Department of Materials Science and Engineering

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is jointly operated by the College of Engineering and College of Science.

The department offers Master of Science, Master of Engineering and Ph.D. degrees and has more than 100 graduate students currently in the program who are working on a wide range of materials-related interdisciplinary research projects. This multidisciplinary department includes faculty members from several disciplines, including aerospace engineering, biology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering and physics. Many of today's most pressing scientific problems stem from the limitations of materials currently available, and this department is at the forefront of new knowledge and discovery at Texas A&M University.

What is Materials Science and Engineering?

Materials science and engineering involves the characterization of the physical and chemical properties of solid materials—metals and alloys, ceramics, magnetic materials, polymers, optical materials, semiconductors, superconductors, and composites—for the purpose of using, changing, or enhancing inherent properties to create or improve end products. Materials science and engineering involves examining how the microstructure (crystalline or amorphous) of a material can be changed to influence the strength, electrical conductivity, optical, or magnetic properties of a material. This field is inherently multidisciplinary, encompassing mechanical, chemical, biomedical, civil, electrical, and aerospace engineering; physics; and chemistry.

Materials science comprises the study of materials from the macro to the atomic scale—from highway building materials to carbon nanotubes—but, independent of scale, the study of materials is concerned fundamentally with the effect of structure and chemistry on the properties of materials. Materials have historically been so important that different eras of civilization were named according to the materials from which tools were fabricated; for example, the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. The development of the semiconductor spawned the modern era of information technology often called the Silicon Age. Advances in materials science might make this new millennium the Biomaterials/Nanomaterials/Optical Materials Age.

What do Materials Scientists and Engineers do?

In industry, materials scientists and engineers work with natural or synthetic materials and, most often, with combinations of materials, to improve existing products or to develop novel products. For instance, at Intel, the developer of the processing chip used in most PCs, materials scientists optimize the materials used in chip packaging, balancing differing coefficients of thermal expansion, head dissipation, brittleness and compliancy, and cost for optimum performance and economic feasibility.

Other materials scientists are on the forefront of the revolution in biotechnology, developing materials for the components of artificial joints, heart valves, and other replacement body parts. Smart materials show a tremendous potential in medical and dental applications, such as compressible stents that reform to their intended shape upon contact with body heat once inserted into an artery, ceramic cement for bone repair, or shape-memory alloys to correct misplaced teeth or spine curvature. (Smart materials have one or more properties that can be dramatically altered, such as multiviscosity oil, with a viscosity that varies with temperature.)

Related research involves developing smaller and more reliable components, such as ferromagnetic activators acting as tiny machines in military and other applications. In aerospace engineering, materials scientists are developing airframe and fuselage materials with high strength-to-weight ratios, as well as developing smart materials into integrated sensors and actuators for reconfigurable wings and other adaptive structures.

For more information, visit the Department of Materials Science and Engineering website.

MSEN 201 Introduction to Materials Science

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Processing, structure, properties and performance in materials; materials structure and defects over many orders of scale; mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic and optical properties.
Prerequisites: CHEM 102 or CHEM 104 or CHEM 107; PHYS 218.

MSEN 222/MEEN 222 Material Science

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

MSEN 222/MEEN 222. Material Science. Mechanical, optical, thermal, magnetic and electrical properties of solids; differences in properties of metals, polymers, ceramics and composite materials in terms of bonding and crystal structure.
Prerequisites: CHEM 102, or CHEM 104 and CHEM 114, or CHEM 107 and CHEM 117; PHYS 218.
Cross Listing: MEEN 222/MSEN 222.

MSEN 285 Directed Studies

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Other Hours.

Directed study of selected problems in the area of materials science and engineering. May be taken for credit 4 times.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

MSEN 289 Special Topics In...

Credits 1 to 3. 1 to 3 Lecture Hours. 0 to 3 Lab Hours.

Selected topics in an identified area of materials science and engineering. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

MSEN 310 Structure of Materials

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Symmetry, unit cell and the atomic structure of crystalline and non-crystalline materials; the bonding forces and energy for van der Waals, metallic, ionic and covalent crystals.
Prerequisite: MSEN 201, MSEN 222/MEEN 222, AERO 413, BMEN 343, CHEN 313, CVEN 306, ENTC 206, or NUEN 265, or approval of instructor.

MSEN 410 Materials Processing

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Synthesis, properties and processing of technologically important inorganic materials (metals and ceramics); includes thermodynamics and kinetics of different materials processing methods, casting, deformation processing, heat treatments, powder processing and sintering, coating and thin films processing, etc.
Prerequisite: MSEN 201, MSEN 222/MEEN 222, AERO 413, BMEN 343, CHEN 313, CVEN 306, ENTC 206, or NUEN 265, or approval of instructor.

MSEN 420 Polymer Science

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Polymer structure, processing, property characterization at the molecular, microscopic and macroscopic dimensional levels for thermosets, thermoplastics, elastomers, fibers and advanced non-particle filled composites and smart multi-performance structures.
Prerequisite: MSEN 201, MSEN 222/MEEN 222, AERO 413, BMEN 343, CHEN 313, CVEN 306, ENTC 206, or NUEN 265, or approval of instructor.

MSEN 460 Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials

Credits 3. 3 Lecture Hours.

Origins of functional materials properties from their electronic and molecular structure; electron theory in solids; electronic transport and dielectric behavior; optical and magnetic properties; current applications of functional materials.
Prerequisite: MSEN 201, MSEN 222/MEEN 222, AERO 413, BMEN 343, CHEN 313, CVEN 306, ENTC 206, or NUEN 265, or approval of instructor.

MSEN 485 Directed Studies

Credits 0 to 4. 0 to 4 Other Hours.

Directed study of selected problems in the area of materials science and engineering. May be taken four times for credit.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

MSEN 489 Special Topics In...

Credits 1 to 4. 1 to 4 Lecture Hours. 0 to 4 Lab Hours.

Selected topics in an identified area of materials science and engineering. May be repeated for credit.
Prerequisite: Approval of instructor.

MSEN 491 Research

Credits 0 to 4. 0 to 4 Other Hours.

Research conducted under the direction of a faculty member in materials science and engineering. May be taken four times for credit.
Prerequisites: Junior or Senior classification or approval of instructor.

Arroyave, Raymundo, Associate Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Massachusetts Inst of Technology, 2004

Cagin, Tahir, Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Clemson University, 1998

Castaneda-Lopez, Homero, Associate Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Penn State University, 2001

Creasy, Terry, Associate Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, University of Delaware, 1997

Demkowicz, Michal, Associate Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2005

Hartwig, Karl, Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, University of Wisconsin - madison, 1977

Karaman, Ibrahim, Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign, 2000

Liu, Li, Research Assistant Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY, 2005

Needleman, Alan, Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Harvard University, 1971

Qian, Xiaofeng, Assistant Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2008

Radovic, Miladin, Associate Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Drexel University, 2001

Shamberger, Patrick, Assistant Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, University of Washington, 2010

Srivastava, Ankit, Assistant Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, University of North Texas, 2013

Su, Hung-Jue, Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, 1988

Sukhishvili, Svetlana, Professor
Materials Science And Engineering
PHD, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 1989