Thoughtfully designing products and systems for tomorrow.

Healthier materials for a healthier planet.

Globally, we currently generate some 2.5 billion metric tons of waste per year for a population that’s expected to increase by roughly 33%, to 9.2 billion people, by 2050 (as projected by the United Nations). Much of this waste is plastic, which persists in our landfills, as well as in our oceans, and endangers human, animal and ecological health. At the New Materials Institute, we think it’s time for a paradigm shift in waste management; that a material’s useful end-of-life should be considered at the design stage and that Green Engineering principles should be part of this process.

The NMI welcomes partnerships. We work with a wide range of partners to pioneer systems and materials that promote circularity, for proactive materials management. Whether it be circular materials management systems at the municipal to global scale or innovative and truly biodegradable materials that meet the high expectations of industry and the consumers they serve, we take a holistic approach to your issues. And as we work, we’re also training the next generation of engineers and scientists, so that they consider our context-driven and Green Engineering design approach in all they do.

Work with us, as we take your product, product idea, or system to our bench and thoughtfully design it for tomorrow.

New materials, new perspectives

Plastic waste

Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker/UGA

UGA New Materials Institute teams are working with industry partners to improve the efficiency and applications of biobased, degradable plastic alternatives and to prove their safety in land and aquatic environments. The institute was also recently awarded the first phase of a grant from the National Science Foundation that will enable the NMI to join the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2). Based at Iowa State University, CB2 currently works to develop biobased products from agricultural resources. The collaboration with NMI will allow the expansion into the area of sustainable packaging and help connect the NMI to industry partners like Ford, 3M, ADM, Hyundai, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as well as other university-based research institutes and colleges.