A Message from Department Head Susan Sinnott

Welcome to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State!

As the new semester starts here in beautiful State College, change is definitely in the air. The College welcomed Lee Kump as our new Dean after a national search. Lee was previously the Department Head of Geosciences at Penn State. In MatSE we marked the retirement of Distinguished Professor Carlo Pantano and welcomed John Mauro to the MatSE faculty. John was at Corning for his entire professional career before joining Penn State and we are thrilled that the tradition of giving students a strong educational experience in glass science and technology will continue under John's expert leadership. Todd Palmer also takes on a new role with the Department, as he transitions from being a full time staff member with the Applied Research Laboratory and a MatSE adjunct Associate Professor to being a tenured Professor with a split appointment between MatSE and the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics. Todd is an expert in metallurgy and additive manufacturing who has plans for Center-level activity in metallurgy across multiple Departments. Hayley Colyer also joins the MatSE staff as the new Graduate Program Coordinator and is already proving to be a valuable addition to our amazing staff.

The new semester also marks the launch of the MatSE Accelerated Masters of Science program as well as the on-line launch of the Masters of Engineering degree program in Additive Manufacturing. Our incoming freshman class is one of the largest, most diverse, and strongest academically that we have seen in several years. It was truly inspirational for me to welcome them, along with some of our alumni, at TOTEMS this year.

I am happy to report on the establishment of the Carlo Pantano Endowed Graduate Fellowship as a result of a generous gift from Mark and Theresa Kotanchek and the Guy Rindone Graduate Research Fund following a generous gift from Katherine Faber and Thomas Rosenbaum. These Fellowships enable MatSE to compete for the best graduate students in the country. I am also pleased to note that Penn State recently launched an attractive 2-to-1 and 1-to-1 matching program for new gifts that is in effect through June 30, 2018. Please find more information at giveto.psu.edu under Publications and Matching Program Materials.
As always, I look forward to hearing from alumni and friends of MatSE at sinnott@matse.psu.edu and (814)863-3117. Do not hesitate to drop me a line to share your story or to let me know when you will be in State College; I will be happy to arrange for you to tour the impressive Millennium Science Complex or the newly renovated Steidle Building.




About the Department

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Penn State is an international leader in materials education and research. As a top-ranked program, the department thrives on a rich collaboration between faculty, staff, students, and researchers to promote a well-rounded academic experience and innovative research opportunities. Our department offers ABET accredited degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  

The undergraduate program is customizable by each student—allowing for the blending of interest areas and materials topics. This ultimately allows each student to create their own materials major to fit their individual interests and needs.  

Our Intercollege Graduate Degree Program (IGDP) offers the ability to continue your materials education with either a Masters of Science or Doctoral degree.  Since this is an intercollege program, students have access to the best materials minds at the University, both here in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and from other science and engineering disciplines.

To better serve all areas of the department an External Advisory Board (EAB) was created to advise the department on academic issues, current trends and future directions in engineering. The EAB is comprised of a select group of representatives from industry, government agencies, academia and the profession.

Both faculty and students are engaged in high-level research through our many materials research centers, faculty research groups, Undergraduate Research Fellows program, International Internships in Materials (IIM) and more. This research spans the many sub-disciplines of materials science and engineering and generates more than $10 million in project funding each year. Students also benefit from the department's relationships with various corporate partners and from on-campus visits from materials scientists at the top of their fields for endowed lectures and other special programs.

As a leader in materials, the demand for our graduates is high. Graduates from our department are employed in all sectors of industry and in many national and international laboratories, including such noted companies as:

  • Owens Corning
  • United Technologies
  • Pratt and Whitney
  • Dow Chemical
  • 3M
  • Boeing
  • Cummins Diesel
  • Lockheed-Martin
  • IBM
  • Texas Instruments
  • ArcelorMittal
  • Bayer
  • Motorola
  • Westinghouse
  • Xerox....and many others



The mission of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is to provide our graduates with a well-rounded engineering education with specific emphasis on materials science and engineering in order to meet the needs of industry, academia, and government; to conduct research at the frontiers of the field; and to provide an integrating and leadership role to the broad multi-disciplinary materials community.


Through its actions MatSE strives for international preeminence in materials science and engineering as indicated by highly-cited scholarly publications, outstanding leadership in the profession, and the education of a diverse group of highly-qualified graduates.