About Materials Science and Engineering
Materials impacts all technologies and applications
The field of "materials" encompasses concepts in many diverse fields ranging from chemistry, physics, and optics to mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering. Rapid advances in technology have dramatically increased the importance of materials science and engineering to society, as highlighted in proceedings of the 2000 National Advisory Board Forum entitled "Materials in the New Millennium: Responding to Society's Needs": "Materials science underpins every product and process on which our modern society depends" and "You cannot make it without materials." Continued progress in all aspects of technology relies on proper education of materials scientists and engineers and active progress in materials research and development.
Why Study Materials Science and Engineering?
Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is the study of the structure—processing—properties relationships of engineering materials. Considered by some to be the marriage of physics and metallurgy, modern MSE encompasses a broad range of materials, from traditional metallurgy to biological materials, polymers, ceramics, semiconductors, composites, and optical and magnetic materials, as well as numerous nanotechnology materials. The study of materials science allows students considerable freedom to the depth of their understanding of such materials while being simultaneously engaged in real world research.
What are the career opportunities in Materials Science and Engineering?
MSE graduates can be found employed in almost all fields of human endeavor. Most obviously, in fields where someone is using a material to make something, such as the automotive, aerospace, and microelectronics industries, or is making a material for use by others, such as the plastics and metals industries. Additionally, MSE graduates can be found in knowledge-based industries, such as archeology and education.