Materials Science and Engineering has played a critical role in the technological evolution of our society, from structural steels to optoelectronics and information processing. The field of MS&E is currently evolving at a more rapid pace than at any point in history. The evolution of the field, and its societal impact, continuously occurs through collaborations between materials scientists/engineers and researchers from other fields such as biology, medicine, physics, chemistry and other areas of engineering and manufacturing.
MS&E faculty at Michigan are involved in the creation and dissemination of fundamental knowledge and developing advanced technologies. The areas of emphasis in our department include the synthesis and processing of novel functional bulk and thin film "hard" and "soft" materials for diverse technologies that include microelectronic and light emitting devices, ferroelectrics, thermoelectrics and photovoltaics. The self-assembly of nanoparticles, biological molecules and synthetic organic macromolecules and, moreover, bio-inspired strategies for synthesizing new materials, are areas of growing interest to our faculty. Additionally, our faculty work on problems that include the use of ultra-fast lasers for non-destructive diagnostics of materials and processes, the use of first-principles techniques for calculating phase diagrams and materials properties, the processing and properties of advanced structural alloys for automotive, aerospace and power generation applications. Other areas of excellence in our department include the synthesis and processing of hybrid ceramic/polymer nanoparticles to produce materials for photonic applications.
Our vision is to educate the very best young materials engineers and researchers, and to provide an environment where innovative and productive interdisciplinary materials researchers and engineers engage in the development of new fundamental knowledge of materials science and technology, responding to the needs of our state, the nation and the world.
Our Mission is:
- to educate creative and productive scientists and engineers in the fundamental principles of the science and engineering of materials, who will provide future leadership in industry, academia and government laboratories;
- to produce new advances in the science and technology of materials;
- to play a key leadership role in scientific societies;
- to serve as a bridge between various materials research efforts throughout the University via various scientific and technical centers;
- to maintain strong ties with industrial and government researchers, through collaboration on problems of technological significance.
Approximately 200 graduate and undergraduate students and 25 faculty members comprise our program. Most members of our faculty hold joint positions with other areas: Geology, Nuclear Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, Civil and Mechanical Engineering, and the Applied Physics and Macromolecular Science and Engineering programs, here at the University. More than one half of our undergraduates subsequently earn graduate or professional degrees, while others find employment in medical/biomedical, pharmaceutical, automotive, electronics, and other consumer products industries. Our senior faculty members are Fellows of scientific societies in several fields, including materials, physics, biology and medicine and other areas of engineering. Most are editors or members of editorial boards of prestigious scientific journals. We include one member of the national academy of engineering as well as current and past presidents of the major materials societies. Most of the junior members of our faculty have won NSF CAREER and other prestigious young investigator awards. The majority of the members of our faculty have filed patents and several have founded companies. We maintain strong ties with industry and a significant fraction of our funding comes from DOD, NSF and DOE.