Twenty-seventh Annual Green Chemistry & Engineering Conference

Innovations for Sustainable Computing and Infrastructure

Symposium Organizers: Bichlien H Nguyen, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research; Jake A Smith, Senior Applied Scientist, Microsoft Research, and; Karin Strauss, Senior Principal Research Manager, Microsoft Research

In the past decade, there has been a tremendous amount of research and development directed towards building sustainable IT infrastructure. While early efforts focused primarily on procuring green electricity for datacenter sustainability, life cycle assessment approaches have revealed significant environmental debts from physical infrastructure accrued during end-of-life. Alternative materials engineered with end-of-life in mind for use in datacenter construction, energy storage, electronics development, and data storage are therefore of great interest to the IT community.

We aim to bring researchers and practitioners from the IT and materials worlds together to consider the issue of sustainable computing infrastructure on the system scale. The IT sector has substantial need for materials designed from square one to minimize life cycle footprint to meet industry leaders’ commitments to eliminate atmospheric carbon emissions, reduce water consumption and waste generation, and maintain healthy ecosystems. IT offers powerful capabilities but requires domain expertise to achieve substantive impacts. We invite collaborators across chemistry, biology, material science, computer science, and engineering disciplines to help us envision a future where computing and infrastructure are truly sustainable and develop the materials and methods to achieve it.

This symposium will create a dialog about the design of environmentally benign materials on the life cycle scale using the latest advances in chemistry and synthetic biology for incorporation into the IT industry. Closing the circle, it will generate discussion on the role advanced molecular modeling and simulations can play in accelerating the development of those green materials critical for a sustainable future.

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