Second Approach of the International Conference on Programmable Materials 2022!

We are thrilled to announce the second approach with the conference on programmable materials in July 2022!

Due to Covid-19 we had to cancel ProgMatCon 2020 in March 2020; we are now thrilled to announce the scheduling of the International Conference on Programmable Materials! 

The conference will take place as a hybrid event on July 12-14, 2022 in Berlin at the Fraunhofer-Forum.


Why attend?

During the event we would like to explore the design space and develop a toolbox of building blocks for programmable materials. We hope to create relationships between people from relevant scientific subjects, from materials science to chemistry to manufacturing and AI.

It is a priority for us to integrate the on-site participants and the online-participants and to enable a fruitful discussion between both worlds!


Three days full of…

  • Top-class plenary talks
  •  Five symposia in three parallel sessions with invited talks on the following topics:
    • Mechanical Metamaterials & Structural and Functional Optimization
    • Polymers with sequence control
    • Shape Memory Polymers & Programmable Property Profiles
    • Design Ideas from nature
    • Energy harvesting and management for living materials systems
  • Up to 150 participants in Berlin, the speakers should be giving their talks live in Berlin (of course taking into account the corona regulations)
  • Online-Stream and possibility of taking part in the discussion online
  • Live poster presentation & virtual poster presentation
  • Pannel discussions
  • Conference dinner

Registration and the call for poster presentations will start soon, we will keep you informed.


We are looking forward to your participation at our conference! 


Fostering the paradigm shift in materials research

Global challenges such as sustainable development, climate change, renewable energy, or individual mobility increase the necessity for a much more efficient and sustainable use of our resources.

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, the ability to manufacture architectured materials through e.g. additive manufacturing or sheet metal forming. Last but not least a highly interactive, interdisciplinary application design route is necessary to exploit the full potential.

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 build in logical elements (e.g. if T > 380 K then E = 10 GPa else E = 1 GPa, with E being the Young’s modulus), materials memory (e.g. bistable mechanical or molecular states) and the ability to process functions (e.g. Poisson number as a function of strain in x-direction: ν = f (εx)). 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.

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 key to this is the programmable design of the internal structure.

The first international and interdisciplinary conference on programmable materials aims to facilitate the paradigm shift for materials science described above. It creates the interdisciplinary scientific platform to accelerate the development, production and application of programmable materials. To this end, the conference brings together scientists critical to the success of programmable materials from the disciplines of materials science, mechanics, optimization, process technology and product development and ensures their productive interaction via suitable formats, which is analogous to the integral approach inherent in programmable materials.

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.

Conference Chairs

  • Prof. Dr. Peter Gumbsch, Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM (link)
  • Prof. Dr. Alexander Böker, Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP (link)
  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Eberl, Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM (link)

Cancellation of ProgMatCon2020 due to spread of Covid-19


In light of the spread of COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel the ProgMatCon2020 Conference, which was planned for 27-29 April 2020 in Berlin. Our main concern is the health and safety of our participants and everyone who helps set ProgMatCon2020 up.