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Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering

What are Materials?

Materials are simply atoms joined together in the solid state. Materials science studies the fundamental physical and chemical basis for the controlled combination of atoms to form new compounds, phases, and microstructures, as well as the characterization of the resulting structures and properties. The great diversity of materials reflects the enormous variety in the strength and directionality of atomic bonding.

What is Materials Engineering?

Materials engineering focuses on the synthesis of materials in useful quantities, and on the processing of component materials into engineering products. Materials engineering draws heavily on the fundamental knowledge gained from materials science, and adapts the processes involved for the scale and requirements of the application. There is a rich interplay between the science and engineering aspects. Basic studies frequently find ways to improve the properties of materials, and goal-oriented engineering often reveals aspects of performance that challenge the basic understanding.

Why is it important?

Innovations in materials science and engineering lead to improved materials and solutions to technological, societal, and environmental problems. Materials Science and Engineering is advancing biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, metals, and polymers that affect all engineering areas. A degree in materials is the beginning of your journey to a career in a variety of fields, including aerospace, electronics, biotechnology, biomaterials, consulting, manufacturing, and  telecommunications.

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Prof. John Abelson talks about materials science and how it will impact the future. Video

Information for:

Prospective Undergraduates
Prospective Graduate Students