Metals have determined our life and societies for thousands of years and will continue to do so in any foreseeable future scenario. Metallic materials are crucial for our energy, safety, infrastructure, tools, transport, health care, utensils, and many more aspects of our daily life. Just look around and try to imagine what life would look like without metals. Despite the 5000 years of using metals, we have started understanding metals a bit only 100 years ago, following the discovery of X-rays and elementary particles like the electron and the development of proper microscopes and theoretical insight.

We now know that the sequence composition – processing – microstructure – properties – performance must be thoroughly understood and controlled to make optimum use of metals. And indeed, we urgently need to further optimise the production, usage and re-usage of metals in order to accomplish the materials transition that is needed because of reducing availability of natural resources and energy and because of the environmental impact of making and using metals.

The challenges that we face require a maximum of collaboration and knowledge exchange. Industry and academia must confront these challenges in close international collaboration. A great number of scientists worldwide carry a tremendous amount of knowledge, each in her or his scientific or application field.

The lecture series MMELO aims to provide a platform to help sharing this knowledge. Whereas nobody would travel to Delft, Gent or Stockholm for a single presentation, the corona crisis has taught us how to effectively communicate online.

Thus, the MMELO series started in April 2021 in a monthly sequence: the third Thursday of the month, 15:00 h Central European Time. Each of the specialised lectures that have been held so far has attracted (far) more than 100 attendants and each lecture was followed by an intensive discussion that often lasted 40-50 minutes. The concept is simple: a Zoom session is opened in which a renowned expert in metals science presents a lecture on a specific topic. The presentation is recorded and posted here on this website; the discussion afterwards is not recorded. Everybody is welcome, also from outside Europe. In fact, the time differences were the only reason to call MMELO “European”.

Finally, the MMELO logo is an apple tree. The apple tree of course reminds of the roots of science, Isaac Newton. An apple tree is productive, providing fruit that is, just like metals, beautiful and beneficial to mankind. But the origin of the logo is, to be honest, much simpler: the Italian word for apple tree is melo.