Undergraduate Program

(Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.)

Materials engineering is a discipline dealing with production processing, characterization, selection and design of materials. Typical job functions include designing new materials, developing new/improved manufacturing processes, a selection of materials, failure analysis, characterization of structures and measurement of properties.

Our program features a strong interaction with industry, research opportunities in the undergraduate years, and a curriculum that addresses engineering fundamentals and emerging technologies.

Why study materials engineering? That's easy - GREAT JOBS! Materials engineers can look forward to a variety of interesting specialties, high salaries and excellent career opportunities.

What is Materials Engineering?
Look around! The clothes that we wear, the cars that we drive, the airplanes in which we fly, the cell phones and computers that we use, the CD & DVD players we cannot live without, the dishes that we eat from are all made of different types of materials. Significant contributions by materials scientists and engineers have made all these available to us. Materials Science & Engineering is a systematic study of all such types of materials. Actually, it is a lot more than that it is a study of how materials can be changed and made better to do more amazing things, enabling the creation of completely new kinds of materials! Most materials fit into general categories such as metals, ceramics & polymers:

  • Metals are very strong, ductile and are excellent conductors of heat and electricity. Metals are generally heavy, but some metals like aluminum are light, while still being strong making its use widespread such as in soda cans, kitchen utensils, aluminum foil, and major parts of aircrafts.
  • Ceramics are made by combining metals with non-metals, and are strong, brittle, and generally poor conductors of heat and electricity. But materials scientists have figured out how to make them good conductors of electricity too.
  • Polymers include plastics, rubber, etc., and can be very elastic.

Other types of materials that do not fit in the above classifications also exist:

  • Electronic materials, such as semiconductors, superconductors and magnetic materials.
  • Biomaterials that can aid in the creation of artificial body parts.
  • Composite materials, made from a combination of more than one type of material.

Nanoscale materials and nanotechnology hold considerable promise to revolutionize several industries, ranging from electronic, magnetic, optoelectronic, biomedical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, catalysis and energy sectors.

A major force behind a lot of current developments in the MSE arena is nanotechnology. Nanotechnology is taking MSE into a new dimension, as scientists and engineers have learned to build materials and devices from the ground up-atom-by-atom and molecule-by-molecule-leading to properties and performance never before imagined. The "nano" in nanotechnology indicates that the typical dimension of the building blocks of nanotechnology (atoms or molecules) are about a nanometer in length, which is one millionths of a millimeter, or roughly about 1/50,000 times the diameter of a human hair.

To learn more facts about the Materials Science & Engineering program contact:

Seok-Woo Lee
Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Phone: (860) 486-8028
E-mail:  seok-woo.lee@uconn.edu