MatSE at Illinois


The mission of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is to meet the needs of society and our profession through excellence in education, research and service; to educate scientists and engineers who will become leaders in solving important materials problems; to design new materials and processing techniques with transformational value; and to generate new science-based knowledge for the benefit of society and the profession.

About the Department

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) was built on a tradition of excellence that dates back to the founding of the University of Illinois in 1867, when the University was required to have a mining program as part of its mission as a land-grant institution. In 1987 the Department of Metallurgy and Mining Engineering and the Department of Ceramic Engineering merged to form a new Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

MatSE at Illinois is one of the largest materials departments in the nation, with ~600 undergraduate and graduate students. The quality of the department is recognized by peer institutions, with both the undergraduate and graduate programs consistently ranked in the top three in the nation.

Research Focus

MatSE faculty and students at the University of Illinois are making significant discoveries that will change the world, including self-healing materials such as polymer coatings that protect materials from the effects of environmental exposure; new technology that will allow cell phone users to charge their phone battery in minutes instead of hours; and epidermal electronics with various medical applications such as sensors to monitor heart and muscle activity.

The nature of Materials Science and Engineering research requires an interdisciplinary approach, and research activities in the MatSE Department are pursued in collaboration with groups in electrical, mechanical, civil, environmental, and chemical engineering, as well as physics, chemistry, and veterinary medicine.

MatSE faculty and graduate students conduct research in some of the finest research facilities in the world, including the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Lab, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Coordinated Sciences Lab, and Micro and Nanotechnology Lab.