About Illinois MatSE

What is Materials Engineering?

Materials engineering focuses on the synthesis of materials in useful quantities and the processing of component materials into engineering products. Materials engineering draws on the fundamental materials science and adapts processes for the scale and requirements of applications. Basic studies frequently find ways to improve the properties of materials and often reveal aspects of performance that challenge our basic understanding.

Innovations in materials science and engineering lead to improved materials and solutions, advancing biomaterials, ceramics, electronic materials, metals, and polymers that affect all engineering areas.

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What are materials?

Materials are simply atoms joined together in the solid state. Materials science studies the fundamental physical and chemical basis for the controlled combination of atoms to form new compounds, phases, and microstructures, as well as the characterization of the resulting structures and properties. The great diversity of materials reflects the enormous variety in the strength and directionality of atomic bonding.