Master in materials science - Options
The department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering organises three options:
Metals & Ceramics
New and advanced metallic and ceramic materials are being developed in response to the growing demands of a knowledge-based society and industry. The automotive, energy, aerospace, and biomedical industries require new materials for structural (car bodies, turbines, aircraft, prostheses, etc.) as well as functional (transformers, sensors, actuators, fuel cells, batteries, etc.) applications. Materials research is also a key factor for progress in the fields of microelectronics and nanotechnology. The development of the next generation of opto-electronic components, solar cells, fuel cells and sensors, for example, poses severe materials challenges.
The Metals & Ceramics option of the Master's programme is geared towards educating young people who want to participate in this developmental process as researchers, development engineers, or production engineers. The programme focuses on the basic concepts as well as on the emerging trends in materials engineering, and covers the development of materials, the study of material properties, optimising processing routes, as well as characterisation and evaluation of final products. Special attention is given to biomaterials, joining techniques, surface technology, physical properties, quality control, non-destructive testing, and recycling of materials. Students will be involved in current case studies and will learn to apply computer modelling to new materials and processing techniques. The programme is embedded in the Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering, which has longstanding experience in the metals and ceramics field and enjoys close links with industrial partners in many national and international projects. Students will have frequent contact with industrial partners through plant visits, practical exercises and a Master’s thesis.
- Functional Properties (3 stp)
- Solidification Phenomena (3 stp)
- Joining Techniques (3 stp)
- Coatings and Surface Engineering (3 stp)
- Quality Control and Nondestructive Testing (3 stp)
Polymers & Composites
The Polymers & Composites option is rooted in the EUPOCO programme founded in 1991 as a collaborative initiative involving six leading European universities: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Université Catholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Ecole Des Mines Paris, Technische Universiteit Delft, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen and Imperial College London. During the past fifteen years, more than 250 Master's students from more than twenty-five different countries have followed the programme. The basic characteristics of the EUPOCO programme will be maintained in the Polymers & Composites option, which again involves lecturers from the universities of Leuven, Louvain-la-Neuve, Aachen or Delft. The programme is unique because it covers both polymers and composites, preparing students for a career in the polymer and composites processing industry as well as in the aerospace, automotive and sports industries, which are each increasingly using advanced composites.
The subject matter in the polymers and composites courses ranges from fundamental theory to the most advanced characterisation, processing, and simulation methods, and from commodity polymers to nano-composites.
- Processing Technology of Composites (3 stp)
- Polymer processing techniques (3 stp)
- Engineering with Composites: Case Studies (3 stp)
- Polymer Composites II (6 stp)
- Fundamental mechanics of heterogeneous materials (3 stp)
- Recent developments in composite materials science (3 stp)
Materials for Nanotechnology
The world of small dimensions remains a source of fascination for scientists and engineers alike. In the words of the Nobel laureate Richard Feynman: 'There is plenty of room at the bottom'. The progress in domains such as nanostructured materials, nano-electronics and nano-electromechanical systems (NEMS) occur at a fast pace and are introduced in numerous applications in ICT, transport, energy production and storage, biomedical technologies, etc.
Materials engineers and scientists are extremely well positioned to move the boundaries of our knowledge and capabilities in these domains: the strategies and insights that are used to develop advanced materials are also used in nano-electronics or NEMS. Materials engineers are therefore recruited heavily by cutting-edge and world-class companies such as IMEC, Siemens and Philips.
The core courses provide a good insight into the characterisation and modelling techniques as well as into materials production and transformation. The option-specific courses are directed toward the nanotechnology field and there is a wide range of elective courses to allow the student to select either nanotechnology related or broadening courses.