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Materials Engineering: A Revolution in the Making

Two Sections Available to Choose From:

Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
July 14, 2014 - July 25, 20142M-F 9A-11:50AOpenVineeth Venugopal10492
July 28, 2014 - August 08, 20142M-F 9A-11:50AOpenVineeth Venugopal10507

Course Description

What do you think would be the greatest, coolest invention of this century? Many of the greatest scientists and technologists believe that this would be in the field of Materials research " of new materials that have amazing properties, and what’s more " are capable of changing themselves to suit their requirements. Though we know of an amazing array of materials, there are only four basic ones - Polymers, Ceramics, Metals and Composites. What's more, the million billion materials that we know of are made roughly from hardly 30 chemical elements!

What are materials? How is it that we get such a variety of materials - both natural and man made? Can we actually design a material with a specific property? [Can we make Flubber, for example? ;)] The task of a Materials Engineer is to manufacture materials with specific properties that are needed to solve challenging and interesting problems.

In fact, a revolution is taking place in the laboratories of the world - new materials with fascinating properties are being discovered every day. In addition, old materials have been found to have amazing new strengths - metals that do not rust, foam that can repair itself, to powdered Bananas have already been found! Scientists at NASA use special nitride ceramics that can be touched with our bare hands even though they could be at a searing 3000 Celsius! New titanium nanocomposite alloys are lighter than steel, but ten times are strong " an aeroplane made of this material will consume ten times less fuel! Did you know that in the near future, we might be near to building an elevator to space!

Our times are witnessing a drastic change. Understanding how materials work, what gives materials the properties that they have and how wonderful, new materials can be synthesized will form one of the major focuses of science and engineering in the coming years. This course lays the groundwork for such an understanding, awakening the student to the possibility of this new world and the fundamentals that form this fascinating branch of Engineering.

We will cover the basics of this field - the types of materials, crystal structure, property - structure relationships, traditional materials, modern materials, nanomaterials and the application of nanotechnology to materials science. We will also cover the four basic types of materials - polymers, metals, ceramics and composites as well as the ultra modern materials - semiconductors, space technology materials, high performance devices and super strong composites. There are many more of surprises ahead in store for us as we head into this truly magical world of Materials…..

Only basic high school science and math is required. Everything else that is required will be taught in the class. What is expected of the student is a good analytical mind, excellent imagination and a keen desire to learn.

*Please note: This course has a Material Fee of $125.00.

You might also be interested in: Materials Engineering: Using Nanotechnology to Design a Space Elevator (online course)