This program is designed to prepare graduates to work in R&D either at the Bachelor's level or after continuing to a higher degree.
Why Materials and Biomaterials Engineering is a great career choice
New materials have been at the heart of the evolution of human culture. With the advent of materials such as ceramics, bronze, iron, steel, plastics, silicon, and composites, people have been able to develop new tools and take significant steps forward. Our programs in materials engineering can help you be a part of continued progress in this area.
Materials Engineering is a bridging link that takes the results of new chemistry and physics and delivers them in a useful form to the other branches of engineering. The key benefit of new materials is their potential to make possible products and developments that we do not yet have or perhaps cannot even envision.
Currently, interest is shifting from harder, stronger materials to soft, flexible materials that will enable us to bring engineering and biology closer. Science and industry are developing new plastic semiconductors for light, flexible video displays; artificial muscles to make more humanoid robots; artificial organs that combine human cells with plastic supports; and textiles that are as sensitive and responsive as skin.
Biomaterials is a fast-growing business in New England
Our curriculum reflects this new emphasis on the research, development and production of small amounts of valuable textiles and a host of other advanced soft materials. These materials require a different focus from mass production, and the emphasis must be placed on flexibility, performance, and perfection on a small scale. This is especially true in the rapidly-developing business of medical devices. Our ability to replace worn-out or damaged bones, joints, and organs is improving rapidly, and the Boston area is a major focus of this initiative. There is a great need for both new researchers and those members of the team who convert research into products for medicine and operations, including people to develop production methods, to ensure quality and safety, to train surgeons, and to oversee the businesses.
Materials and Biomaterials Engineering focuses strongly on engineering. We expect graduates of the new programs to join the growing sectors of regional industry and pursue careers in medical devices, food and cosmetics, soft electronics, and biotechnology. The department name has been changed to "Materials and Textiles" so that our graduates will have a Materials degree that will be recognized by many industries and still reflect the strength of our textile origins.
The world of technology continues to change at a rapid pace. In the coming years, composites will replace more and more metals; inexpensive computing and wireless communication will become part of all equipment; implanted devices will cure a growing list of diseases such as diabetes; and robots will finally start to play a major role in our lives. Engineers of all types will collaborate to make these changes possible, and the new materials developed in these areas will be key components of those changes.
After building a basic understanding of Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Mathematics, the curriculum introduces materials through a "materials blind" approach. Previously materials programs would divide the subject into metals, ceramics, glasses, semiconductors, polymers and composites. New developments tend to involve several different materials at once, so we cover mechanical properties of all materials, electrical properties, optical properties and manufacturing methods. There is a group of courses defining our special approach to materials covering soft materials, textiles, and biological materials. Finally a course on materials selection and a research project provide a capstone. In addition to the research project, students are encouraged to work as paid assistants in the research labs alongside the graduate students in order to get more experience in research methods.