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    University of North Texas
  Jul 27, 2017
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2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

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Main Departmental Office
Discovery Park, Room E132

Mailing address:
1155 Union Circle #305310
Denton, TX 76203-5017
Fax: 940-565-4824

Web site:

Nigel Shepherd, Chair



The Department of Materials Science and Engineering addresses the education and technological challenges of creating, applying and characterizing new materials for the 21st century. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is committed to training students at the undergraduate and graduate levels in all aspects of modern materials including metals, ceramics, polymers, electronic and optical materials and materials characterization. Students have opportunities for hands-on instruction and research with modern equipment and facilities. The department has strong collaborative programs with industries in the Dallas–Fort Worth region and with universities both locally and throughout the world.

The department offers bachelor of science, master of science and doctoral degrees, all with a major in materials science and engineering. The undergraduate program was approved in July 2006 and started admitting students immediately. Presently, the department has 14 tenured or tenure track faculty who divide their time between teaching and research in the different areas mentioned above. Research support comes from a variety of federal, state and industrial entities. The department has one of the most advanced analytical characterization facilities in the country and both undergraduate and graduate students receive training on state-of-the-art equipment. Finally, the department has strong connections to local industries and is setting up relationships for cooperative education experiences and internships so that students can receive practical training in addition to the classroom and laboratory instruction. Students who graduate with a bachelor of science degree with a major in materials science and engineering can expect a very healthy job market and relatively high starting salaries in a variety of industries. In fact, materials science and engineering graduates are heavily sought after by industries of all types, including automotive, chemical, aerospace, microelectronics, magnetic storage, transportation, sports, defense, forensics, and manufacturing. A BS degree with a major in materials science and engineering also prepares students for continuing their education with a master’s or a PhD degree either in materials science and engineering or in a related field.

Vision and Mission

The vision of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of North Texas is to: have a world-class materials science and engineering research program with local, national and international scientific and technological impact; provide an outstanding educational experience for a diverse student population; and provide a collegial environment for students, staff and faculty.

The mission of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is to provide a high quality engineering education to our diverse student population by maintaining a balance between the theoretical and applied aspects of materials science and engineering through course work, laboratories and independent research topics. The department provides national and international leadership in research and scholarship, and strives to build mutually beneficial partnerships with both internal and external collaborators, with alumni and with the professional and business communities. Finally, the department facilitates a collegial atmosphere that is conducive to the intellectual and scholarly pursuits of its faculty and students.


The Laboratory of Polymers and Composites works on reliability and prediction of service performance, polymer liquid crystals and their blends, fiber reinforced composites and polymer solutions. Mechanical, thermophysical and rheological properties are investigated using computer simulations, statistical mechanics and a variety of experimental techniques (DMTA, TMA, TSD, DSC, TGA, PV-T relations, computerized tension, compressions, blending and impact testing).

The Electron and Ion Microscopy Laboratory currently houses an FEI Tecnai F20ST TEM, an FEI Analytical Dual Beam FIB, an FEI Quanta Environmental SEM, an Imago Local Electrode Atom Probe, a Phillips EM420 TEM, a JEOL 5800 SEM and several optical microscopes for characterization of virtually any material. This equipment is being used to characterize a range of materials including semiconductors, nanocomposites, crystalline and amorphous alloys, advanced ceramics, polymers and polymer composites, and biomaterials.

The Material Mechanics Laboratory is engaged in investigations of interrelationships between morphology and mechanical properties through the influences of time and temperature. A Mechanical Testing System (MTS810) equipped with an environmental chamber, video and thermal wave imaging provides stress pattern-temperature relationships around propagating cracks. Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis provides viscoelastic and rheological property evaluation. The laboratory is also engaged in thermally stimulated depolarization experimental techniques of polymer blends.

The Materials Synthesis and Processing Laboratory has research interests focused on the development of ferroelectrics, aerogels, and other novel ceramics for energy, sensor and high temperature applications. Equipment includes a critical point dryer, a BET surface area analyzer, electrical conductivity apparatus, high temperature furnaces and a controlled atmosphere glove box.

The Laboratory for Electronic Materials and Devices is working on basic and applied research for novel materials for advanced electronic devices of all kinds. The laboratory provides semiconductor-related materials growth and characterization capabilities that are available in only a few academic laboratories in the world. The laboratory is centered around a cluster multichamber MBE Group IV Metallization and Dielectric deposition system, coupled to a comprehensive surface science system as well as a 3 MV ion beam accelerator for in-situ materials processing and characterization. Research areas include growth, processing and characterization of novel electronic thin film materials such as dielectrics, advanced electrode materials with work function tuning, metallization, diffusion barriers, hydrogen and impurity defects in electronic nanostructures, stability, and interfacial diffusion/reaction in multilayered thin film nanostructures.

The Energy Materials Laboratory works on research that addresses the processing, characterization, and overall device development for energy conversion technologies. Low-temperature processing of ceramic thin films is achieved through the development of oxide polymeric precursors and colloidal suspensions. Deposition techniques such as laser assisted maskless aerosol deposition and spin coating are also studied. Applications of these materials processing techniques include transparent conducting oxides for flexible photovoltaics and displays, low operation temperature thin film solid oxide fuel cells, direct conversion of biofuels, and UV-Vis emitters and phosphors for solid state lighting. Extensive overlap exists between the Energy Materials Laboratory and the Electron Microscopy Laboratory. Additional characterization is available in this laboratory through electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometry, and X-ray diffraction.




      Materials Science and Engineering

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