Materials Science & Engineering
Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Materials science and engineering is a branch of engineering which relates the behavior of materials to their structure on all levels, from the atomic to the macroscopic. The discipline is concerned with how individual atoms or molecules associate to form ordered arrnagements (crystalline solids) or disordered arrangements (amporphous solids) and measurement of the unique properties which result.
Through an understanding of the ways materials are synthesized or processed, it is possible to alter the arrangement of atoms or molecules so as to change the properties of materials and hence their performance. Materials scientists and engineers are interested in discovering new ways to combine or process different materials to create composite materials, or to create materials with unique electrical, magnetic, mechanical, optical, or thermal properties. In effect, materials scientists and engineers are architects of atomic and molecular structures. The discipline of materials science and engineering thus operates as a knowledge channel that stretches from basic science and fundamental research to societal needs and the human experience.
Materials science and engineering reaches down into the microscopic world of electrons as well as atoms, thus it ties the condensed state of matter to the macroscopic world of material function and societal needs. Materials science and engineering is a broad field, embracing the disciplines of ceramics, metallurgy, polymer science and solid state physics, and overlapping others such as civil, electrical, chemical and mechanical engineering. Since all engineers must have materials to work with, materials science and engineering is central to all engineering disciplines. Analysis of government data reveals that one of every six hours of professional work that is done by all other engineers directly involves materials and their utilization. In fact, more than one fourth of our national technical effort involves the development and technology of materials.
You are strongly encouraged to gain career-related experience prior to graduation in the form of an internship, summer job, or co-op. Though course credit is not available for this experience through the College of Engineering, you may expect compensation from the employer.
Co-op is a program of alternating semesters of work and school. Paid work terms of increasing responsibility enable students to graduate with the minimum equivalent of one year of relevant work experience. Full-time enrollment during the semester prior to the first work term is required. You can begin co-op after completion of at least two semesters (30 credit hours) at NC State (one semester for transfers and graduate students). An NC State transcript must show grades and admission to a degree program. A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.50 (3.00 for graduate students) is required. The Co-op Office web site lists the Orientation Schedule, which is the first step to program participation.
Internships are typically full-time during the summer or (for some) part-time during the semester. You can start interning or seeking summer jobs related to your field, whenever you are ready. The University Career Center provides services to help you get started.
Participate in ePack, the Career Center's on-line system that connects employees with students through internship postings, on-campus interviews, information sessions, and resume searches. You may activate your ePack account at any time.
The following lists provide a brief sampling of the kind of jobs and work environments you might find with a degree in this major. These titles and work settings are by no means an exhaustive listing. Because the world of work is always changing, over time job titles and work settings can change. The below listing is provided in hopes of giving you initial insight into a particular career field that would employ the skills and knowledge gained through this major.
Baccalaureate - $ 59,826
The salary listed above is an average starting salary based on skills and experiences gained at the Bachelors level. Keep in mind that salary level typically increases with additional experience and/or educational degrees.
Furthermore, you may have the opportunity to mold an entry-level position into your dream job and subsequently increase your salary as you learn more, add responsibilities and gain experience.
These resources include organizations, clubs, and conferences not affiliated with NC State and can be an important part of your career pursuit.
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Last updated: 10th of August, 2011 at 9:13:11 AM
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