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About Materials Engineering

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 B.S. degree program is accredited 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. For more information on these programs visit our Graduate Program page.

  • Educational Objectives

    The 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
  • Student Outcomes
    1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
    2. an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
    3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
    4. an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
    5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
    6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
    7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  • Program Criteria
    1. Curriculum
      The curriculum must include topics that:
      • underlie the four major elements of the field: (i.e., structure, properties, processing, and performance) related to material systems, as appropriate to the program title;
      • employ selection and design of materials, processes, or a combination of materials and processes; and
      • apply experimental, statistical, and computational methods to materials problems.
    2. Faculty
      • Program faculty expertise must encompass the four major elements of the field.