Students may pursue master of science (M.S.) and doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in materials science and engineering. For materials science, the thesis work emphasizes the fundamental aspects of
material behavior. Alternatively, for materials engineering, the thesis focuses on
engineering and developmental aspects of materials. Students with
full-time jobs in industry or at government labs can arrange to study for a master's degree without
Areas of specialization
include the following: nanotechnology, carbon
nanotubes, graphene, and nanoparticles; energy storage, energy conversions, and
fiber optics and lasers; structure and properties of glass;
relation of microstructure and properties of materials; sintering
mechanisms; rheology of slips; slip casting; preparation and properties
of powders; dielectric materials, including ferroelectric,
piezoelectric, and ferromagnetic ceramics; sol-gel processing; thin
films; high-temperature materials; strength, toughening, and impact
resistance; nanomechanics and nanoscale structure of metals, ceramics, and organics; ceramic-metal systems and composites; and
The facilities of the program include
approximately 25,000 square feet of well-equipped laboratories.
Students have access to field-emission scanning electron microscopes; high-resolution TEM Raman microprobe; FITR; micro-Raman spectroscopy; thermoanalyzers; X-ray diffraction equipment; X-ray
photoelectron spectroscopy equipment; hot isostatic presses and spark plasma sintering furnace; mechanical testing machines; optical benches and lasers; and glass processing facilities.
The focus of
much of the research is on the science and technology of synthesizing
advanced materials. Processing from powders includes
synthesis and characterization of powders, green forming (slip casting,
tape casting, rapid prototype methods, injection molding, and spray
drying/powder compaction), and densification of powder preforms
(sintering, hot pressing, hot isostatic pressing, and preceramic
polymer pyrolysis). In addition, materials are synthesized directly from
sol-gels and used for coatings, filters, and battery components.
Materials are characterized mechanically, electrically, optically, and thermally.
Students study surfaces using scanning tunneling microscopes and atomic
force microscopes and by employing computer simulations using molecular
dynamics. Ceramic composites are being studied to develop stronger,
tougher ceramics, such as ceramic armor. Materials with nanocrystalline microstructures are
being studied. Dielectric, ferroelectric, piezoelectric, and other
active/functional materials are being developed for electronic
substrates, capacitors, actuators, sensors, and smart/intelligent
Graduate assistantships and fellowships are
available for both first-year and advanced graduate students.
Generally, all full-time doctoral students receive financial support
and tuition remission. Support usually is associated with sponsoring
grants or contracts. Master's students are typically self-supporting or receive support from their employer. Further information may be found on the program
A prospective Ph.D. candidate must spend a
minimum of one academic year in residence as a full-time student taking
courses or pursuing research.