Materials Science Program
Ray Vanderby (Director)
Donald Stone (Associate Director)

The Materials Science Program (MSP) is a nationally recognized interdisciplinary graduate program in a burgeoning field that applies principles from traditional scientific and engineering disciplines to create advanced materials and devices. Progress in these areas hinges upon controlling the preparation of compounds and interfaces at the atomic level to tailor the chemical and physical properties of materials and devices to produce the desired properties and performance.

MSP personnel are at the cutting edge of research in such areas as advanced metals and polymers, atomic imaging and surface science. Their research results have had a national impact. Recently, faculty, staff and students have invented nuclear-powered nanobatteries for microelectro-mechanical devices, used plasma-aided engineering to protect food-industry surfaces from bacteria, led the way in discoveries that boost the potential of new superconducting material magnesium diboride, and developed a new technique for cheaply and simply manufacturing DNA chips.

Students entering the MSP generally have undergraduate degrees in physics, chemistry or an engineering discipline. They design a curriculum from cross-campus offerings with input from their research advisors, and select thesis research topics based on materials and interfaces that involve polymers, superconductors, advanced metals and alloys, semiconductors, ceramics, composites and biomaterials.

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