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Research Areas

mse research portfolioResearch in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is as diverse as our faculty interests. Faculty in MSE currently conduct research on ceramics, glasses, polymers, photonics, medical textiles, biomaterials, fiber science, thin films, and metallurgy.  The Materials Science & Engineering Research Portfolio (link below) highlights the research interests of each faculty member.

Specialty Areas


The definition for ceramics is extremely broad. With such a wide range of materials being used, the closest definition available is a refractory, inorganic & non-metallic material whose formation is due to the reaction of heat.


By the broadest definition, a composite material is one in which two or more materials that are different are combined to form a single structure with an identifiable interface.


Fiber is a hair-like strand of material that is extremely long in relation to its width, typically more than 100 times longer than it is wide. A fiber is the smallest visible unit of any textile product, but yet is the most flexible and may be spun into yarn and made into fabrics.


A modern definition of metals is that they have overlapping conduction bands and valence bands in their electronic structure. This definition opens up the category for metallic polymers and other organic materials, which have been made by researchers and employed in high tech devices.


Derived from the Greek words "polys" meaning many and "meros" meaning part, polymer is a term used to describe large molecules consisting of repeating structural units, or monomers, connected by covalent chemical bonds.


The traditional materials science tetrahedron is currently moving toward the system-level understanding of materials design starting from individual components and followed by assembly and interface optimization.