With close to 9,300 square feet of dedicated laboratory space at their disposal, MatSE undergraduates are able to explore concepts in materials synthesis, characterization, and testing that will serve as a platform for their future careers as materials scientists and engineers. The department’s flexibility in accommodating increasing enrollments means that each student can expect an optimal amount of hands-on experience in these lab classes.
Beginning in the junior year of the program, the student lab experience spans multiple disciplines in order to reinforce concepts learned in lecture-based theory courses. In MSE 307 and MSE 308, students are introduced to multiple methods in testing material properties in the areas of polymers, metals, electronic materials, and ceramics. These two courses, in particular, also help develop each student’s ability to work effectively in teams in order to complete each assigned lab experiment. Furthermore, rigorous writing requirements expand the students’ abilities to express experimental results, data acquisition, analysis, and sources of error in a cohesive and meaningful way. These abilities are critical to their future success in both industry and academia.
Typically taken in the spring of the junior year, MSE 405 focuses the students’ learning in the area of the fundamentals of crystallography, diffraction, optical microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance and how these methods are used to characterize the microstructure of materials.
Senior Instructional Labs & Senior Design
As students enter the senior year, the senior instructional labs seek to provide a more in-depth look into all areas of materials science including the core areas of materials science (ceramics, metals, polymers, electronic materials, and biomaterials), as well as emerging interdisciplinary topics (e.g., materials for energy, advanced processing and/or characterization methods, materials theory and computation). These lab classes are focused on preparing students to move forward in different areas of the materials field.
The senior design course (MSE 395) serves as a capstone, allowing the students to use the knowledge they have gained and all the facilities at their disposal to complete a design project of their choice.