Textiles that kill bacteria, transparent concrete or implants that allow broken bones to heal faster: what sounds like science fiction has long since become reality. Materials scientists and engineers are responsible for the development of these products. You research the structure of plastics, metals and other materials down to the smallest detail. They then try to change them in such a way that undesirable properties are eliminated or new properties are added. With the new materials and materials that are created in this way, they create the basis for innovations. These make our lives easier and contribute to solving current problems in areas such as environmental protection or medicine.
An overview of the materials science course
According to TOP-MEDICAL-SCHOOLS, there are various options for studying materials science and engineering in Germany. On the one hand, there are independent courses . On the other hand, there is the possibility of specializing in this area as part of a chemistry or mechanical engineering degree. Some of the universities also offer courses that focus on a sub-area of materials science, such as nanotechnology or plastics technology.
Although the subjects materials science are closely intertwined, there are, especially in regard to the approach differences . Materials science as a scientific discipline is more concerned with the structure and properties of the various materials. The materials technology, however, is geared more towards engineering science : Here the capabilities and behavior of the materials available through its application in the foreground.
Bachelor’s degree in materials science
Applies to both subjects, the study content that from the one classical natural sciences such as physics , chemistry and biology composed. On the other hand, content from engineering sciences , such as mechanics and materials science, play a role. At the beginning of their bachelor’s degree, students are taught the basics of science and mathematics. There are also engineering subjects such as thermodynamics or microstructure simulation. In the specifically materials science courses, students get to know the structure of various materials down to the smallest atom .
Master’s degree in materials science
Research and innovation play a prominent role in materials science. It is therefore not surprising that the majority of bachelor’s graduates opt for a postgraduate master’s degree and, in many cases, even for a doctorate . As a rule, despite the high proportion of research, the master’s degree is more application-oriented than the bachelor’s degree and students spend a large part of their time in the laboratory.
Studying materials science: requirements
Prospective students should definitely be very interested in the natural sciences and enjoy “tinkering” in the laboratory. In addition, technical and mathematical understanding as well as basic knowledge of English are prerequisites for a successful degree.
The subject of materials science abroad
Materials science is also becoming more and more important abroad. This is reflected not least in the wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the field of materials science and materials engineering .
Even more than in Germany, courses of study that are sub-disciplines of materials science have developed in recent years, especially in Anglophone countries . The area of forensic engineering should be emphasized here, for example . The aim here is to find out the causes of material fatigue or wear and tear and thus prevent future damage and accidents. There are also many courses on offer in the exciting, albeit controversial, areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology . These subjects deal with the investigation of the smallest structures and their utilization for a wide variety of materials and industries.
A semester abroad or a complete degree abroad is beneficial in many ways for prospective materials scientists. In addition to the opportunities for personal development and improving language skills, there are also a number of technical arguments for this. Studying abroad helps you to look at your own subject from a different perspective. For resource-rich countries such as Australia and Canada , research focuses on completely different questions than for countries with fewer raw material deposits. As already mentioned, there are courses abroad that German universities do not offer. Abroad, especially for master’s and doctoral students, there is the opportunity to focus on their own interests to find a particularly suitable research project .
Career prospects for materials scientists
Almost all major German industries are dependent on innovations in materials science and tool technology. This makes them one of the key technologies in Germany – the job prospects and entry-level salaries in this area are correspondingly good. Many graduates work in the development departments of large industrial companies regardless of the sector.
Not only do you stand in the laboratory to develop new materials , but you are also involved in the design of new devices and machines. They also work in the areas of quality assurance and management. In the field of environmental technology , for example, material scientists are involved in harnessing renewable energies.
But not all materials scientists work in industry. In Patents materials scientists, for example, responsible for registering new materials and einzupflegen along with their properties in patent databases. A relatively large number of graduates also opt for a scientific career at a university or another research institution.
Materials science is a globally important discipline and working in international teams is increasingly the rule . Anyone who would like to gain experience abroad during their studies should consider studying abroad. One or more semesters in another country not only convey new technical approaches, but also improve intercultural skills and foreign language skills.