Why Materials Engineering?

Throughout history, humankind's technology has been influenced and defined by the materials available to us. Human technology has grown and advanced from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age into the Iron Age up through modern times. As our technology has advanced, so has our understanding of how to manipulate materials to make things lighter, last longer, go faster and perform better. A Materials Engineer works each day to improve existing materials in order to make life easier. How influential are Materials Engineers? If something is not made of stone or wood, there's a good chance that a Materials Engineer was involved in that product's development.

Everything we use is made of materials, so materials engineering serves as the foundation for many engineering advances. Using science and engineering principles to select, design and manufacture materials, a materials engineer designs, develops, fabricates and evaluates materials for use in the engineering application. They combine engineering problem solving with scientific curiosity to understand how and why materials behave the way they do.

Materials engineers address the science and technology of producing materials that have properties and shapes suitable for practical use. These materials include metals, ceramics, polymers (plastics) and their combinations (composites). A Materials Engineer's broad scope and knowledge of materials science have allowed technological advances to spring from the drawing board to the production line. The activities of these engineers range from materials production to the design, development and processing of materials used in aerospace, transportation, electronics, energy conversion and biomedical systems…just to name a few.

Put simply, Materials Engineers "make the stuff that stuff is made of!"

Last Updated: Sep 08, 2016