How I Educate — Supplies science and engineering

For a UD pupil, the street to being a supplies engineer begins in Hewlett’s introductory-level “Freshman Supplies Expertise” class, the place college students will be taught concerning the historical past of supplies and scientific developments and achieve introductory lab expertise.

The primary few weeks of the category contain studying about totally different courses of supplies and the way they impacted tradition and civilization.

“Human historical past basically matches that of the supplies that we now have been utilizing,” Hewlett mentioned. “There is a purpose why we name our totally different eras by the fabric. Now we have the stone age, the bronze age, the copper age, the iron age. Proper now we’re within the digital age, which can be a reflection of the broad semiconductor use proper now.”

A typical week consists of two lectures, however a number of labs — creating laminated glass, for example — are woven into the semester so college students can get some hands-on expertise.

“I might discuss eternally about supplies, however I believe it is a lot extra impactful that they really get to do one thing with it,” Hewlett mentioned. “It’s additionally a chance for college kids to be launched to matters, tools and lab actions they could use afterward of their faculty careers, constructing in comfortable lab expertise but additionally gauging their curiosity in supplies.”

Supplies science is the examine of the construction, properties and processing of strong supplies. Supplies engineers apply the ideas of physics, chemistry, biology and arithmetic to understanding how atoms are organized inside supplies. From there, they will change materials properties and buildings to create new, purposeful supplies.

Supplies science is relevant in all kinds of engineering disciplines. A supplies engineer might work within the semiconductor business, prescribed drugs, biomaterials, private care merchandise or the automotive business — to call a number of. Most engineering disciplines are going to wish some supplies engineers to assist them select the precise supplies and design new supplies, Hewlett mentioned. So whether or not it’s the brand new iPhone, plane or cookware, supplies science is on the coronary heart of all facets of life.

“There isn’t any particular business for supplies science,” Hewlett mentioned. “It’s actually wherever there is a want, which is many locations.”

Whereas UD’s Division of Supplies Science and Engineering is celebrating its twenty fifth anniversary in 2023, the School of Engineering enrolled its top quality of undergraduate college students into a brand new undergraduate program in Supplies Science and Engineering within the fall of 2019.

The 2-credit course serves as a chance for college kids to be taught extra about what supplies scientists do and determine if that’s a significant and profession they need to pursue. The category has no stipulations, is meant for newcomers, and is much less quantitative than most different engineering programs.

“It units college students as much as perceive what they will be doing as materials scientists earlier than we get into the nuts and bolts of supplies,” Hewlett mentioned. “However it’s not tremendous quantitative. College students can anticipate to have an expertise that’s possibly a bit of totally different than your typical engineering course — it’s a bit extra reading- and discussion-focused — however nonetheless covers quite a lot of the identical form of matters.”