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What is Materials Science ?

Materials science and engineering forms the basis for cutting-edge technologies including nano, biomedical, and information technology. It combines engineering, physics and chemistry with real-world applications through theory and hands-on learning. Materials science encompasses the spectrum of materials: metals, ceramics, biomaterials, polymers (plastics), semiconductors, and composites.

MSE anchors other branches of engineering. In order to build things like cars with better gas mileage, ultra high density hard drives for future computers, advanced solar cells, and better medical devices (just to name a few!), we need innovative new materials that improve on what is available today. MSE is the field that spearheads these discoveries and development processes.

You can learn more about materials and careers in materials science and engineering by visiting:

  • NOVA's "Making Stuff"
    From "Invisibility cloaks. Spider silk that is stronger than steel. Plastics made of sugar that dissolve in landfills. Self-healing military vehicles. Smart pills and micro-robots that zap diseases. Clothes that monitor your mood. What will the future bring, and what will it be made of? In NOVA's four-hour series, 'Making Stuff,' popular New York Times technology reporter David Pogue takes viewers on a fun-filled tour of the material world we live in, and the one that may lie ahead. Get a behind-the-scenes look at scientific innovations ushering in a new generation of materials that are stronger, smaller, cleaner, and smarter than anything we've ever seen."
  • Strange Matter
    "Discover the secrets of everyday stuff!" This is the official, interactive web site of the Strange Matter traveling exhibition, developed by the Ontario Science Centre and presented by the Materials Research Society with the support of the National Science Foundation. Requires FlashPlayer.
  • Materials Science on Wikipedia
    A great article covering the basics, classes of materials, materials in industry, major topics, and the history of the field.
  • The Greatest Moments in MSE
    The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) counts down the 50 most important materials discoveries and tools from prehistory to today.
  • The Sloan Career Cornerstone Center: Materials Science and Engineering
    Learn what it takes to plan for a career in materials science and engineering from pre-college to post-graduate school. Includes career and earnings forecasts, examples of industries and jobs, and downloadable resources.
  • The Materials Science and Engineering Career Resources Center
    This site describes the field of materials science, explains the presence and roles of materials in everyday life, and provides surveys of and interviews with materials engineers.
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