Nearly all technological progress requires the ability to engineer materials to meet specific needs. Materials engineers study the relationships between the underlying structure, processing, properties and performance of materials and employ this insight to formulate new or improved materials for use across a variety of industries. The modern materials engineering discipline encompasses metals, ceramics, polymers and composites, electronic materials and biomaterials. Materials characterization – the use of state-of-the-art instruments to determine material composition and structure – plays a key role in materials engineering practice.
Materials Engineering students at UK experience an environment where faculty are readily accessible both inside and outside the classroom, and have the chance to grow personally and professionally through hands-on research projects, industrial
cooperative education and service opportunities. You’ll study a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, chemistry and physics, as well as core engineering topics related to the central classes of materials (metals, ceramics, polymers and electronic materials), their characterization, processing and implementation in engineering design. Electives address specialized topics in materials engineering and include courses on biomaterials, composites, corrosion, energy storage, materials manufacturing and nanomaterials technology. Materials engineering majors can elect to pursue a minor in biomedical engineering focused on biomaterials, as well as certificates in nanoengineering and power and energy.
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"I look for intellectual curiosity in students. Intellectually curious students are genuinely interested in understanding. When I see that, I try to develop it through research opportunities.”
Professor, Materials Engineering
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Engineering Exploration I introduces students to the engineering and computer science professions, College of Engineering degree programs, and opportunities for career path exploration. Topics and assignments include study skills, team development, ethics, problem solving and basic engineering tools for modeling, analysis and visualization. Open to students enrolled in the College of Engineering. Students who received credit for EGR 112 are not eligible for EGR 101.
Fundamentals of Engineering Computing introduces students to the practice and principles of computer programming and computational problem solving. Students will engage in hands-on project-based problem solving using modern computer software and hardware, with a particular emphasis on problems and techniques commonly appearing in various domains of engineering. Open to students enrolled in the College of Engineering.
A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 105, dealing with the properties of chemical substances and providing an introduction to quantitative chemical analysis.1
A course is one-variable calculus, including topics from analytic geometry. Derivatives and integrals of elementary functions (including the trigonometric functions) with applications. Lecture, three hours; recitation, two hours per week. Students may not receive credit for MA 113 and MA 137. Prereq: Math ACT of 27 or above, or Math SAT of 620 or above, or a grade of C or better in MA 109 and in MA 112, or a grade of C or better in MA 110, or appropriate score on math placement test, or consent of the department. Students who enroll in MA 113 based on their test scores should have completed a year of pre-calculus study in high school that includes the study of trigonometric functions. Note: Math placement test recommended.
Engineering Exploration II focuses on a semester long engineering design project with students working in teams to apply the skills and tools introduced in EGR 101 or EGR 112 for transfer students and EGR 102. Topics and assignments include more in depth exploration of engineering tools for modeling, analysis, visualization, programming, hardware interfacing, team development, documentation and communication. Students gain experience in project management, identifying constraints, iteration and technical report writing.
A second course in Calculus. Applications of the integral, techniques of integration, convergence of sequence and series, Taylor series, polar coordinates. Lecture, three hours; recitation, two hours per week. Prereq: A grade of C or better in MA 113, MA 137, or MA 132.
A laboratory course offering experiments in mechanics and heat, framed in a small group environment that requires coordination and team work in the development of a well-written lab report.
Microscopic and macroscopic structure as related to the properties of materials with engineering applications. Lecture and recitation, three hours.
A continuation of CHE 105. A study of the principles of chemistry and their application to elements and compounds.
A laboratory course, to accompany CHE 107, emphasizing qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis.
A course in multi-variable calculus. Topics include vectors and geometry of space, three-dimensional vector calculus, partial derivatives, double and triple integrals, integration on surfaces, Greens theorem. Optional topics include Stokes theorem and the Gauss divergence theorem. Lecture, three hours; recitation, two hours per week. Prereq: MA 114 or MA 138 or equivalent.
Study of forces on bodies at rest. Vector algebra; study of force systems; equivalent force systems; distributed forces; internal forces; principles of equilibrium; application to trusses, frames and beams; friction.
To teach students the basic materials characterization laboratory techniques and demonstrate the difference in properties between different types of materials.
Introduction to processing of ceramic, polymer and composite materials; relating the structure and bonding in these materials to their properties; considerations in choosing appropriate materials for engineering applications.
Solution thermodynamics; partial molal quantities; ideal and non-ideal solutions; application of thermodynamics to phase equilibria; heterogeneous equilibria; free energy-composition relationships; temperature-pressure relationships.
MA 214 is a course in ordinary differential equations. Emphasis is on first and second order equations and applications. The course includes series solutions of second order equations and Laplace transform methods.
A general course covering electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic waves and physical optics. Lecture, three hours; recitation, one hour per week.
A one-semester course in organic chemistry. Not open to students who have already completed both CHE 230 and CHE 232.
Crystal structures, phase diagrams, diffusion, nucleation and growth, deformation, recovery, recrystallization and grain growth are discussed to understand the structure-property relations in metals and alloys.
Synthesis, structure, and processing of polymers, useful geometric forms, mechanical and thermal properties, crystallinity, polymer blends, evaluation of polymers for specific applications (aerospace, automotive, biomedical), laboratory activities for each of the above.
A course in material and energy balances, units, conversions, tie elements, recycle, bypass, equations of state, heat effects, phase transitions, and the first and second laws of thermodynamics applications in separation processes involving equilibrium reactions and energy exchange.
A study of stress and strain in deformable solids with application primarily to linear elastic materials: stress and strain transformations; simple tension and compression of axial members; torsion of shafts; bending of beams; combined loading of members; buckling of columns.
Data collection, description, and factor association versus causal relationship; Confidencestatistical versus practical; and Hypothesis testingAll of these covered in a conceptual approach while relying heavily on the mathematical language of probability (e.g., population and sample distributions; sampling; regression on one variable) and use of simulated and real data.
This course will examine electron behavior in a variety of materials and the processing methods used for integrated device production. Additional topics will include thin film growth, diffusion, oxidation, electronic device principals, defect control, and a survey of current challenges to the semiconductor industry.
Microstructure of crystalline ceramics and glasses, and role of thermodynamics and kinetics in its formation. Effect of microstructure on mechanical and physical properties.
Various laboratory experiments that demonstrate behavior of polymers, metals, ceramics, and electronic materials. Includes instruction and practice in use of numerous instruments and equipment, typical of the materials engineering discipline. Data reduction, analysis, and interpretation is covered, as well as correct writing of reports. This course is a Graduation Composition and Communication Requirement (GCCR) course in certain programs, and hence is not likely to be eligible for automatic transfer credit to UK.
Introductory elasticity and plasticity theory; crystallographic nature of slip and twinning; fracture.
An introduction to the foundations of quantum mechanics and selected topics in atomic, nuclear, particle, solid state, and statistical physics.
Various laboratory experiments that illustrate crystal structure, behavior of multi-component systems, and failure modes. Provides hands-on experience with some more advanced characterization methods of polymers, metals, and ceramics. Includes data reduction, analysis, and interpretation, as well as correct writing of reports.
A review of common engineering materials, their potential failure mechanisms and corresponding technology developed to avoid these failures. This course illustrates applications of current technology to practical industrial problems and is designed for engineers of all disciplines.
This course will present the fundamentals of x-ray and electron beam interactions with solid-state materials. Both elastic and inelastic interactions will be treated, with emphasis on elastic diffraction effects.
A service course covering electrical engineering principles for engineering or science students with majors outside of electrical engineering. Topics include: AC and DC circuits analysis.
A capstone engineering design experience involving analysis, with some treatments of engineering economics of real processes, design of materials, fabrication problems and techniques, and prediction of model material systems.
Solidification of molten alloys; fundamentals of metal working; application of metal working theories to forging, rolling, extrusion, drawing and sheet forming.
Students may directly enroll as pre-engineering students; however, there are minimum admission requirements. Minimum freshman entry requirements are an ACT Math score of 23 or higher or a SAT
Math score of 540 or higher. Additionally, students must also meet the minimum Kentucky statewide academic readiness requirements for reading and writing. If you do not meet the initial admission requirements, please refer to the University of Kentucky Bulletin for alternative routes to admission to the College of Engineering.
The smartest, most talented engineers around the world are devoting themselves to tackling immense global challenges. As a First-Year Engineering (FYE) student, you get to join them!
In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering identified 14 “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century”—opportunities to greatly increase humanity’s sustainability, health, security and joy of living. Themes include making solar energy economical, enhancing virtual reality, reverse-engineering the brain, securing cyberspace, providing access to clean water and more.
These ambitious goals demand engineers roll up their sleeves and get to work, which is why we put them front and center during your first year as an engineering student. We have designed the FYE program to inspire you. We want you to discover your passion. We want you to explore where you might make your unique contribution. We want you to get your hands dirty and make stuff that might, one day, lead to a breakthrough.
Why wait until you’re taking upper-level classes to figure out what interests you? Through real engineering classes taught by top faculty and exposure to engineering’s greatest challenges, the FYE program gets you into the game from day one.
The following curriculum meets the requirements for a B.S. in Materials Engineering, provided the student satisfies the graduation requirements of the College of Engineering.
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Many of our students pursue undergraduate research, working side-by-side with faculty and graduate students on experimental and computational problems. Students can earn academic credit for their efforts, as well as an hourly wage or summer stipend. By working in the hands-on environment of materials engineering research, students have an opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge solving real-world problems. Many of our students undertake co-op placements or summer internships to gain valuable experience in industries that employ materials engineers. The Engineering Career Development Office provides students valuable assistance in developing job, co-op and internship search skills, facilitates placement for education abroad programs and research opportunities and helps with career network development so you can secure a rewarding career in your chosen field of study.
Active professional and honorary student organizations are an integral part of the educational experience in the College of Engineering. The Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering is home to the student chapter of Material Advantage, as well as the Alpha Sigma Mu honorary. Members of Material Advantage gather for regular meetings featuring speakers from industry and academia, participate in field trips, networking and community service opportunities and attend regional and national professional conferences. In addition, many of our undergraduates participate in student organizations that include members of all majors.
Materials engineers are responsible for the selection, preparation and implementation of existing materials and for the development of new and improved materials – they work at the forefront of rapidly changing technical areas, where the application of novel, precisely engineered materials is crucial for technological advancement. Materials engineers are critical to all areas of engineering endeavor and the College of Engineering at UK has a very high rate of placement for its Materials Engineering graduates. Our alumni work in a wide range of materialsrelated industries, including metals and metals processing; ceramics and electronic materials; biomaterials, implants and medical devices; automotive, aerospace, construction and telecommunications; military and security applications; and sports and recreational products.
Materials engineers develop, process, and test materials used to create a wide range of products, from computer chips and aircraft wings to golf clubs and biomedical devices. They study the properties and structures of metals, ceramics, plastics, composites, nanomaterials (extremely small substances), and other substances to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.
per year in 2014
Number of Jobs
10 Year Job Outlook
new jobs (average)
Materials engineers generally work in offices where they have access to computers and design equipment. Others work in factories or research and development laboratories. Materials engineers typically work full time and may work overtime hours when necessary.
Source: Bureau of Labor StatisticsRead More
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
College of Engineering
Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering
177 F. Paul Anderson Tower
Lexington, KY 40506-0046
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