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Ralph Coats Roe Lecture
ASME 2023 > Ralph Coats Roe Lecture

Winston Oluwole Soboyejo

Dr. Winston Oluwole Soboyejo is the recipient of the 2023 Ralph Coats Roe Medal, honoring his work in the development of fracture mechanics approaches to the prediction of fatigue and fracture in advanced structural alloys/composites; biomaterials and bio-inspired structures; efficient low-cost cells/light emitting devices/batteries; and materials for water filtration and sustainable housing.

Soboyejo has been the Provost and Senior Vice President of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) since 2018. He served as WPI's Interim President from May 2022 until April 2023 and as the Bernard M. Gordon Dean of Engineering from September 2016 until October 2018.

Before joining WPI, he was a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University between 1999 and 2016. He also held faculty positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Ohio State University and research positions at the McDonnell Douglas Research Laboratories and Edison Welding Institute. Soboyejo is the recipient of the ASM Bradley Stoughton Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Materials. He was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and is a Fellow of the African Academy of Science, American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Materials Society of Nigeria, Nigerian Academy of Engineering and Nigerian Academy of Science.

He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from King's College London University and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Metallurgy from Cambridge University.

Soboyejo will accept the award and deliver the Roe Lecture, titled "New Frontiers for Functional Materials for Health, Energy and the Environment," on June 4.

This talk presents some next frontiers for the development of functional materials for health, energy, and the environment. Following a brief overview of the global problems that motivate the research, the talk is divided into three parts.

In the first part, cutting edge pressure-assisted methods are also presented for the fabrication of light emitting devices (organic, hybrid organic/inorganic and perovskite light emitting devices), solar cells (organic and perovskite solar cells) and Li ion batteries with enhanced performance characteristics. A combination of theoretical models and machine learning approaches is then used to guide the design of spray processing approaches for the manufacturing of perovskite solar cells with world leading power conversion efficiencies and improved stability. The potential effects of clean energy technologies are then explored in community-based experiments that show the positive impacts of clean energy technologies on the health and wellbeing of people in rural/urban communities.

In the second part of the talk, new approaches to the detection and treatment of cancer will be explored. These include the use of Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence and nanotechnology in the detection and treatment of breast cancer. ML and AI approaches are applied to optical and mechanical biomarkers for the detection of breast cancer, while targeted nanoparticles and drugs/drug delivery systems are presented for the targeted and localized treatment of breast cancer. The implications of the results are then discussed for the detection and treatment of cancer in rural/urban communities.

Finally, in the third part of the talk, the use of earth-based materials and "green" materials for development of ceramic water filters, sustainable building materials and a new generation of bio-processed super-lubricious graphene-based coatings with ultra-low friction and wear characteristics will be reviewed. The potential impacts of these technologies are discussed for health, energy and the environment.