August 12, 2011
Look in the science sections of web sites and newspapers these days and you are likely to find at least one article having to do with materials science and engineering (MSE). Researchers in the field examine the structures and characteristics of materials at the nano scale with hopes of better understanding macroscopic properties and creating new materials with desired properties. With our increasingly sophisticated means of studying and manipulating materials at the molecular level, materials science and engineering is becoming a larger and larger focus in industry and academia. The University of Colorado Boulder created the new, interdisciplinary graduate program in materials science and engineering (MSE) in October 2010.
The CU MSE program, directed by chemical and biological engineering Professor Chris Bowman, involves nine departments on the CU Boulder campus. Participants bring expertise from the fields of engineering, chemistry, biology and physics, with MSE topics ranging from polymer synthesis and characterization to photovoltaic materials to biomaterials. Doctoral students enroll in a particular department, taking classes in this and other departments and pursuing cross-disciplinary research supervised by one or more MSE-affiliated faculty members. In addition, a new graduate program, admitting students directly into MSE rather than a department, will begin accepting student applications in Fall 2011. The goals of the MSE program are to enhance research and education in materials fields while at the same time benefitting participating faculty, students, and the university.