The programme aims for you to acquire a broad as well as in depth understanding of the total life cycle of materials, i.e., the development of materials, their production, characterization, processing, degradation and recycling. Materials science is a multi-dimensional area of expertise with complex links between the production methods, the materials microstructure, the properties and the applications of different materials classes. Also, computational simulations are gaining more and more importance in materials science.
The master of materials science education is based on 4 pillars:
1. Gaining insight in materials
As a materials engineer, you are able to “read” materials from the nanometer to the macroscopic scale, i.e. from subnanometer atoms and molecules, over crystal structures to grains and phases at the mesoscale, in order to explain the macroscopic physical, chemical and mechanical properties.
2. Converting knowledge into materials design
The education does not stop at understanding materials. That’s where it starts! The design of a new material implies the implementation of the obtained knowledge to customize the material properties by for example altering the microstructure. Composite materials form a special challenge since they combine the properties of different materials.
3. Materials selection and evaluation
Materials are designed for a specific application. During the programmes, you will be familiarized with two critical stages in the product life cycle, i.e., the design and failure of the product. A materials engineer is able to select the most suitable material during the design phase, since it determines the dimensions and properties of the component. Eventually, the component will fail and a correct analysis of the reason of failure allows suggesting a better material or improving the design.
4. Analysis and modelling of materials and materials processing
An appropriate toolbox is needed to support the execution of the three pillars mentioned above. Since a wide range of characterisation and testing techniques are available to a materials engineer, the education aims at providing a basic understanding of the most relevant techniques and approaches. You will not only gain practical experience with different material characterisation techniques, such as electron microscopy, but you will also be initiated in the modelling of materials and processes.