Department of Materials Science & Engineering

Discovering MSE

The Stone Age, the Bronze Age…the Silicon Age. We name eras by the materials that define them. And those materials define so much of what’s possible in our lives: drive a car; land on Mars; talk and text across thousands of miles; store, transmit, and manipulate data; produce, store, and distribute energy. Materials scientists and engineers are at the very center of imagining and delivering progress. Cornell has long been a leader in the field, and our MS&E graduates are in demand in every sector and industry.

The field of Materials Science and Engineering is broad and multidisciplinary, building on fundamentals of physics, chemistry, and biology. We manipulate mechanical, electrical, optical, magnetic, and chemical properties to create and improve the materials from which all engineered objects are made.

Our field is changing rapidly. While we remain heavily engaged in core Materials Science disciplines including polymers, ceramics, and semiconductors, at Cornell we are also leading the way in a dramatic transformation of the field. Increasingly, we employ an integrated approach in exploring and engineering materials, using our unique perspectives and expertise to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. We intend to have a powerful impact on the sustainability of our planet and the health of our economy.

To achieve these goals, we have established major research initiatives in Energy Production and Storage, Electronics and Photonics, Bio-inspired Materials and Systems, and Green Technologies. We are well positioned to remain at the forefront of these and other emerging areas because of the strength of our department, the vast intellectual and facilities resources across Cornell, and our well established mindset of continually pushing the boundaries. 
What do materials scientists and engineers do?
All engineered products – from airplanes to musical instruments, alternative energy sources to ec...
What is MSE?
The field of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) researches all classes of materials (metals, c...
What is it like to study MSE?
We study the relationships among structure, properties, synthesis, and performance of materials. ...
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