The Materials Science major covers scientific principles as well as their application to realistic problems. In understanding these principles, students use chemistry and physics to distinguish how properties of materials depend on chemical bonding, atomic and molecular arrangements, crystal structures, and microstructures.
Students apply these principles in the laboratory, often using sophisticated research instruments. Materials Science majors learn to use optical and electron microscopes to characterize microstructure and to examine structural imperfections. Students use spectroscopy techniques to determine elemental and chemical information. They use diffraction techniques to identify phases, determine the orientation of crystallites, and measure crystal distortions. Students use scanning electron microscopes and atomic force microscopes to examine fracture surfaces and analyze microscopic features.
The program gives students a broad foundation in all classes of materials, including nano-materials, metals, polymers, ceramics, and composites.The major also emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and the liberal arts.
Students are encouraged to participate in student-faculty collaborative research projects. These one-on-one or small group projects allow students to apply what they have learned in the classroom to new situations. Students can be paid to fill these positions and often have the opportunity to work over summers.
Materials Science at UW-Eau Claire:
- Small class sizes
- State of the art lab instrumentation
- Experienced and dedicated faculty