Materials Science and Engineering is widely recognized as one of the most promising technical fields of the 21st century. It is at the intersection of all Engineering disciplines.
Materials scientists and engineers are developing important new materials to meet the needs of our modern technological society. These include ultra-high-purity semiconductors for solid-state electronic devices; high-strength metallic alloys and ceramic-matrix composites for aerospace, automotive, nuclear and other structural applications; and a host of polymeric materials: some with unique functional characteristics and others which replace metal, glass, wood and natural fibers in dozens of applications.
The future role of materials scientists and engineers promises to be even more important in global grand challenges such as energy storage and conversion, clean energy, environment and sustainability, health care, transportation, national infrastructure and defense. Materials scientists and engineers are rising to this challenge through innovative approaches involving computational and data-driven design and development of novel materials, advanced characterization and novel processing. New materials and processes are being developed to replace environmentally unfriendly ones currently in use.
Materials science and engineering graduates are employed in industrial and academic research, development, and manufacturing. They support the creation of new materials and processes or the improvement of old ones with the aim of tailoring properties to applications. Often the work involves cooperating with mechanical, chemical, aerospace, automotive, biomedical, nuclear, electrical, computer, and other types of engineers in selecting appropriate materials in the design of various devices; evaluating the performance of materials in service; and, particularly, determining the causes and cures for in-service failures. Materials science and engineering graduates do very well in supervisory, teaching, and management activities, providing many opportunities for career development.
Students have an opportunity to tailor their program of study specific materials classes, and the program flexibility encourages the pursuit of parallel and complementary interests, programs, minors, and dual degrees. Students can also complement their Materials Science and Engineering B.S. degree with a SUGS in Materials Science and Engineering, Manufacturing, Biomedical Engineering, or Macromolecular Science and Engineering.
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