Materials science and engineering is a discipline that extends from the basic science of materials structure and properties to the design and evaluation of materials in engineering systems.
Each Human Era is defined by its material advancements; from the Bronze Age to Silicon Valley. The Grand Challenges of the Modern Era (Sustainability, Human Health, Security, and Joy of Living) require advances in the materials. Necessitating the need to design materials as systems from the macroscopic, to microscopic, to atomic level. The role of a materials engineer is to understand why materials behave as they do under various conditions; to recognize the limits of performance that particular materials can attain; and to know what can be done during the manufacture of materials to meet the demands of a given application.
Increasingly, the demands for new materials, and for improved materials in existing applications, transcend the traditional categories such as ceramics, metals, and polymers. The technological challenges that materials engineers face will continue to demand a breadth of knowledge across the spectrum of engineering materials. The academic and research programs of the department are intentionally inclusive, addressing materials as systems.
While an engineering discipline, the field brings basic science tools to bear on the technological challenges related to materials products and their manufacture. Materials science draws on chemistry in its concern for bonding, synthesis, and composition of engineering materials and their chemical interactions with the environment. Physics provides a basis for understanding the mechanical, thermal, optical, magnetic and electrical properties of materials, as well as the tools needed to ascertain the structure and properties of materials. Mathematics is used throughout materials manufacture and analysis.
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering of the Case School of Engineering offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.