Regular readers of these Editorials, as well as the news on, will be familiar with the Elsevier Materials Science Council, and the launch of the Materials in Society lecture series (the first of which can now be viewed online at; and so I won’t retread old ground by introducing the Council once again. But I would like to take this opportunity to inform the community about the Council's latest project, which has the goal of helping recognize researchers who have overcome adversity to pursue a successful career in research; thus not only recognizing individuals, but the difficult circumstances they have overcome.

The initiative takes the form of a new prize; the Embracing Challenge Award. The Award is open to all researchers in materials science and engineering, however early or advanced their careers, who are contributing meaningful insights in their field of investigation, having overcome significant challenges. These challenges may include circumstances arising from gender, socioeconomic background, ethnicity, culture, disability, or the local economic environment.

The winner will be selected to receive an award of USD 5000 and a travel grant to attend an award ceremony during an upcoming Materials Today event in 2016. The deadline for nominations is 29th February 2016, and both self and third-party nominations are welcome. I hope our readers will be able to help identify candidates for this new Award, and help acknowledge some of the outstanding achievements many of our colleagues have made. For more information on the Award, and to submit nominations, visit

But turning now to issue of Materials Today; we begin with our cover, which depicts a bunch of carbon fibers wrapped inside a thin aluminium sheet, and is discussed in our latest Uncovered feature, A fiber-based bunch of flowers, by Emanuela Tamburri, Patrizio Barbini, and colleagues. Next, our Comment this month concerns the future of lightweight materials in The role of dynamic transmission electron microscopy on the development of next generation magnesium alloys, from Mert Celikin.

Onto reviews, Zhen Xu and Chao Gao begin by examining the rapid advances in the promotion of mechanical and functional properties of graphene fibers, and summarize their applications in Graphene fiber: A new trend in carbon fibers. Next, Xiaosheng Fang et al. focus on new materials and novel architectures inspired by state-of-the-art ultraviolet photodetectors, in New concept ultraviolet photodetectors. With 3D printing continuing to gather momentum in research and industrial communities, Tsu-Wei Chou and co-workers discuss additive manufacturing for directionally-reinforced composites processing, in Additive manufacturing of multi-directional preforms for composites: Opportunities and challenges. In our final review, we turn to biological applications, as V. Renugopalakrishanan describe the development of graphene-based point-of-care devices, using the example of glucose as a target molecule in Graphene-protein field effect biosensors: Glucose sensing.

Until next time, we hope you enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2015.10.011