Materials Science and Engineering Research at the University of Maryland

Learn more about our research:

Patterned GaAs
Self organization during growth on patterned GaAs.

The department pursues a broad range of research which capitalizes on the unique position of the discipline. Materials science and engineering lies at the crossroads of science and technology, bridging the gap between fundamental understanding of physics, chemistry and biology, and the technological applications which are realized from the microscale (e.g., semiconductors and nanotechnology) to the macro scale (e.g., engineered materials from aerospace to medical applications). Its implications are pervasive in nearly all aspects of our daily lives. Thus while materials may seem like just another engineering discipline, its content and methodologies are pivotal in the context of today's scientific and technological revolutions: in a real sense, it lies at the center of the "three O's", i.e., the nano-technology, bio-technology, and information technology triangle.

As a research and educational discipline, materials science and engineering has long provided advances in material products and systems made from them through an intellectual focus on determining and understanding another triangle, namely the relationship between the structure, processing, and properties of materials. This focus remains an effective perspective to advance materials science and engineering as the field assumes its leadership role in the era of nanotechnology and the continuing advances of information technology and biotechnology.

Biomolecular micromanufacturing: chitosan biopolymer and fluorescein.

Materials research also demands a synergy between experiment and theory. Research in the department often combines these within an individual research group. Experimental research often lies on the cutting edge, because much of the work in the department exploits state-of-art equipment and instrumentation for synthesis and analysis of materials at the nanoscale. Accompanying theoretical work is based on modeling and simulation from the atomic scale up to the macro scale, enabling more intelligent design and inference from the experiments, and solidifying and expanding our scientific and predictive knowledge base.