10: School of Engineering and Applied Science

General Information | Degree Programs | Curricula | Course Descriptions | Faculty

Aerospace Engineering | Applied Mathematics | Biomedical Engineering | Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering | Computer Science | Computer Engineering (Computer Science) | Electrical Engineering
Computer Engineering (Electrical Engineering) | Engineering Science | Materials Science and Engineering
Mechanical Engineering | Systems Engineering | Division of Technology, Culture, and Communication

Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering offers a selection of undergraduate courses with the objective of providing a fundamental background in the structure, properties, processing and performance of materials which is essential to engineers or scientists for understanding the selection of materials for various applications. The department encourages students to consider the field of materials science and engineering a challenging new field in engineering. A materials science and engineering option is available to the undergraduate student within the framework of the Engineering Science Program. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering offers graduate degrees at the masterís and doctoral levels, and an undergraduate minor that can be taken in comjunction with any of the majors within the School of Engineering and Applied Science. In the Materials Science Program, the student may select from a range of basic materials courses. A broad background in materials science and engineering is available by selecting either a science elective, MSE 102 (Introduction to the Science of Engineering Materials), which develops the terminology and scientific foundation necessary for understanding the behavior of metals, polymers, and ceramics; or an engineering core course, ENGR 209 (Materials Science for Engineers). More advanced courses are available to provide the student with modern and classical aspects of corrosion, as well as specific structure-property relationships for various classes of materials such as alloys and polymers. Several laboratory sections introduce the student to typical experimental techniques for characterizing materials and their properties. Qualified students may also take graduate 600-level courses in materials science and engineering with the approval of the instructor. A general materials course which emphasizes the relationship of materials technology to modern society is offered each semester for students of all disciplines, MSE 201 (EVSC 201).

The department provides a broad-based graduate education in materials, one component of which emphasizes the commonality among the various classes of engineering solids. Thus thermodynamics, kinetics, structural analysis and crystallography, defect theory, and principles of the solid state are strong features of our program. In addition, other courses relative to the application of materials and the relationships among materials properties, structure, and the manner in which materials have been processed are also offered. Extensive research programs complement formal course work. Active recent programs on polymers, environmental effects on material behavior, electronic materials, analytical electron microscopy, solid state phase transformations, fatigue and fracture, tribology, composite materials, and materials processing reflect the diversity of the faculty's research interests. In addition, the department houses the Center for Light Metals which oversees a variety of research on AI, Mg, and Ti alloys, and composites containing these metals. The Center for Electrochemical Sciences and Engineering, a VCIT Center, conducts interdisciplinary research involving five departments. The surface science laboratory conducts fundamental studies of surfaces of materials and provides surface analysis services.

The graduate program consists of regular graduate courses and thesis research. While a few courses are considered fundamental, there is great flexibility in allowing students to adapt their choice of courses according to their particular field of interest and specialization. Major emphasis is placed on acquisition of knowledge and understanding by students, rather than on passing a certain number of courses. The Master of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Master of Science or the Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science degrees are offered.

Minor   Six courses constitute a minor. Required courses: MSE 305 and MSE 310L . Select one of the following: MSE 102, ENGR 209, ME 339, or AE 439. Select three courses from the following: MSE 301, MSE 304, ENGR 495, ENGR 497, ENGR 499, MSE 524, and MSE 532. Students studying civil engineering; applied mechanics; MANE; chemical engineering; systems engineering should consider: MSE 301, ENGR 495, MSE 524, and MSE 532. Students studying electrical engineering; computer science; systems engineering should consider MSE 304, ENGR 497, ENGR 499, or MSE 524. Recommended but not required for the minor, are the laboratories associated with courses MSE 301 and ENGR 495.


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