Science of Engineering Materials

Instructor: Dr. Alexander S. Mukasyan

Course Summary

The course “Science of Engineering Materials” is an original course, which provides students a comprehensive knowledge on the relationship between materials structures, processing conditions and their properties. It involves the analysis of wide range of materials, such as metals and alloys, ceramics and polymers, composites and bio-materials. Pre-requisite are: undergraduate courses in Chemistry, Physics and Materials Science. Qualification work includes exam and term paper on the different aspect of advanced materials.

Science of Engineering Materials is a broad, multidisciplinary field devoted to understanding and manipulating the mechanical, electrical, optical and magnetic properties of materials. It is closely related to chemical and mechanical, electrical and computing, bio- and civil engineering. It studies fundamental characteristics of a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, polymers, and electronic materials.

This course considers: (a) how the physical properties of metals, ceramics polymers and composites are correlated with their internal structures (on atomic, molecular, crystalline, micro- and macro- scales) and operational conditions (mechanical, thermal, chemical, electrical and magnetic); (b) how materials processing, e.g. mechanical working and heat treatment, affects their properties, as well as environmental behavior. The latest achievements in Materials Science and Engineering are also discussed. The main course goal is to develop an awareness of materials and their properties.

Course Format

Hours of lectureHours of discussionHours in laboratoryHours of independent studyTotal numbers of hours

Learning Outcomes

  • Basic ideas, nomenclature, and testing of materials.
  • To reveal relationships amongst processing -> structure -> properties -> performance.
  • To provide background in Materials Science (structure — property relationships)
  • To provide introduction to Materials Engineering: designing set of properties based on these relationships.
  • To develop general concepts on materials selection and design.

Course Content

Part I. Structural Scales in Engineering Materials (4 h of lectures + 4 h tutorial)

  • Atomic scale: atomic bonding, bond Energy, bond Stiffness
  • Crystal lattice scale: Metal, Ceramics, Semiconductor, Silicate, and Polymer
  • Nano and micro-scales: Defects in Solids; Grains and grain boundaries;
  • Mechanisms of material’s failure

Part II. Equilibrium and phase transformations (4 h of lectures + 4 h tutorials)

  • Thermodynamics of materials
  • Phase Diagrams
  • Mass transport: volume and surface diffusion, dissolution, reactive diffusion;
  • Kinetics and Phase transformations

Part III. Materials Properties and their relations to Structural Scales (6 hours lectures)

  • Mechanical Properties: Elastic Deformation in Metals, Ceramics, and Polymers; Plastic Deformation by Yielding and Creep; Viscoelastic Behavior; Fast and Fatigue Fracture; Critical Resolved Shear Stress
  • Electronic Structure and Electrical Properties: Conductors, Superconductors, Semiconductors, Insulators, Ferroelectrics, Piezoelectric
  • Magnetic Structure and Properties

Part IV. Advanced methods in Materials Science (8 hours lectures)

  • Scanning Electron Microscopy
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy
  • Time —Resolved X-ray Diffraction
  • Tomographic Methods

Reading List

Primary text books:

  1. Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, W.D. Callister, Jr., David G. Rethwisch, 9-th edition, John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2014.

Additional textbooks:

  1. Basic Concepts of Crystallography, E. Zolotoyabko, Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, Germany, 2011.
  2. Engineering Materials: Properties and Selections, K. G. Budinski, M.K. Budinski, Pearson Education Inc., New Jersey, 2010.
  3. Introduction to Materials Science for Engineers, J.F. Shackelford, 7th Edition, Pearson Education, Inc., New Jersey, 2010.
  4. Combustion for material synthesis, A.S. Rogachev and A.S. Mukasyan, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis, 2015.


Class participation20%
Homework assignments30%
Final exam50%