Alternative Magnets as a Means of Resilience
Laura Lewis, Distinguished professor of chemical engineering has partnered with Vincent Harris, professor of electrical engineering on developing new super magnets that are not reliant on rare metals. The reason? These metals are only available through trade with China. As relations between the U.S. and China become increasingly rocky, American industry must prepare for the possibility of an eventual embargo. Such an event would cut off supply of precious metals that are used in magnets for everything from iPhones to MRI machines. In addition to working towards finding alternative magnets, the professors acknowledge that the other way to safeguard against a trade war is to re-engineer existing technology in a way that it will function with weaker magnets.