Department Profile

Who Are We?

The Materials Science & Engineering Department was formed in 2004 and includes nationally recognized programs in Metallurgical Engineering and Ceramic Engineering, programs that have been offered at Missouri S&T since 1870 and 1926, respectively. Our undergraduate programs emphasize hands-on laboratory training to supplement classroom lectures given by some of the most highly rated teachers at Missouri S&T, making it possible for our students to have immediate impact when hired for their first job.

Almost every major engineering achievement has been made possible by advancements in materials. From research on nanomaterials and the development of fiber optics and electronic materials, to the extraction and design of metals, material scientists and engineers are affecting human prosperity and improving quality of life.


Distinguishing Features

  • An outstanding faculty. Eighteen full-time and three research active emeritus Ph.D. faculty members from the core of the MSE department. Several faculty members from other engineering disciplines hold joint appointments with the MSE department, providing a broad coverage of materials expertise. The MSE faculty has been recognized for teaching and research excellence; in 2006, four faculty members received "outstanding teaching' awards and six received "faculty excellence' awards from Missouri S&T. Four faculty members are Curators' Professors, the highest professional rank in the University of Missouri system. In 2004, Delbert Day, Curators' Professor of Ceramic Engineering, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the first Missouri S&T faculty member to ever receive this prestigious recognition.

  • Individualized Instruction. Small classes (15-25 students) ensure close interaction between students and faculty members. Over 80% of the faculty has earned teaching ratings better than the campus average.

  • Outstanding facilities. The MSE department is primarily housed in McNutt Hall, with additional research facilities in Fulton Hall, the Materials Research Center (Straumanis Hall), and the Temporary Research Facility. State-of-the-art research capabilities have been developed in friction stir processing, ceramic composite processing, electronic materials processing and characterization, thin film deposition and characterization, thermal spray deposition, and many other materials preparation and characterization techniques, including electron microscopes that are dedicated to instruction as well as research. Opportunities exist for undergraduates to participate in a wide range of departmental research programs and to present their research in national meetings of professional organizations.

  • Great career opportunities. Our graduates quickly advance to leadership positions in a wide range of fields, including automotive, aerospace, biomedical, electronics, energy, glass, nuclear, optical and infrastructure. Our graduates find jobs in large companies and small, located all around the United States.

  • Scholarships. Many scholarships are available at Missouri S&T, and more than 75% of admitted students receive some form of merit-based assistance. The Materials Science & Engineering Department offers alumni-supported scholarships to freshmen who declare a preference for one of the MSE disciplines, and MSE upperclassmen are eligible for additional departmental scholarships provided by alumni, industry and professional associations.Over 70% of MSE students receive some form of assistance from the department, in addition to the scholarships offered by the university.

Missouri S&T has two outstanding undergraduate programs associated with the Materials Science and Engineering Department- Ceramic Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering.Students in these programs use fundamental principles from chemistry and physics to solve problems relating to the structure, properties, processing and performance of materials, including bio materials, ceramics, composites, electronic materials, glasses, metals, optical materials, polymers, and others.

Ceramic Engineering

The multi billion-dollar ceramic industry converts processed materials and raw materials taken directly from the earth (clay, sand, etc.) into such useful products as spark plugs, glass, electronic components, nuclear materials, abrasives, aerospace components, and a wide variety of consumer products. High-temperature processing is the key to ceramic engineering. From a single chemical source, ceramic engineers make useful materials in many forms. For example, carbon as diamond is used as an abrasive for grinding; carbon in the form of graphite is used for lubrication, as glass for crucibles, and as fiber for cloth.

As a ceramic engineer, you may:

Develop improved heat tiles to protect the space shuttle the future supersonic space vehicles from the searing heat of reentry into the earth's atmosphere; produce ceramic teeth, bones, and joints to replace parts of the human body or improve advanced medical equipment to continue research in the fight against disease; help make innovative, ultra-fast computer systems using ceramic superconductors, lasers, and glass optical fibers; develop materials to enclose and support aircraft engines that run at high temperatures; improve fiber optic cables that allow doctors to see inside the human body or permit the human voice to travel thousands of miles under the ocean without distortion; discover new ways to use ceramics to build highways and bridges, or to carry water and waste to treatment plants.

The Missouri S&T Ceramic Engineering program specializes in the product fields of glass, electronic materials, and high temperature materials, but stresses materials processing principles applicable to all products.With approximately 60 undergraduates and 30 graduate students, the Missouri S&T ceramic engineering program ranks among the leading programs in the United States.


Metallurgical Engineering

Metallurgy is the discipline that deals with procedures used in extracting metals from their ores, purifying and alloying metals, and creating useful objects from metals. Metallurgical engineers learn the art of working metals, comprehending the whole process of separating them from other matters in the ore, smelting, refining, and parting them; sometimes, in a narrower sense, only the process of extracting metals from their ores. Metallurgical engineers have good backgrounds in chemistry, mechanics, and materials, but are best suited to the study of metals: their properties, uses, and derivation.

Metallurgy has defined human history and human innovation. Metals have brought about all our modern successes in technology, communications, materials, transportation, agriculture, and housing. Metals are the cog that modern industry turns about; there are new challenges everyday in this broad and diverse discipline.

Our successful metallurgy graduates are creative, good communicators who are skilled at solving problems and delivering results. With these qualities our graduates not only develop careers as high quality practicing scientists and engineers, but are also sought by top companies for their potential in management, finance, consulting and other senior professional positions.With about 75 undergraduates and 30 graduate students, the Metallurgical Engineering program is one of the largest programs of its kind in the United States, and has a history of excellence and achievement.