Study Materials Science and EngineeringFoto: Martin Braun
Materials scientists and engineers - What do they do?
Materials research has an important meaning in Germany. About 70 percent of all technical innovations, according to estimations by the federal government, originate in newly developed materials. Whether it is shark skin, bioceramics, vast stadium roof constructions, or ultralight car bodies: these are all topics on which materials researchers work. They are always searching for the perfect material. This is what makes innovation possible.
One main research area is the search for new compound materials: Which elements can be combined best? How do you combine the best material properties with each other? How do you avoid unwelcome side-effects - such as premature wear or too much weight?
Another central topic is the development of new surfaces: DVDs need to have higher storage capacities or engine components need to be more abrasion-resistant. Biocompatability is decisive for some materials and enables medical advances.
There is also a focus on the processing of new materials. Through an interdisciplinary approach, for example, new vehicle concepts, production processes, and machines for metal forming are developed. However, it is not only efficiency in the processing of materials but also environmental sustainability which is crucial for materials scientists: emissions need to be reduced, waste reused, and energy regenerated.
Next to functionality the sustainable use of resources is an ever more important factor in the development of materials. Only, when you keep an eye on environmental protection, recycling, and costs, you remain competitive.
Those of you who are now only thinking about dirty halls and painstaking manual labor are on the wrong track. Materials science is an innovative and high-tech oriented research discipline. You work in labs and with top-modern computer simulation programs in order to implement trials that are true to reality but also cost efficient. Not only metal materials, like steel and aluminum, are important. In fields such as e.g. medical technology, also mineral materials are highly demanded. The knowledge of materials scientists ranges from metallic over mineral materials to the necessary processing skills. By studying materials science and engineering you explore both, a traditional and an innovative and diverse research field.
Study day Materials Science and Engineering
The "Study Day Materials Science and Engineering" is an association consisting of 40 german universities. All of those universites offer courses in the subject area of Materials Science and Engineering.
You see that Materials Science and Engineering are an important and widely known area for studies and research.
The content of the courses offered by the specific unviersity is subject to great variation. There are study courses with a strong focus on Natural Sciences as well as those considering materials from a technical and processing point of view. Thus, for you it is worth thinking about your individual strengths and interests to find out the most suitable study offer.
More information on the "Study Day Materials Science and Engineering" may be found here. Please be aware that the pages are completely in German.
Courses of StudiesRWTH Aachen
At RWTH Aachen University there are three study courses which focus on Materials Science and Engineering: