The Illinois Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (I-MRSEC) has a mission to perform fundamental, innovative research that supports technological applications in areas of societal need, while promoting interdisciplinary materials-focused education and training of students. The work of the Center is carried out by two interdisciplinary groups, and is broadly centered on controlling how charged particles, specifically electrons and ions, flow in materials, which is essential for developing next generation advancements in information storage and processing and energy technologies. The research in the first group helps to advance microelectronics. The work focuses on using deformation fields -- so-called strainscapes -- in two-dimensional (2D) and thin film materials, to control the motion of electrons. The research in the second group contributes to the design of new battery materials. The focus of the work is to use light to control the flow of ions in materials, a phenomenon called photo-ionics. The Center supports new types of shared facilities for materials synthesis, measurement, and analysis. The Center also supports an educational program, focusing on K-12 outreach, which promotes materials knowledge for populations traditionally underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). There is a special focus on mentoring Center participants at all levels, from undergraduate students to faculty, in order to foster retention in STEM courses and fields. The activities in the Center are designed to achieve diversity in participation that is well above nationwide averages for STEM fields, helping to promote an expanded and more successful STEM workforce.