Teaching and research are linked: the skills and leading edge technology utilized in research projects are transferred to students in the classrooms and laboratories.
Metallurgical and materials engineering faculty conduct active research programs in many different topical areas, including solidification science and technology, metal matrix composites, mechanical properties of materials, development of new materials for information storage, mathematical and physical modeling of materials-processing operations such as solidification and steel making, plasma processing of materials, electromagnetically driven flow systems, corrosion, electrodeposition, resource reclamation, foundry methods, and metal casting.
The Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering operates laboratories for solidification processing, chemical metallurgy, mechanical processing, heat treating, specimen preparation, light and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, corrosion, and electrochemistry. Specialized facilities also exist for rapid and unidirectional solidification, container-less melting, chemical-vapor deposition, sputtering of thin films, thermo gravimetric analysis, and surface studies.
In preparation for the construction of the fourth and final phase of the Science and Engineering Complex (SEC Phase IV), the foundry wing of H.M. Comer Hall was demolished during the summer 2011. The new SEC Phase IV building will include materials engineering research and teaching activities. In addition, the University is preparing to break ground for the new foundry, which will provide space and facilities for teaching, research and service to metal-casting and processing industries. The laboratory will incorporate all basic types of equipment used in operating foundries and permits demonstration to students of most of the practices encountered in making cast iron, steel and nonferrous alloys.