The study of materials science and engineering has spurred breakthroughs in applications ranging from artificial limbs and organs, to space travel vehicles, to personal MP3 players.
For example, the discovery of buckyballs and carbon nanotubes has led to the development of an unprecedented reduction in size of prototype electronic components, and points the way to tomorrow’s electronic technologies. Porous nanostructures of biocompatible materials are studied for targeted drug delivery within the body. The integration of polymers and semiconductors is used to create efficient, usable solar cells to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. There are many more examples of both existing technologies and current research areas involving materials science and engineering that impact everyday life both today and in the future. The minor in materials science and engineering is open to all students of the College of Engineering whose science and technical interests involve the design, processing, and optimization of engineering materials. Since the materials interests may vary across the engineering disciplines, the minor is composed of an interdisciplinary selection of courses that offer a high degree of flexibility to the student. The fundamental goals of the program are to offer the student a broad interdisciplinary program that includes a basic background in the relevant aspects of materials science and the engineering applications of materials. The objectives are to serve the needs of the chemical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering departments in providing a vehicle to expose students to materials science and engineering. Particular focus areas include: electronic materials and processing for device applications; strength, wear, and corrosion-resistant coatings; molecular-level design of thin films and nanostructures; polymers and biomedical applications; and steels, concretes, and spacebased structures.