Future Students

Left: Chieh-Chun and Rajesh setting up the electrochemical cell to conduct electrochemical impedance measurements --- Right: PHD graduate MSE, Peggy, using FTIR to identify pesticide residues on filter paper

What is Materials Science & Engineering?

MSE is an inherent interdisciplinary field, coupling fundamental scientific principles of knowledge-based fields: mathematics, chemistry, physics, and biology with the application-based principles of engineering.  To list just a few examples of applications, with a different though systematically significant impact on societal needs, are:

  • materials for energy-related technologies such as energy production (high temperature alloys for turbine generators),
  • semiconductors for photovoltaic generation (thermoelectric materials for heat harvesting),
  • energy storage (materials for batteries or thermal storage),
  • health technologies (biomaterials for implants or drug delivery systems) ,
  • information technologies (materials for displays, semiconductors for integrated circuits and electronic packaging photonic materials for broadband telecommunication),
  • transportation technologies (light composite materials for automobiles or air and space vehicles).

The challenges in the field of MSE reside in the diversity of materials and materials applications, the variety of processes for synthesizing and fabricating materials, the complexity of materials behavior and the multiplicity of their useful properties.  These challenges are converted by materials scientists and engineers into opportunities for better, lighter, smaller, multifunctional, improved materials to revolutionize technologies that positively impact society and human welfare.

To gather a more comprehensive idea of what Materials Science & Engineering is, please visit our Professional Societies page. 

University of Arizona College of Engineering