Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and Nuclear Engineering (NE) were brought together under the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Florida. By combining these two engineering disciplines, the department expanded both its nuclear materials and biomaterials research. As a result, the interdisciplinary impact has made the department’s research capabilities stronger together.
Faculty Research Areas
MSE research deals with the scientific and engineering aspects of the structure, properties, manufacturing and applications of various materials. It also includes developing novel materials and processes, understanding existing materials’ behavior, and selecting materials to design functional components.
The most critical aspect of our MSE research programs is that they are interdisciplinary and focus on all materials, including biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, glasses, metals, minerals, polymers – and their composites. Many research initiatives also involve multiple investigators and close collaboration with other disciplines. Computational materials science is also a growing area of research for the department.
The department is home to the Major Analytical Instrumentation Center (MAIC). With research equipment valued at more than $15 million, this user-supported facility provides analytical support to the department and university researchers and industries through direct analysis, collaborative research and personnel training.
The department also includes several other facilities, including the Center for Dental Biomaterials, which consists of a broad range of collaborative studies involving faculty of the UF Medicine and Dental schools and industrial participants.
The department also is home to the Computational Materials Science Focus Group, a multidisciplinary effort focusing on developing a better understanding of materials science through advanced computational methodologies.
The Mineral Resources Research Center concentrates on advanced studies for more efficient recovery of mineral resources and involves industries from around Florida and the nation.
The SWAMP Center provides software for modeling the physics and chemistry of the integrated circuit manufacturing process and experimental tools to verify software models. MSE faculty members also actively participate in the MICROFABRITECH multidisciplinary microelectronic program and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
The department stands among the best materials, metallurgy and ceramics departments in the nation, with an annual research expenditure of over $18 million, and has successfully developed and licensed several new products and materials. Some recent technologies transferred include high conductivity solid oxide fuel cell ceramics, advanced chemical mechanical polishing slurries, surface-modified intraocular lenses, particle nanocoating and diamond single crystals.
The NE program includes various fields such as power generation, radiation transport methods, nondestructive imaging and detection, advanced nuclear materials, reactor thermal hydraulics and homeland security.
Multiple opportunities await NE graduates as nuclear science and engineering continue to make significant contributions to electricity production, medical diagnostic imaging and therapy, as well as radiation detection and measurement. These possibilities will continue to grow as we face more challenges in energy production and expand our nuclear technology use.
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