Skip to Content
Sustainability-IT-Web-banner-1-2880 x 1800px copy final

UC Berkeley: smart tools and methodologies to discover new material surface properties

The University of California (UC) Berkeley has always sought to explore new fields, applications, and solutions to societal problems through groundbreaking, multidisciplinary research.

It’s an objective shared by Capgemini Engineering, which has set up its University Partnership Program to address the question: ‘What are the key challenges of a more intelligent industry in our society?’ At the heart of every project is a desire to harness the power of technology and turn it to advantage for people and for business as efficiently, swiftly, and sustainably as possible.

The project with UC Berkeley is part of this program. It’s focused on building new methodologies and tools to discover material surface properties for manufacturing purposes.

Surface changes can be anything but superficial

Surface properties can determine how materials behave. For example, if a surface can be made more hydrophobic, it could increase resistance to corrosion. If it could be made antibacterial, it could increase the material’s suitability for use in environments where hygiene is crucial.

Such properties are conditioned to a very high extent by the nanostructure of the material, and using laser processing to make subtle changes to this nanostructure can result in large numbers of configurations – too many to produce, and too many to test.

What’s needed is a way to accelerate testing processes by focusing on the most promising topologies. To achieve this, UC Berkeley and Capgemini Engineering are taking advantage of ultrafast laser technologies, automation techniques and machine learning to reduce the need for human intervention in determining the parameters likely to produce the best outcomes.

Capgemini Engineering’s team is led by Ramon Antelo, Chief Technology Officer for Manufacturing and Industrial Operations. They are working alongside a team of advanced researchers supervised by Professor Vassilia Zorba, Department of Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley.

The aim isn’t just to improve efficiency and accelerate developments – it’s also to increase sustainability. By using smart techniques to lower the number of physical test iterations and to realize them more effectively, the joint team is at the same time reducing the energy requirements associated with production.

“Accelerating the use of sustainable manufacturing is crucial to help meet sustainability goals. Improving the performance of materials is one of the key elements for this to happen.”

William Rozé, CEO of Capgemini Engineering and Group Executive Board Member

Research & Innovation

Our research and innovation programs are business accelerators that help clients with high-intensity R&D to reveal the value of incremental and disruptive technologies by pioneering engagements built around recognizable assets. Clients go further, faster and to places they would not necessarily go alone.​

    UC Berkeley of California

    The collaboration will build methods and tools to discover new material surface structures to accompany the deployment of sustainable manufacturing