Vision and Mission

Swagelok Center logo


The ages of man are benchmarked by the materials we have advanced, from the stone-age to the silicon-age; there is no engineering progress in society without first advancing the materials needed to meet those challenges. The National Academy of Engineers has identified fourteen engineering grand challenges that fall into four cross-cutting categories: sustainability, health, security, and joy of living [1].

To continue to have high-impact contributions to these grand challenges, CWRU must invest in and promote materials research at the University [2]. SCSAM, as part of a centralized infrastructure for maintaining state-of-the-art analytical instruments and technical expertise, is paramount to promote and support interdisciplinary collaborations and materials research at CWRU and across Northeast Ohio.



SCSAM strives to be an interdisciplinary organization established to facilitate and promote high-impact research of the materials that impact humanity, science, and technology to create a just and thriving world. In order to meet this objective, SCSAM maintains instrument infrastructure and instruction on techniques for measuring material properties.



SCSAM serves as a University-based Agora: “a place where uncomfortable conversations happen, great ideas [are] ignited, and such higher-order thinking is done that knowledge itself is fundamentally transformed.”

Three principles will guide ALL of the organizational decisions and actions for the strategies for building and operating SCSAM.

  • Emphasis on CWRU Research: As a higher education institution first and foremost, we must ensure that the decisions put a priority on choices that benefit the educational enterprises of the students and research enterprises that are foundational to the Faculty.

  • Fair and Transparent: We are committed to being transparent and equal in our interactions, and when we make decisions.

  • Fiscal Responsibility: Decisions must be made within the context of the constraints that finite resources are needed to realize, sustain, and scale operations.


[1] William Perry, “NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering,” 2008. Accessed: Dec. 31, 2019. [Online]. Available:

[2] E. National Academies of Sciences, “Frontiers of Materials Research: A Decadal Survey,” Feb. 2019. doi: 10.17226/25244.