Electric Field Enhanced Processing of Advanced Materials II: Complexities and Opportunities

An ECI Conference Series

March 10-15, 2019
Hotel Dos Templarios
Tomar, Portugal

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Endorsed by

Endorsed by

Chair’s message (November 05, 2018)

A Vision

Field assisted processing, including SPS, Microwave and Flash, stands poised to revolutionize materials science. Sintering is merging with synthesis of new materials. Electrical, optical, magnetic and mechanical forces are adding richness to the energetics in the theory of materials science. They are leading to (apparently) metastable structures that lie beyond the confines of conventional phase diagrams. Kinetics seems to be driven by unusual defect mechanisms. These multifaceted effects are pushing us to think and theorize in new ways.

The technological pull is real and tangible. It is in the air that additive manufacturing when combined with these new driving forces will yield revolutionary new technologies. Complex ceramics, for example electrolytes for solid-state lithium ion batteries can be synthesized in a few seconds without volatilization of lithium. I believe that waves of innovation, that none of us can foresee, are forthcoming.

This Conference is about a glimpse into the future. I hope that thought provoking results will be presented and discussed: ideas that will give new ideas, and then more, and more, far into the future, inspiring and being inspired by generations of scientists.


  • SPS, Microwave and Flash: sintering, synthesis and production of customary materials and those difficult to make conventionally
  • Ceramics, metals and composites
  • Properties: mechanical and functional
  • In-Situ Methods: X-ray, electroluminescence, mechanical, and impedance spectroscopy
  • Joule Heating
  • Defects, phonons, electrons and photons
  • Manufacturing: integrating science, hardware and software

Chair’s Message-September 2018

About This Conference

Field assisted processing of materials began with microwave sintering, then progressed to spark-plasma-sintering (SPS), and more recently to flash-sintering, and superplastic softening of ceramics under electric field. Hybrid methods such as flash-SPS have come to the fore.

The scope of field assisted processing is expanding rapidly into the creation of materials that are “far from equilibrium”. The materials processed in this way are manifesting properties that lie beyond those obtained from conventional methods. Examples are new phases of spinel and increased ionic conductivity of electrolytes for solid oxide fuel cells.

A third important development is the deployment of in-situ characterization of the events in live experiments at high energy X-ray synchrotrons at Argonne and Brookhaven National Laboratory. These results are unraveling the atomistic events that are providing scientific insights into the unusual effects of electric fields on defect generation, diffusion kinetics, and phase transformations at the time scale of about one second. Other in-situ methods such as the measurements of mixed ionic and electrical conductivities, and optical characterization are rapidly transforming this field from one that was mainly focused on techniques to one that is creating a new field of science in sintering and defect physics.  Ab-initio and Molecular Dynamics simulations are providing substance to the concepts and measurements for fundamental research in this field.

The thrust and the scope of this meeting is to bring together both experienced and budding scientists to present and discuss their latest results, to “see the future” and develop collaborations. The collaborations are critical since the field is highly interdisciplinary spanning materials science, ceramic science, physics, electrochemistry, and computer science. The meeting comes at a time of rising interest and curiosity in the novel effects of electrical fields on processing and properties of advanced materials.

Technical Session Topics

Technical Sessions

  • SPS, Microwave and Flash: sintering, synthesis and production of customary materials and those difficult to make conventionally
  • Ceramics, metals and composites
  • Properties: mechanical and functional
  • In-Situ Methods: X-ray, electroluminescence, mechanical, and impedance spectroscopy
  • Joule Heating
  • Defects, phonons, electrons and photons
  • Manufacturing: integrating science, hardware and software

Conference Organization


Rishi Raj, University of Colorado
Olivier Guillon, Forschungzentrum Jülich
Hidehiro Yoshida, National Institute for Materials Science

Organizing Committee:

Koji Morita, National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan
B. Reeja Jayan, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
Martha Mecartney, Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering, Univ. of California Irvine, USA
David Pearmain, Lucideon, UK
Haiyan Wang, Purdue University, USA
Anthony R. West, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Sheffield University, UK
Dietrich Wolf, Department of Physics, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany

Abstract Submission

Session titles are available in the Technical Session Topics above.  Please use these titles to pre-select up to two sessions where you believe your work fits best.

Abstracts (one page maximum) that include specific results and conclusions to allow a scientific assessment of the proposed oral presentation are invited.  Please prepared your abstract according to this template: docx or doc.

Abstracts must be submitted electronically using the template provided at: THIS LINK.

Oral abstract submission deadline:                December 15, 2018
Poster abstract submission deadline:            January 15, 2019

Abstracts of all presentations will be made available to conference participants prior to the start of the conference.

Note:  Only a limited number of oral presentation slots are available and thus all submissions for oral sessions will be considered for both oral and poster presentation.

Awards will be presented for the overall best poster and for the top three student posters.

Conference Venue

Tomar, Portugal Situated in the geographic center of Portugal, Tomar (about 135 km northeast of Lisbon) was founded by the notorious Knights Templar in 1160. The Templars were part monks, part warriors and plotted crusades from Tomar for centuries. They established the beginnings of the Convento de Cristo, Tomar’s most famous landmark, on a hill overlooking the town. The Convento combines architectural styles from the 12th through 17th centuries.  An ornate octagonal canopy protects the high altar of the Templo dos Templares, modeled after the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the grounds of the convent contain eight cloisters embracing a variety of styles.

The Templars earned a reputation as ferocious fighters, and won the admiration and trust of both rich and poor. They served as protectors and transporters of Christian kings, power brokers and pilgrims and grew famous as bankers. The Templars acquired great wealth, but made many enemies in the process. Pope Clement V accepted accusations of heresy, blasphemy and sacrilege leveled against the Templars by Philip the Fair, king of France, and many Templars were imprisoned or executed. King Dinis of Portugal allowed them to regroup their forces under the new aegis of the Order of Christ. Prince Henry the Navigator became Administrator after the Templars became the Order of Christ and he used much of their wealth to finance his explorations.

Tomar is divided by the River Nabão, the banks of which are dotted with weirs and wheels once used to water vegetable gardens and orchards. The irrigation techniques illustrate the Muslim tradition of hydraulic engineering. Most sights, accommodations and shops lie on the west bank of the river and the lush Parque Mouchão straddles the two banks. The ancient yet functional Ponte Velha (Old Bridge) connects the two. Tomar’s main shopping thoroughfare is rua Serpa Pinto, known locally as Corre Doura. Outlets for folklore, pottery, copperware and wrought iron highlight it. Tascas and bars are scattered throughout the city, with some offering live music.

Hotel dos Templários  Situated near the heart of Tomar’s Old Town, the Hotel dos Templários is the largest hotel in the district. Many rooms offer views of the Convent of Christ and the public areas, including lounges and terraces-view dining rooms, are spacious. The hotel offers room service, laundry, a barbershop, a beauty parlor, a billiards room and baby-sitting. There are wide sun terraces, indoor and outdoor pools, a tennis court and a greenhouse. The hotel also has large gardens. Rooms have air conditioning, private bathrooms, televisions and minibars. Free parking is available.

For more information on the area, please visit these web sites:

Convent of Christ                           Sacred Destinations of Tomar

Festival of the Trays                                         Fifteen Best in Tomar

Tomar Tourism Guide                                    Tomar Essential Guide


By train from Lisbon:

The trip from Lisbon to Tomar takes approximately 1½ hours. Upon arrival at the Tomar train station, taxis are available for the short (about one or two kilometer)r trip to the Hotel Dos Templarios.   RailEurope

By automobile from Lisbon:

The rental car companies will provide maps and driving instructions. Allow between 1-1/2 – 2 hours for the trip, depending on traffic. The hotel provides free parking.

General Information about ECI

Engineering Conferences International (ECI) is a global engineering conferences program, originally established in 1962, that provides opportunities for the exploration of problems and issues of concern to engineers and scientists from many disciplines.

The format of the weeklong research conference provides morning and late afternoon or evening sessions in which major presentations are made. Available time is included during the afternoons for ad hoc meetings, informal discussions, and/or recreation. This format is designed to enhance rapport among participants and promote dialogue on the development of the meeting. We believe that the conferences have been instrumental in generating ideas and disseminating information to a greater extent than is possible through more conventional forums.

All participants are expected both to attend the entire conference and to contribute actively to the discussions. The recording/photographing of lectures and presentations is forbidden. As ECI conferences take place in an informal atmosphere, casual clothing is the usual attire.

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