History & Mission


The International Union of Materials Research Societies was established in 1991 as an international association of technical groups or societies which have an interest in promoting interdisciplinary materials research and education.

Union Objectives

Union Initiatives

IUMRS History


1984 / 1985
An “International Committee” was informally established, to explore a future formal development of a global Materials Research organization. Leaders of the effort included Woody White, Bob Chang, Elton Kaufmann, Masao Doyama, Paul Siffert, and others. “The purpose of the Committee is to serve as a vehicle for communication between Societies concerned with Materials Research - not as a governing body, but rather to foster interaction among autonomous regional peer Societies in various parts of the World.”
1984 / 1985
1984 - 1989
With MRS encouragement and advice, MRS organizations formed independently in Europe, Japan, China, Mexico, Taiwan, India, Australia, and others also developed.
1984 - 1989
1990 - 1991
Formal establishment of the International Union of Materials Research Societies, with formal incorporation in Pennsylvania, and accounting and banking services generously provided by MRS. The new Union was specifically to be modeled on IUPAP and IUPAC. Founding members were MRS, E-MRS, MRS-Japan, Chinese-MRS, MRS-Mexico, MRS-Taiwan, MRS-India and Australian-MRS.
1990 - 1991

Development & Progress

1991 – Present

Adhering Bodies

The Founding members were subsequently joined by MRS Russia, MRS Singapore, MRS Korea, MRS Brazil, and MRS Africa.

Professional Affiliates

This category of membership was established in 2002. It was intended to provide a path of communication and collaboration between institutions and organizations with Materials Research interests all over the world. Affiliates included national laboratories in the U.S. and in Europe, and research institutions in Asia. This program is now expanding fast to embrace many independent organizations world-wide.


Series of International Technical Meetings that are hosted by individual Adhering Bodies, with IUMRS endorsement and cooperation have become fixtures in the Materials Calendar. They include the International Conference on Electronic Materials (ICEM), International Conference on Advanced Materials (ICAM), International Conference in Asia (ICA), and International Conference of Young Researchers for Advanced Materials (ICYRAM).


To promote excellence in materials research, international collaboration, leadership and encourage young researchers, IUMRS presents three major prizes on a regular basis. The Somiya Award recognizes distinguished international collaborative materials research. The Global Leadership and Service Award honours individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership through service, having measurable impact to the global community, relating to materials connected research and education, serving multi and interdisciplinary fields. The IUMRS - MRS-Singapore Young Researcher Award was established with initial support from MRS Singapore, and recognizes research excellence by early career young researchers.


The Quarterly Newsletter “Facets” was first published in 2002, as a high level print journal presenting news and reviews representing the status of the Materials Research enterprise, worldwide. It was developed and edited by Elton Kaufmann, at his offices at Argonne National Lab. “Facets” developed a substantial subscribership, and it also served as a flagship publication for IUMRS and as a member benefit for Adhering Bodies and Institutional Affiliates. Its publication was suspended in 2006, due to the cost of production, with the intent to create a fully electronic equivalent, to more effectively serve the broad international community. Since 2010, IUMRS has collaborated with C-MRS in publication of the research journal Progress in Natural Sciences: Materials International. The journal publishes original research, covering all aspects of new materials and technologies.

ICSU Membership

In 2005, sensing its readiness for this elevated international involvement, IUMRS made formal application for Full International Scientific Union Member status in ICSU (The International Council for Science). ICSU had just 29 such International Union Members. At the ICSU General Assembly Meeting that year, the IUMRS application was accepted with acclaim. IUMRS has since been studying projects conducted by the International Science Council (ISC, successor to ICSU). IUMRS considers that it has a unique and substantial role to play in such top-tier projects addressing globally important science issues.

Current & Past Presidents of IUMRS


R.P.H. (Bob) Chang, MRS


Paul Siffert, E-MRS


Masao Doyama, MRS-J


Rodney Ewing, MRS