Spring 2016



From Smart Grids to Transcontinental Energy Networks:

The Future of Innovation in Energy Connectivity   


Guest speakerLefteri Tsoukalas, Professor at School of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, In, USA

Abstract: Notwithstanding an apparent glut in the international petroleum market at present many astute energy observers have been raising concerns about growth in future oil production capacities, and, while the scientific climate-change consensus favoring caps in the use of fossil fuels may represent a very different point of departure, the end result points rather stunningly in the same direction: expanding needs for energy innovation, diversification and efficiency. Thus consideration must be given to the transformative potential of energy connectivity and especially the one based on the successful convergence of energy, computing and information technologies.  The presentation will discuss how smart energy distribution may evolve into an energy internet of transcontinental scale. Pricing signals and short-term elasticities may regulate power flows and maintain the delicate equilibrium involved in generation, transmission, distribution and consumption within a new energy framework.  Intelligent approaches form the cornerstone of an energy internet by enhancing a variety of network functionalities including, but not limited to, forecasting, monitoring and control at multiple levels. Networks spawning great distances along continental and transcontinental scales and integrating resource availability with information and computing hold considerable promise for transforming energy connectivity in the direction of greater efficiency and enhanced reliability.

When: March 10, 4 pm

Where: Skolkovo Innovation Center, Technopark, Bld 3, room 407

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Physics Informed Machine Learning

in collaboration with Energy Colloquium

Speaker: Michael Chertkov, Adjunct Professor at Center for Energy Systems, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology

Abstract: Machine Learning (statistical engineering) capabilities are in a phase of tremendous growth. Underlying these advances is a strong and deep connection to various aspects of statistical physics. There is also a great opportunity in pointing these tools toward physical modeling. In this colloquium I illustrate the two-way flow of ideas between physics and statistical engineering on three examples. First, I review the work on structure learning and statistical estimation in power system distribution (thus physical) networks. Then I describe recent progress in constructive understanding of graph learning (on example of inverse Ising model) illustrating that the generic inverse task (of learning) is computationally easy in spite of the fact that the direct problem (inference or sampling) is difficult. I conclude speculating how macro-scale models of physics (e.g. large eddy simulations of turbulence) can be learned from micro-scale simulations (e.g. of Navier-Stocks equations).

When: March 31, 4 pm

Where: Skolkovo Innovation Center, Technopark, Bld 3, room 403

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Colloquium with Chinese Academy of Sciences

From a Simple Chemical Concept to Three-Dimensional Topological Materials: Principles and Applications


Guest speaker: Professor Xing-Qiu CHEN, Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Xing-Qiu Chen received his Ph.D degree in Physical Chemistry from the University of Vienna in 2004. Afterwards, he took postdoctoral studies in the Vienna Center for Computational Materials Science (CMS) and at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in the Materials Science and Technology Division. In 2010, he moved to Shenyang, starting his new position as a Research Staff Member funded by a CAS “Hundred Talent Project” at Institute of Metal Research. His main scientific interests are concerned with the computer modeling of materials properties and designs using quantum mechanical methodologies. To date, he has already published over 80 pre-review papers in scientific journals (including 1 Nature Chemistry, 1 Nature Communications, 7 Phys. Rev. Lett, 1 Advanced Materials). Among them, four have been selected in the ISI highly cited articles (top 1%). He has actively participated in international conferences and served scientific community. Currently, he still is the editorial board members of four journals Metals, Journal of Materials Science and Technology, Science China Materials and Scientific Reports.


The Formation Mechanism of Macro-Segregation in Solidifying Steels

LI SquareGuest speaker: Dianzhong LI (Professor, Ph.D), Head of the Materials Process Modeling Division, Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science, Institute of Metal Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Professor Dianzhong Li the head of Materials Process Modelling Division of Shenyang National Laboratory for Materials Science (SYNL), Institute of Metal Research (IMR), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He joined CAS by the “Hundred Talented Program” in 1998. Now his research interests focus on the fabrication of the heavy castings and forgings and the high-quality special steels through controlling the macroscopic defects and microstructures, the modeling of the nucleation and growth of solidification structure and solid phase transformation in steels during deformation, the in-situ observation and modeling of liquid metal flow. He has been awarded as Second Prize for National Science and Technology Progress Awards (2012), Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize of Chinese Academy of Sciences (2009) and Prize for Scientific and Technological Innovation by Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation (2007). More than 100 scientific papers have been published on the peer-in-review journals such as Nature Communications, Acta Materialia. More than 40 invention patents and 2 softwares have been authorized by China.


Quantitative Transmission Electron Microscopy Investigations on Plastic Deformations in Metals

Guest speaker: Kui Du, Professor, Institute of Metal Research, CAS

When: April 7, 3:30 pm

Where: Skolkovo Innovation Center, Technopark, Bld 3, room 403

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Nano- and Microfabricated Hydrogels for Regenerative Engineering

Joint event with the Center for Design, Manufacturing and Materials

Guest speakerAli Khademhosseini, Professor at Harvard Medical School,  Harvard-MIT’s Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital as well as Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired EngineeringAli smaller

Abstract: Engineered materials that integrate advances in polymer chemistry, nanotechnology, and biological sciences have the potential to create powerful medical therapies. Our group aims to engineer tissue regenerative therapies using water-containing polymer networks, called hydrogels, that can regulate cell behavior. Specifically, we have developed photocrosslinkable hybrid hydrogels that combine natural biomolecules with nanoparticles to regulate the chemical, biological, mechanical and electrical properties of gels.  These functional scaffolds induce the differentiation of stem cells to desired cell types and direct the formation of vascularized heart or bone tissues. Since tissue function is highly dependent on architecture, we have also used microfabrication methods, such as microfluidics, photolithography, bioprinting, and molding, to regulate the architecture of these materials. We have employed these strategies to generate miniaturized tissues.  To create tissue complexity, we have also developed directed assembly techniques to compile small tissue modules into larger constructs. It is anticipated that such approaches will lead to the development of next-generation regenerative therapeutics and biomedical devices.

When: April 28, 4 pm

Where: Skolkovo Innovation Center, Technopark, Bld 3, room 403

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 Advanced Manufacturing: Technologies, Trends and the Building of Innovation Ecosystems

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Guest speaker: Dr. Elisabeth B. ReynoldsExecutive Director, MIT Industrial Performance Center, Lecturer on Innovation and Economic Development, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning

Abstract: Recent years have brought a renewed focus on the importance of manufacturing to the health and future growth of the U.S. economy. Most critically, America’s ability to innovate is being linked to its strength in manufacturing. Without strong capabilities in advanced manufacturing, there is concern future innovation in critical industries such as the life sciences, energy, and aerospace/defense will be hindered. But changes in U.S. corporate structures and the rise of global value chains have left “holes” in the U.S. industrial ecosystem, reducing many of the important investments and spillovers that used to flow from large corporations to smaller firms and the larger ecosystem as a whole.

In this presentation, Dr. Elisabeth Reynolds, a member of MIT’s Production in the Innovation Economy Commission and co-author of the Industrial Performance Center’s report, Strengthening the Innovation Ecosystem for Advanced Manufacturing will review recent developments in advanced manufacturing technologies, trends and public policies, and their implications for building “innovation ecosystems” that support manufacturing in the U.S. Using a systems approach, she will draw on work conducted in the state of Massachusetts to look at how a high-wage, highly innovative region in the world is developing globally competitive advanced manufacturing capabilities..

When: May 26, 4 pm

Where: Skolkovo Innovation Center, Technopark, Bld 3, room 403