NSF Center for the Mechanical Control of Chemistry

Education and Outreach

Our Philosophy

The field of mechanochemistry is transdisciplinary, not only in terms of the fundamental science—which requires training in surface chemistry and physics, materials science, and engineering—but also due to its societal and economic impacts. As such, the students trained in the CMCC will engage in highly collaborative team research projects, and further, will be exposed to topics ranging from entrepreneurship to science policy.

Our educational and professional development structure is designed to engage students across these areas, with the goal of establishing an active learning environment that we call a “Lab to Policy” approach. Students will be exposed to the full cycle of research (i.e. experiment, theory, science, economics, and policy/law) to establish clear connections to the convergent impact of their work. Our Phase 1 collaborations with national labs and industry will build toward student research internship opportunities with these partners in Phase 2. Workshops spanning entrepreneurship and policy on topics such as sustainability and green chemistry, and science policy internships, will bring their educational experience full circle.


    REU Program

    Program Dates: May 31-August 5, 2022

    The cross-cutting nature of mechanochemistry blends chemistry, materials science, engineering, and physics, and lends itself to a unique research experience for students. Our diverse team of faculty has a strong record of supporting integrative, interdisciplinary, collaborative research activities, and in fostering an inclusive and supportive climate that welcomes and supports everyone. Our team values diversity, equity, and inclusion, and we seek to boost the success of young researchers who themselves will promote inclusion in STEM disciplines.

    As the CMCC spans five institutions (Texas A&M University, the Advanced Science Research Center of CUNY, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California at Merced, and the University of Pennsylvania), participation in our REU program will not only allow students to gain experience in team-based research, but will also afford them the opportunity for professional development in science communications, entrepreneurship and innovation, STEM policy, and STEM history. Students in the CMCC REU will interact across our multi-institutional center via team based projects, and will receive personal mentoring from multiple faculty and graduate students. REU students will also participate in our summer Center retreat.

    Science History Institute

    Mechanochemistry dates back to antiquity, and is one of the oldest forms of carrying out chemical transformations. The application of force by the mechanical grinding and mixing of materials helps drive chemical reactions.

    Recently mechanochemistry has been seeing a major resurgence due to the increased interest in developing greener and more sustainable means for doing chemistry.

    Mechanochemistry: Science of Crush Exhibit photo

    In the Google Arts & Culture exhibit, "Mechanochemistry: The Science of Crush," (Exhibit Details) developed in partnership with the Science History Institute (Science History Institute Website), we give you a snapshot into the historical origins of mechanochemistry as well as a sneak peek into where it is going. This exhibit is the first of a series being developed to explore the history and future of mechanochemistry.

    We hope you enjoy it!

    STEM Camp

    To engage young learners, we will create a STEM Camp on mechanochemistry aimed at high schools and the public. We will leverage materials we created for the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers’ (STLE) STEM Camp.

    STLE STEM Camp Image

    YAP Camp

    Building on these STEM Camp activities, we will expand the Youth Adventure Program (YAP) on Nanotechnology that Batteas initiated at TAMU in 2016. Integrated with TAMU’s existing YAP camp series, this program brings youth in middle and high schools from across the country to campus for one week to learn about a topical area.

    YAP CAMP Image

    YAP CAMP Image