sustainability and joy of living facing our society in the 21st century. However, designing human-machine interfaces is extremely challenging, due to the fundamentally contradictory properties of human and machine. At MIT SAMs Lab, we propose to use tough bioactive hydrogels to bridge human-machine interfaces. On one side, bioactive hydrogels with similar physiological properties as tissues can naturally integrate with human body, playing functions such as scaffolds, catheters, drug reservoirs, and wearable devices. On the other side, the hydrogels embedded with electronic and mechanical components can control and response to external devices and signals. In the talk, I will first present a bioinspired approach and a general framework to design bioactive and robust hydrogels as the matrices for human-machine interfaces. I will then discuss large-scale manufacturing strategies to fabricate robust and bioactive hydrogels and hydrogel electronics and machines, including 3D printing. Prototypes including smart hydrogel band-aids, hydrogel robots and hydrogel circuits will be further demonstrated.
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12:10 - 12:50

MIT Startup Exchange - Introduction and Lightning Talks

MIT Startup Exchange actively promotes collaboration and partnerships between MIT-connected startups and industry. Qualified startups are those founded and/or led by MIT faculty, staff, or alumni, or are based on MIT-licensed technology. Industry participants are principally members of MIT’s Industrial Liaison Program (ILP).

MIT Startup Exchange maintains a propriety database of over 1,500 MIT-connected startups with roots across MIT departments, labs and centers; it hosts a robust schedule of startup workshops and showcases, and facilitates networking and introductions between startups and corporate executives.

STEX25 is a startup accelerator within MIT Startup Exchange, featuring 25 “industry ready” startups that have proven to be exceptional with early use cases, clients, demos, or partnerships, and are poised for significant growth. STEX25 startups receive promotion, travel, and advisory support, and are prioritized for meetings with ILP’s 230 member companies.

MIT Startup Exchange and ILP are integrated programs of MIT Corporate Relations.

Participating startups
Dapeng Zhang, Co-Founder, Precision Instrument and Optics
Charlotte Wang, CEO & Founder, EQuota
Xiaoning He, CEO & Founder, BMF Material Technology Inc
Xinjie (Jeff) Zhang, CEO & Co-Founder, Novarials
Stephen Tsao, Managing Director, Greater China, WiTricity
Chazz Sims, CEO & Co-Founder, Wise Systems
Nan-Wei Gong, CEO & Co-Founder, figur8
Lan Shi, Founder and Co-Chair, spaceyun
Pinpin Zhu, CEO & Founder, Xiaoi Robot
Kamal Youcef-Toumi, Advisor, Pipeguard Robotics


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12:50 - 2:00

Lunch with Startup Exchange Exhibit

2:00 - 2:40

Panel Discussion: Advanced Manufacturing
Moderator: Gang Chen
Panels: Wilson Chu, Nicholas Fang, Xuanhe Zhao, Kuang-Shine Yang, Alex Slocum

2:40 - 3:20

Advances in IoT Technologies: Indoor Localization, Smart Cities, and Health Monitoring
The emergence of ubiquitous sensing and internet-of-things technologies has yielded amazing advances, products, and services to improve everyday life. New advances in indoor localization achieve centimeter scale accuracy, enabling smart environments and context-aware applications through ubiquitous tracking of people and objects. Breakthrough research on health monitoring demonstrate new technologies that monitor sleep, falls, breathing and heart rate without asking the users to carry any device or sensor on their bodies. Novel sensors count cars, detect speeding, and deliver smart parking and smart transportation networks.
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3:20 - 3:40

Networking Break

3:40 - 4:20

Robotics & Automation - Opportunities and Challenges
Robotics has evolved remarkably over the years with a great societal impact. Advancements in research and development have made robots capable of performing complex tasks in a more efficient and reliable manner than their predecessors, a generation of primitive robots that were merely designed for menial and repetitive tasks. Robotic systems have been utilized successfully in many applications. Some can operate autonomously in accomplishing complex missions while being aware of their surroundings.

These advancements have been made possible by addressing major technical challenges. These include design, instrumentation, control systems, wireless and Internet enabled communication and networks. This presentation will look into robots as intelligent systems and the greater role they play. Such systems show capabilities in handling uncertainties, reject unexpected disturbances, adapt to new environmental situations, localize themselves and other robots, cooperate, and provide an overall supervisory intelligence. Challenges and opportunities associated with the field of robotics will be addressed.

4:20 - 5:00

Symbiotic Systems for Energy, Water, and Food
By collocating machines, support systems, inputs and outputs can be shared with the potential to reduce overall system cost thereby helping to enable adoption of environmentally friendly systems. In particular, the oceans represent a vast resource (and challenge) for humanity: Offshore wind turbines can harvest wind energy, and their base structures can also serve as platforms for aquaculture systems, uranium-from seawater harvesting systems, and wave energy systems. Solar PV and wind turbines whose excess feeds pumped storage hydropower systems collocated with reverse osmosis plants located near the ocean could provide all the power and fresh water for many coastal regions such as Los Angeles, Lima, Eilat/Aqaba, the eastern UAE, and northern Iran (including Tehran) for example.
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5:00

Closing Remarks