Materials engineering involves the development, production, modification, and application of engineering materials to meet the specific needs of society. It is based on an understanding of the structures and forces that control the engineering properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. Through the development of this understanding, the student learns how to control the properties of materials through various industrial manufacturing processes, how to select the optimum material and predict its behavior under various environmental and service conditions, and how to alter this behavior through materials design, research, and development. Materials Engineers are employed in every major industry, including aerospace, chemical, automotive, metals casting, biomedical, and microelectronics.
The materials engineering program at UAB has a curriculum of 128 semester credit hours that has been continuously accredited since 1971 by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. In addition to courses in mathematics, calculus-based physics, chemistry, and the humanities/social sciences, students take a core of fundamental engineering course work and a sequence of materials engineering courses. The required materials engineering courses address ceramics, polymers, composite materials, and metals. They emphasize the relationships among properties, structure, processing, and performance. Materials engineering elective courses are also offered to introduce students to leading-edge materials engineering topics. The curriculum prepares graduates to directly enter the professional practice of materials science and engineering, to pursue graduate studies in materials science and engineering, or enter a professional school, such a medicine or dentistry. The department has very active research programs in metal casting and composite materials.
The department also offers courses of study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in materials engineering. These programs are described in the UAB Graduate School Catalog.
The Vision of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is to be an internationally recognized research-oriented department – a first choice for undergraduate and graduate education.
The Mission of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is to excel in research for the benefit of society while educating students at all levels to be immediately productive.
Educational ObjectivesThe educational objectives of the Materials Engineering Undergraduate Program are for our graduates to be functioning professionals who:
- Advance in materials engineering or related professional positions.
- Continue to develop intellectually and professionally.