For 115 years, Penn State has been recognized as a pioneer and leader in materials science education and research.
The roots of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) extend back to the establishment of the strong academic programs in metallurgy in 1907-08, ceramic technology in 1923, and fuel science in 1934. In 1967, the three programs served as the foundation to form MatSE. In 1972 the addition of the polymer science program and the interaction with the multidisciplinary solid-state science program completed what is now Penn State MatSE—one of the finest and most-balanced programs in the United States.
“2022 is an incredibly special year for our department, we are celebrating 115 years of excellence,” said Susan Sinnott, professor and head of the department. “This is quite the milestone for Penn State MatSE. Since its very beginning, our department has been a leader and an innovator—we are proud to build on that excellence today.”
The legacy continues with the national recognition the MatSE programs continually receive. The National Science Foundation ranks Penn State first in the nation in expenditures in the area of materials
science, and second in the nation in expenditures in the area of materials engineering for the fourth year in a row.
In the U.S. News & World Report rankings of undergraduate engineering programs in materials, Penn State MatSE is ranked tenth. In its latest ranking of graduate schools, the graduate program was ranked eleventh in the nation.
The success of MatSE has a lot to do with the very strong connection between education and research. At all levels—bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral—students experience innovation first-hand, while gaining the understanding of the fundamentals needed for their future success.
While celebrating the milestone of 115 years, MatSE is looking toward the future to continue to develop leaders in materials science and engineering, generate scientific discoveries, and enable new technology opportunities that serve 21st century societal needs through educational innovations, ground breaking research, entrepreneurial pursuits, and community outreach.