Message from the Dean – Prof. Eugen Rabkin

Materials Science and Engineering is probably one of the most interdisciplinary fields in modern science, and is rooted in the connection between the microstructure of a material and materials properties and processing.  From an engineering perspective we are the people who design a material’s microstructure to define its properties.

Thus materials engineers design manufacturing processes for the microelectronics industry, develop advanced metals and alloys, polymers and plastics, modern ceramic materials, composites, batteries, fuel cells, photovoltaics, and prevent corrosion.  More recent materials engineering concepts include materials with a microstructure on the nanometer length-scale (e.g. thin films, modern electronic and optical devices) and the meeting point between biological systems and modern materials.

At the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the Technion we have decided to train our graduates using a different approach, where modern engineering concepts are firmly based on a strong background in fundamental science.  As such, the undergraduate program in our department is based on a required double major: Materials Engineering and Physics, Materials Engineering and Chemistry, or Materials Engineering and Biology.  This 4½ year-long program is intensive (it’s not for everybody), but the end-result is an engineer uniquely suited to the modern challenges in materials engineering.  At the same time, we have recently developed a 4 year-long program in Materials Engineering alone. This new program, while preserving the high level of education in fundamental sciences, reinforces the engineering, practical aspects of education by generic engineering courses such as technical design and finite elements analysis. All our undergraduate programs provide our graduates with all the tools necessary for the challenges offered in our graduate program, where M.Sc. and Ph.D. candidates work directly with our faculty on modern materials science research.

Research in our department covers most of the modern concepts in Materials Science, and is currently led by 14 faculty members and their respective research groups.  Facilities include centralized research centers in addition to the specialized equipment found in each professor’s laboratory.  Our X-Ray Diffraction Lab is equipped with a new, extremely flexible, XRD system based on a rotating anode source.  Our existing Electron Microscopy Center includes a monochromated and aberration corrected Titan transmission electron microscope which will be upgraded soon, and high resolution scanning electron microscope including the ability to conduct high temperature in-situ observations of microstructural evolution, and to study mechanical behavior of materials at the nanoscale.

Over the next five years we will hire at least four new faculty members, and the department is conducting an intensive faculty search for excellent candidates in the fields of energy related materials, modern microelectronic materials, bio-materials, functional materials, smart composite materials, and mechanical behavior of materials.  It’s an exciting time for Materials Science and Engineering, since the high-tech age is firmly based on the development of modern materials systems.  Come join us at the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the Technion!