Materials Science is an interdisciplinary subject, spanning the physics and chemistry of matter, engineering applications and industrial manufacturing processes. Modern society is heavily dependent on advanced materials, for example, lightweight composites for faster vehicles, optical fibres for telecommunications and silicon microchips for the information revolution. Materials scientists study the relationships between the structure and properties of a material and how it is made. They also develop new materials and devise processes for manufacturing them. Materials Science is vital for developments in nanotechnology, quantum computing, batteries and nuclear fusion, as well as medical technologies such as bone replacement materials.
This video was recorded in the summer of 2020 at a time when on-site working was very restricted in response to the pandemic, hence there are significantly fewer people in the background of each location than normally would be the case. Although the primary audience for this particular video comprises our new and prospective postgraduate research students, it also provides a useful overview for prospective undergraduates. Along with general spaces such as the Parks View Cafe we share with the Dept of Engineering (a cafe which is open to all students and staff of the two departments), the Materials Library, our Hume-Rothery Lecture Theatre and the Materials Teaching Laboratory, you will see several of our research laboratories. It is in research laboratories such as these that 4th-year undergraduate students following our M.Eng in Materials Science degree programme conduct their full-time eight-month final-year research projects. During this final year our undergraduates each work on individual research projects alongside our postgraduate research students.
(a) Seeing is believing: How observing atoms in the electron microscope helps develop tomorrow's materials (Professor Peter Nellist)
(b) Superconductors and their interaction with magnetic fields (Dr Clara Barker)