The Materials science major is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. Top material science schools prepare students for a rewarding career making the material we take for granted. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates elements of applied physics and chemistry.
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Materials science is an interdisciplinary field applying the properties of matter to various areas of science and engineering. This scientific field investigates the relationship between the structure of materials at atomic or molecular scales and their macroscopic properties. It incorporates elements of applied physics and chemistry. It is also an important part of forensic engineering and failure analysis. Materials science also deals with fundamental properties and characteristics of materials.
Radical materials advances can drive the creation of new products or even new industries, but stable industries also employ materials scientists to make incremental improvements and troubleshoot issues with currently used materials. Industrial applications of materials science include materials design, cost-benefit tradeoffs in industrial production of materials, processing techniques (casting, rolling, welding, ion implantation, crystal growth, thin-film deposition, sintering, glassblowing, etc.), and analytical techniques (characterization techniques such as electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, calorimetric, nuclear microscopy (HEFIB), Rutherford backscattering, neutron diffraction, small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), etc.)
Chemists and materials scientists typically do the following:
• Plan and carry out complex research projects, such as the development of new products, processes, and testing methods
• Direct technicians and other workers in testing procedures to analyze components and physical properties of materials
• Instruct scientists and technicians on proper chemical processing and testing procedures, such as ingredients, mixing times, and operating temperatures
• Prepare test solutions, compounds, and reagents (such as acids) used in laboratory procedures
• Analyze substances to determine their chemical and physical properties, such as their structure and composition
• Conduct tests on materials and other substances to ensure that safety and quality standards are met
• Write technical reports that detail methods and findings
• Present research findings to scientists, engineers, and other colleagues
Median Pay = $69,790