Materials Science

    “Engineers make things. They make them out of materials. The materials have to support loads, to insulate or conduct heat and electricity, to accept or reject magnetic flux, to transmit or reflect light, to survive in often-hostile surroundings and to do all this without damage to the environment or costing too much.” /1/

    Thus, materials science is an important discipline for engineers. Sometimes it is useful to subdivide the discipline of materials science and engineering into materials science and materials engineering subdisciplines. Strictly speaking, “materials science” involves investigating the relationships that exist between the structures and properties of materials. In contrast, “materials engineering” is, on the basis of these structure-property correlations, designing or engineering the structure of a material to produce a predetermined set of properties. A materials engineer is called upon to create new products or systems using existing materials and/or to develop techniques for processing materials. The role of a materials scientist is to develop or synthesize new materials. /2/

    The study of materials science and engineering (MSE) is strongly interdisciplinary and builds on the basic science fundamentals of physics, mathematics, and chemistry. MSE at TU Darmstadt is well known for its research in energy materials, especially for applications in renewable energies. Materials for batteries, solar cells, magnets, and fuel cells catalysts can easily be identified as energy materials. But, to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy and production costs, lightweight materials and advanced production processes are equally important. Thus, MSE is one of the leading 'incubators' of future technologies in the 21st century.


    /1/ Ashby, M., Shercliff, H., Cebon, D. 2010. Materials engineering, science, processing and design (2nd ed.), Cambridge, UK, Butterworth-Heinemann imprint of Elsevier. ISBN: 978-1-85617-895-2.

    /2/ Callister, W.D. 2007. Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, New York, USA, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN: 978-0-471-73696-7.