Stretch the Bounds of Possibility

Work at atomic and molecular levels to achieve globally significant results. In the University of Arizona materials science and engineering program, students work with glass, ceramics, plastics, polymers, composites, metals and other materials to create the devices and systems essential for solar energy production, information technology and medicine. From integrated circuits and chip carriers to turbine engines and optical waveguides, become an expert in materials properties, failure analysis, manufacturing techniques and quality assurance.

Academics > Research Opportunities > Outside the Classroom > Career Paths >

Materials Science and Engineering

Researchers are creating new materials for a safer, healthier and more sustainable future.

Academic Focus Areas

  • Materials properties
  • Failure analysis
  • Manufacturing techniques
  • Quality assurance

In class, UA materials science engineering students don’t just learn about materials -- they handle them, in glassblowing, smelting, casting and composite manufacturing.

Research Opportunities

Research areas include

  • Optical materials
  • Integrated computational science and engineering
  • Materials for energy conversion and heat control
  • Materials synthesis, processing and fabrication
  • Heritage conservation

Working with renowned faculty in campus labs and research centers, including the Engineering Research Center for Environmentally Benign Semiconductor Manufacturing; BIO5 Institute, Arizona Research Institute for Solar Energy and Arizona Materials Lab, students are

  • Studying the origin of water on planets
  • Probing DNA at the atomic and subatomic levels
  • Developing economic models to study the viability of solar energy technologies
  • Developing compressed air energy storage solutions to improve efficiency of renewable energy technologies
  • Developing novel advanced water treatment technologies
  • Transforming optical fibers and metals to withstand extreme conditions in space

Materials and findings produced by UA researchers are now being used at the Rijks Museum in the Netherlands and the International Space Station.

Materials Science & Engineering Program

Outside the Classroom

Students expand their training and hands-on materials experience even further in the College’s design, build and compete clubs, and chapters of professional organizations including the Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineers, Keramos and Material Advantage.

Career Paths

UA material science students and graduates are working in diverse fields for employers including

  • Aerospace and defense - Honeywell, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and Boeing
  • Semiconductor manufacturing - Texas Instruments, Samsung and Intel
  • Optics - Newport (Spectra-Physics), NP Photonics, and Edmund Optics
  • Energy: Sion Power, General Plasma, Tucson Electric Power
  • Mining, Minerals and Metallurgy Climax, Phelps Dodge, Steel Dynamics
  • Biomedical: W. L. Gore & Associates, CR Bard
  • Engineering service firms - Aker Solutions, Kleinfelder

Our graduates also work in all units of the U.S. military and federal research labs including Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories

Materials Science and Engineering Degree