Everything Americans use is composed of materials, from computer chips to flexible concrete skyscrapers, from plastic bags to artificial hips, from optical cables to automobiles. Materials science and engineering involves making materials reliable and useful to mankind. This is accomplished through design, processing, and analysis of materials having controlled compositions, microstructures and properties.
Although research in the department of Materials Science and Engineering spans a wide array of topics, investigations can be roughly grouped into the following areas:
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) offers:
Rhines Hall at night, 2004
The educational programs of the department deal with the scientific and engineering aspects of the structure, properties, synthesis/processing/manufacturing and application of materials. We are very involved in developing new materials that address critical issues facing society including energy, sustainability and health care. Because graduates in materials science and engineering are challenged to be general practitioners and specialists, the department provides the necessary balance between the fundamental and technical aspects of the field in all specialties.
The department stands among the best materials, metallurgy and ceramics departments in the nation, with current research expenditures of over $10 million a year from external contracts and grants. With the firm belief that research is teaching, students are involved in almost every research and development project. The department has 31 distinguished faculty members, 30 scientists and research scholars, with over 240 graduate students including 200 PhD students, 150 undergraduates, and 20 technical and support staff.
The MSE educational and research program is interdisciplinary, focusing on all materials - biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, glasses, metals, minerals and polymers, among others - and their composites. An excellent working relationship has been established between the department, industry and national labs to foster technology transfer, research and development. Analytical facilities at the Major Analytical Instrumentation Center (MAIC) support University of Florida researchers as well as other universities and industries in Florida and across the nation.
Many factors are involved in choosing the right material for the right job. All aspects of the behavior of materials - physical, chemical, mechanical, thermal, and so on - must be understood to develop new materials to meet new challenges. Thus, preparation for a career in materials science and engineering requires comprehensive study. Completion of the program in MSE at the University of Florida provides a significant level of preparation for a broad range of career paths.