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.
Materials 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 have 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.
MSE 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.