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Taylor Ware
Due to his notability as a rising-star early-career researcher, Dr. Taylor Ware was invited to attend the National Academy of Engineering’s 2023 Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering symposium in July. | Image: Courtesy of Taylor Ware

Dr. Taylor Ware, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and joint faculty in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University, is one of 60 engineers selected to attend the National Academy of Engineering’s 2023 Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

The two-and-a-half-day symposium will feature developments on the following topics: materials by design, computational approaches to address infectious diseases, wearable robotics and circular economy. The broad range of topics is intended to promote cross-disciplinary collaboration among the early-career engineers from the United States and Japan who will attend. 

During his time at the symposium, Ware will present his work in liquid crystal elastomers, used as artificial muscles and as substrates for implantable electronic devices. These soft, rubbery materials undergo large and reversible shape change upon heating during exposure to light. The mechanical performance of these actuators can even surpass that of human skeletal muscles in some respects.

"I will have the opportunity to present my work in a poster format,” Ware said. “I am particularly excited about the opportunity to participate in discussions about materials by design and wearable exoskeletons, as these topics align nicely with our work in various aspects of biomaterials and artificial muscles." 

Ware joined the department in 2020, bringing a research program that focuses on novel biomaterials and medical devices. His contributions to the field have resulted in national recognition, earning him the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award, the Air Force Young Investigator Award and election as a senior member of the National Academy of Inventors class of 2022.

Coming from a multidisciplinary background, Ware anticipates that his experience in Japan can provide a new perspective for current and future projects. 

“I'm really looking forward to hearing other people's perspectives and what they view as progress within an individual topic,” Ware said. “For the areas I don’t specialize in, I'm interested in learning techniques and skills and just simply the viewpoint of others who are in that area. It’s a great privilege of this job to be able to contribute your insight and thought process on societal challenges, whether or not they're related to your laboratory’s research.”

The Japan-America Frontiers of Engineering symposium will take place in Tokyo, Japan, from July 17-20, 2023.