Materials scientists who graduate from Lehigh University go on to work in research, development, operations, management, manufacturing and sales. They investigate the relationship between the structure of materials at the atomic or molecular level and their macroscopic properties. Generally speaking, materials scientists use existing materials to improve a product or process or develop new materials and processing methods, often connected to pursuits in nano-, bio-, structural, and optical engineering and electronics. They work in many different industries such as chemicals, electronics, transportation, communications and aerospace, as well as financial, educational and legal concerns in these sectors.
From glasses and metals to biomaterials and nanocomposites, advances in materials are drivers of technological progress.
Lehigh's materials science and engineering program offers a fundamental core of courses on the different material classes while also allowing students to choose areas of specialization, such as nanotechnology. Students work closely with award-winning professors who are at the top of their fields in a program that provides a balance of theoretical and practical knowledge.
Students in the program are provided with hands-on laboratory experiences, research opportunities and summer internships. Students have taken part in projects at government laboratories, in industry or at other universities, both in the United States and abroad. Students are also able to pursue a senior project in close collaboration with a faculty member. Projects are interdisciplinary and vary from stainless-steel welding to microelectronic packaging. Lehigh's microscopy facility—the most advanced university-based center of its kind in the United States plays a major role in the materials science curriculum.
Lehigh's degree in materials science and engineering can be combined with minors in a wide range of other subjects, including the minor in nanotechnology, the minor in polymer science and engineering, and the minor in mechanics of materials. Undergraduates may also participate in the department's annual Microscopy School, where leaders in the microscopy field join with Lehigh faculty to teach courses on the latest advances and techniques in nanocharacterization.