In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council's TIGER standing committee and asked it to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was adaptive structural materials. This workshop was held on July 11-12, 2012.
The objectives for the workshop were to explore the potential use of adaptive structural materials science and technology for military application. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities to use this research by U.S. adversaries, allows the Defense Warning Office to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner to take action on those areas deemed a national security risk. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to:
1. Review the latest advances and applications both nationally and internationally related to adaptive structural materials scientific research and technology development.
2. Review adaptive materials related to shape memory, magnetostrictive materials, magnetic shape memory alloys, phase change materials, and other metal and non-metallic materials research that may be uncovered during the course of workshop preparation and execution, to include all soft or nanoscale materials such as those used in human bone or tissue.
3. Review modeling, processing and fabrication related to defining designs or design requirements for future military or dual-use air, space, land, sea or human systems.
4. Review dual-use applications of commercial adaptive structural materials research and development, and the potential impacts on U.S. national security interests.
5. The workshop then focused on the application of adaptive structural materials technology and the national security implications for the United States, discussing U.S. and foreign researchers' current research, why the state or non-state actor application of a technology is important in the context of technological and military capabilities, and what critical breakthroughs are needed to advance the field.