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Interdisciplinary Materials Science Program

Undergraduate Program

What is Materials Science and Engineering?

MATERIALS are the limiting factor for most technological advances. The impact of materials on history is obvious, since technological progress in a given era is demarcated by the available materials. The Stone Age was followed by the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. The present period could be identified as the Silicon Age, which is only in its first century.

New materials allow for new technology and this is especially the case for the emerging field of nanoscience. As the size scale approaches nanometer dimensions, materials exhibit new and exciting physical properties. High performance metals, ceramics, polymers, semiconductors and composites are in demand throughout the engineering world and nanotechnology is proving to be the answer for many engineering problems. The U.S. National Science Foundation identified nanoscience and nanotechnology as a critical area for our future and created a national initiative to advance the processing and performance of nanomaterials. To accomplish these tasks, there is a need for specialists in materials science and engineering with an interdisciplinary background that combines engineering disciplines with the physical sciences. The materials science and engineering program is integrated into the extensive ongoing nanotechnology research.

The Vanderbilt Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering (VINSE) is at the center of this effort. Research areas include; nanofluidics, synthesis of semiconductor quantum dots, magnetic nanocrystals, nanoscale soft materials, optical properties of nanostructures, carbon nanotubes, nanodiamond devices, biological applications of nanocrystals, and molecular modeling and simulation of these nanoscale structures. This interdisciplinary research involves faculty from all of the engineering disciplines as well as faculty from chemistry, physics, and the medical school.

Two undergraduate options involving materials science and engineering are available. Students may pursue the B.S. in engineering science with materials science and engineering as their area of concentration or they may earn the B.E. in another engineering discipline with a minor in materials science and engineering. Materials Science and Engineering Concentration The B.S. in engineering science with a concentration in materials science and engineering requires satisfaction of the curriculum requirements of engineering science. The student must take 27 hours of materials science and engineering program electives that include MSE 1500 and MSE 2500 with the additional materials science related courses selected to provide a meaningful sequence that must be planned in advance and approved by the faculty adviser.

Materials Science and Engineering Minor

The minor in materials science and engineering is designated to provide the student with an understanding of engineering materials. The goal is to complement and add to the student’s major in one of the other engineering disciplines for an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. The minor program in materials science and engineering requires 16 hours of program courses, of which 7 hours are devoted to MSE 1500/1500L and MSE 2500. No more than 10 hours below the 2500 level may be applied to the minor.

Program Requirements

MSE 1500, 1500L Materials Science I and Laboratory
MSE 2500 Materials Science II

The remaining 9 hours can be chosen from the following list of courses.

MSE 3851 Undergraduate Research
MSE 3889-3890 Special Topics
BME 2100 Introductory Biomechanics
BME 2200 Biomedical Materials: Structure, Property, and Applications
BME 4200 Principles and Applications BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems (BioMEMS)
BME 4500 Nanobiotechnology
ChBE 4840 Applications of Metal and Metal Oxide Nanostructures
ChBE 4850 Semiconductor Materials Processing
ChBE 4860 Molecular Aspects of Chemical Engineering
ChBE 4870 Polymer Science and Engineering
ChBE 4880 Corrosion Science and Engineering
CE 2205 Mechanics of Materials
CE 3205 Introduction to Structural Design
CE 4200 Advanced Structural Steel Design
CE 4210 Advanced Reinforced Concrete Design
CE 4211 Mechanics of Composite Materials
EECE 4283 Principles and Models of Semiconductor Devices
EECE 4284 Integrated Circuit Technology and Fabrication
ME 3202 Machine Analysis and Design
ME 4251 Modern Manufacturing Processes
ME 4275 Introduction to Finite Element Analysis
Chem 3010 Inorganic Chemistry
Chem 3300 Physical Chemistry: Quantum Mechanics, Spectroscopy, and Kinetics
Chem 3630 Macromolecular Chemistry: Polymers, Dendrimers, and Surface Modification
Phys 2250W Introduction to Quantum Physics and Applications I
Phys 2290 Electricity, Magnetism, and Electrodynamics
Phys 3640 Physics of Condensed Matter

For more information about undergraduate studies in Materials Science and Engineering, contact Professor Bridget Rogers