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Materials Science

UW-Eau Claire materials science majors study structure, properties and behavior of all materials, develop processes to manufacture useful products from them and research environmentally friendly materials. Students use chemistry and physics to distinguish how properties of materials depend on chemical bonding, atomic and molecular arrangements, crystal structures and microstructures. The program gives students a broad foundation in all classes of materials, including nanomaterials, metals, polymers, ceramics and composites. The major also emphasizes critical thinking, writing and liberal arts.

Faculty expertise in semiconductors, nanomaterials, thin films, surface science, polymers and environmental chemistry leads to scientific collaborations that benefit industry as well as students. Our undergraduate students conduct research on cutting-edge instrumentation under the guidance of faculty scientists and gain valuable experience in the fields of chemistry, physics, biology, geology and materials science. This kind of hands-on work and experience in making contributions through scientific discovery is usually reserved for graduate students at other institutions. 


  • A materials science faculty member was awarded a prestigious grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, which will fund a five-year faculty-student collaborative research project.

  • Students have access to on-campus state-of-the-art materials science facilities, including instrumentation, housed in the Materials Science Center.

  • Small class sizes allow one-on-one attention from professors who draw from several areas of expertise and have experience in polymer engineering, metallurgy, industry and working with superconductors.

Your Gift Supports:

Support the general needs of the materials science program with a gift of any amount to the Materials Science Advancement Fund, which is used to meet the needs of the program that cannot be met by the state-assisted university operating budget. The fund enables the program to take advantage of opportunities to advance its cause.

The amount in parentheses indicates the annual amount needed to meet current obligations:

  • Student scholarships for Materials Science majors.

  • Sponsorship of Materials Science Seminar Series - $5,000 annually.

  • Support for K-12 outreach to local schools, including presentations, hands-on activities and family science nights - $3,000 annually.

  • Faculty/staff professional development opportunities - $3,000-10,000.

  • Instrumentation needs:
    • Fabrication methods: sputter deposition, chemical vapor deposition, photolithography, metal casting, 3-D printer.
    • Characterization tools: high resolution Transmission Electron Microscope.

  • Endowed Chair in Materials Science.

Thank you for considering a gift to the materials science program at UW-Eau Claire. For more information, contact Dr. Doug Dunham, department chair, at or 715-836-5312.


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"I know that if I would go to other undergraduate schools, I wouldn't have the opportunity to work on such high-tech instruments."

- Jason Leicht, physics major