Hybrid Event on July 12-14, 2022

International Conference on Programmable Materials

Global challenges such as climate change, renewable energy and individual mobility increase the necessity for a more efficient and sustainable use of our resources. Programmable materials have the potential to initiate a paradigm shift in the design and use of materials by replacing technical systems of many components and materials with a single, locally configured one. The first international conference on programmable materials aims to facilitate this paradigm shift for materials science. It creates the interdisciplinary scientific platform to accelerate the development, production and application of programmable materials. For more info, registration and for detailed program information visit www.progmatcon.com. #ProgMatCon22

© Fraunhofer IWM, graphics: Gebhard|Uhl, Freiburg
Understanding the potential of programmable materials

Programmable materials have the potential to initiate a paradigm shift since they can perform system functions through their internal design. This allows for increased functional integration while simultaneously reducing system complexity. Programmable materials are materials whose inner structure is designed and manufactured in such a way that properties and behavior can be controlled and reversibly changed. Furthermore, locally varying functions can be programmed into such materials.

Fully functional programmable materials require a combination of smart materials, mechanical and optical meta-materials and the ability to manufacture architectured materials through e.g. additive manufacturing and/or sheet metal forming. Last but not least a highly interactive, interdisciplinary application design route is necessary to exploit the full potential.

Areas of Application

This opens up possibilities for novel application solutions where essential parts of system functionality are provided by the material itself. The programming ability stems from built-in logical elements and materials as well as the ability to process functions. The material response can either be triggered externally or the materials can automatically adapt to changing conditions in a predetermined manner.

The application potential for programmable materials is immense: programmable pore sizes enable self-cleaning membrane filters for water treatment systems, materials with programmable heat transfer ensure energy-efficient heat management in machines or buildings, shape morphing materials can change aerodynamics and programmable friction can be used to intelligently control coupling and positioning systems. 

Program overview

The three days include top-class plenary talks, five symposia, online poster presentations and panel discussions.



• Mechanical Metamaterials & Structural and Functional Optimization

• Polymers with Sequence Control

• Shape Memory Polymers & Programmable Property Profiles

• Design Ideas from nature

• livMatS symposium on energy harvesting, storage and conversion for programmable materials


Overview plenary talks:

• “Bioinspired design of irregular architected materials with programmable properties” by Chiara Daraio (California Institute of Technology, USA)

• “Engineered Materials with bioprogrammable functions“ by Aránzazu Del Campo (INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials, Germany)

• “Developing animate materials using a linkage fabric approach” by Mark Miodownik (University College London, UK)

• “Pathways and Computing in Metamaterials” by Martin van Hecke (AMOLF Amsterdam & Leiden University, NL)

Target Audience

The conference is aimed at scientists and engineers who want to advance programmable materials with multidisciplinary contributions, who want to work on powerful tools for their realization, and who want to contribute to the paradigm shift in materials development.

Thematic priorities can be the simulation of programmed materials, the optimization and programming of material functions, the development of suitable process technology for modular or hybrid production of programmable materials or the validation of programmable materials by demonstrators and prototypes.

With its mix of presented and submitted lectures, poster sessions and workshops, the conference offers interdisciplinary researchers and developers an ideal forum for networking and exchange regarding all relevant aspects of programmable materials.




Visit us on LinkedIn and Twitter: #ProgMatCon22

Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials CPM

The Cluster of Excellence Programmable Materials CPM merges the competencies of several Fraunhofer institutes. Together, they have a complete understanding of materials and materials-based processes, from the molecular to the macroscopic scale. The aim of the cluster is the programming of logic into materials for targeted modification of adaption, such as the shape, optical or mechanical properties.

For more information please visit: https://cpm.fraunhofer.de/en.html