For FYEs’ Consideration: Materials Engineering

This is another installment of our “For FYEs’ Consideration” series, where we introduce first-year engineers to the different engineering disciplines at Purdue. Today, we feature Materials Engineering. 

thumbnail_materialsEngineeringMaterials engineers combine physics, chemistry, and engineering to develop new materials. Materials engineering at Purdue began as an option in metallurgy for students in the School of Chemical Engineering; in 1959 the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering split into two separate schools. The School of Metallurgical Engineering became what is today known as the School of Materials Science and Engineering. Graduates from Purdue’s materials program hathumbnail_material_engineering_small_picve gone on to work in industry, government, and other schools.

Many of the classes that materials science and engineering (MSE) students take focus on the properties and processing of materials. Students will take classes such as Structure and Properties of Materials Engineering, Materials Processing Laboratory, and Mechanical Response of Materials. Because chemistry plays a major role in MSE, students also take chemistry classes such as organic chemistry.
thumbnail_material-engineeringMSE students at Purdue have fantastic opportunities to get involved. They can join the Materials Research Society, the American Ceramic Society, and several other clubs specifically for students studying materials engineering. Study abroad is an amazing opportunity open to MSE students. Recently, MSE students have studied abroad in Spain, Japan, Germany, and Australia. MSE students also have the opportunity to participate in research, including research in areas such as microstructure and composition, mechanical and thermal properties, and physical properties.

After they graduate, most MSE students go on to work in industry. Materials engineers often work in areas such as research and development, where they study the properties of certain materials and develop new materials. Many materials engineers specialize in a certain type of material, such as metals, ceramics, or plastics. Students who wish to earn a graduate degree in MSE can do so at Purdue.

-Bailey Hayes


For FYEs’ Consideration: Electrical and Computer Engineering

This is another installment in our “For FYEs’ Consideration” series, where we present the different engineering majors to the FYE students. Today, we present electrical and computer engineering. 

Both electrical and computer engineering majors are contained in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Founded in 1888, this school is the largest at Purdue University and one of the largest of its type in the nation. There are about 1,100 undergraduate students in ECE.

Students learn about both electrical systems and their components and the software programming to control the devices. There are many opportunities for graduates from the School of ECE in industry, research, development, design, production, marketing, operation, and maintenance. Many industries seek electrical engineers to solve difficult challenges including, aerospace, automotive, petroleum, and obviously, the computers and electronics industries.

There are many areas students can choose to focus in through research. Purdue offers specializations in bioengineering, circuit theory, communication sciences, computers, control systems, electromagnetic fields, energy sources and systems, and materials and electronic devices.

ECE classes provide many opportunities for students to learn hands on through labs and demonstrations. Students develop exciting circuit labs such as alarm systems and simple computers with state of the art equipment. They will also design software per creative assignments in C, Java and other hardware based programming. Because of the hands-on lab experience students are prepared to successfully enter industry. ECE is a great opportunity for students looking for technical classwork with hands on lab experience.

-Peggy Magro

For FYEs’ Consideration: Chemical Engineering

This is another blog post in our series, “For FYEs’ Consideration,” where we introduce First-Year Engineering students to the different engineering disciplines at Purdue. Today, we feature Chemical Engineering. 

Chemical engineers solve problems using both their knowledge of chemistry and their engineering background. The School of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1911 and has since produced graduates who have gone on to hold executive positions in companies such as ExxonMobil, DuPont, and 3M. Many graduates have also held distinguished positions at other universities, such as Stanford and Northwestern.scientist working at the laboratory

Chemical engineers at Purdue can participate in research, study abroad, and clubs. There is a broad range of research opportunities, including research in polymers and materials, catalysis and reaction engineering, and nanoscale science and engineering.

Chemical engineers take math and physics classes just like all other engineering majors. In addition to these classes, they also, surprisingly, take a lot of chemistry classes, including organic chemistry. Because chemical engineers often work in manufacturing, they take classes on chemical processing, such as design and analysis of processing systems.

There are some really exciting study abroad opportunities through the school of chemical engineering; students have studied for a semester in Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and Singapore. There are also Spring Break and Maymester study abroad options. Chemical engineering students also have the option to co-op for companies such as DuPont and NASA. The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the ChE Student Advisory Committee are two clubs associated with the chemical engineering program, and these are excellent opportunities for students to get involved.

After they graduate, chemical engineers typically work in manufacturing. Because it is a very broad field of engineering, chemical engineers have a variety of job options, including jobs in the oil, food, clothing, electronic, or energy industries. Students who wish to continue their education can pursue their Ph.D. or Masters Degree in chemical engineering at Purdue.

-Bailey Hayes

For FYEs’ Consideration: Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering

This is part of a brand new series called “For FYEs’ Consideration,” where we try to help First-Year-Engineering students figure out what discipline they want to pursue for the rest of their Purdue years. Today, we feature the AAE discipline. 

Aeronautical and astronautical engineers are involved in the design, manufacturing, and testing of aircraft and spacecraft. The first aeronautical and astronautical engineering degree was offered at Purdue by the School of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, before it was established as its own separate school in 1945. thumbnail_AerospaceEngineering2.jpgOver the last ten years, most of the aerospace engineering graduates in the U.S. have graduated from Purdue.

There are many opportunities for aerospace engineering students at Purdue including Design-Build-Fly or High Altitude Balloon projects. Students can participate in research in the fields of aerodynamics, aerospace systems, astrodynamics and space applications, dynamics and control, propulsion, and structures and materials; and they can take classes to expand their knowledge in those areas. They are also required to do a major and minor concentration in one of the following five areas:

  • Aerospace Systems Design – involves studying design methods and techniques
  • Aerodynamics – the study of fluid properties involving airborne bodies
  • Dynamics and Controls – involves studying orbits, trajectories, and vehicle guidance
  • Propulsion – involves studying aircraft engines and rocket powerplants (and fuel)
  • Structures and Materials – the study of structural analysis of aerospace materials

There are also several study abroad opportunities for aeronautical and astronautical engineers, including studying at the University of Bristol in the UK thumbnail_aerospaceengineering3jand ESTACA in Paris, and co-op opportunities including one at Honeywell Aerospace.

After they graduate, aerospace engineers can work in manufacturing, engineering services, and research. They can also work for the federal government developing aircraft and aerospace products at facilities such as NASA. Thirteen out of the twenty-three astronauts who have graduated from Purdue had a degree in aeronautical and astronautical engineering, including Neil Armstrong and Janice E. Voss.

-Bailey Hayes and Subhiksha (your editor)