• Space

Considering the MSE major?

Materials Science & Engineering is at the intersection of all engineering majors. Space ships, planes, cars, nuclear plants, roads, buildings, solar panels, bio-implants, clothing, computers, medical devises, cellphones are made of materials we develop and create. We are everywhere. If it was not for Materials Science & Engineering, the aerospace, mechanical, bio, electrical, nuclear, naval, and civil engineering disciplines would not exist...

So if you like physics and chemistry, if you like to make stuff, if you are passionate about specific materials, if you want to make an impact on the environment and the choice of materials around you, or if you don’t want to specialize yet and would rather keep your options open, the MSE Major may be for you!

We keep our program flexible to enable students to pursue parallel interests and complement their MSE degree. 

If you would like to know more about the Major before deciding:

Fall semester: (section 100) Mechanics and Materials in Design with Dr. George WynarskyInvestigate and analyze an orthopedic implant or medical device and design it to be better

If you’ve been hearing about replacement knees, mechanical hearts, bionic eyes, and prosthetic arms that move by the user’s thoughts, and you dream about designing the next generation of these medical devices, this section is for you! In Section 100, you’ll study the engineering aspects of implantable devices and learn how engineers apply broad engineering knowledge to this exciting and fast-growing field. You’ll use knowledge of mechanics to define the physical environment for prosthetics and knowledge of material properties to determine appropriate materials for implanted devices. Over the course of the semester, you’ll do an in-depth, team-based study of a particular medical device (chosen by your team), and as the culmination of your research, you’ll propose your own recommendations for an improved design. Even though you won’t be creating physical medical devices, you’re encouraged to use modeling tools to construct your designs and to develop relationships with medical professionals who can give you access to actual devices. Students in this section have gone on to develop, patent, and market their own implant systems—maybe you’ll be the next success story!

Winter semester: (section 110) Engineering Composites with Dr. Kathy SevenerDesign, build, and test composite materials to meet design challenges

Most technological innovations have involved some major advance in materials processing or application. The devices and machines we rely on daily would not be possible without advances in polymers, ceramics, metals, and composites. Advances in composite material have enabled a broad range of innovations including, but not limited to, lightweight structural components in planes, boats, and cars, high temperature turbine and rocket engine components, ultra-lightweight bike frames, and prosthetic running blades for Paralympians. This class provides an overview of composites and how they are used in a wide variety of fields. Students will learn about the different classes of composites, the influence of composites constituents on properties, composite manufacturing methods, designing with composites, and how composites are used in a variety of applications including aerospace, automotive, biomedical, defense, energy, and sports/recreation. In several team-based project experiences, students will learn how to apply the design process to design, build, and test composite materials to meet specific design challenges. Students will study the engineering aspects that drive material performance requirements and learn how to balance competing requirements when designing composite materials for specific applications. 

  • Learn the roles some of our alumni and faculty have played in the design and development of technologies such as the latest Apple Watch, turbine engines, electric cars, solar panels, etc.