First minor in materials science and engineering to be awarded

Sydney Williams, an undergraduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University, will be the first student to receive a minor degree in materials science and engineering. Williams will graduate with a bachelor’s degree this fall.

The Department of Materials Science and Engineering launched the minor degree in spring 2015. It is designed to provide a strong materials science educational program for undergraduate engineering and science students. Currently, the department only has a graduate degree program with more than 110 Ph.D. students and 20 Master of Science students.

“I wanted to integrate a materials focus in my undergraduate training,” said Williams. “I learned the fundamentals of materials science and engineering and had flexibility to customize the program to best suit my major.”

The minor program spans two semesters and is composed of five materials science courses.

Sydney Williams“The faculty are excited to offer this new opportunity to undergraduates in engineering and the sciences,” said Dr. Patrick Shamberger, assistant professor and undergraduate degree program director in the materials science and engineering department. “The program has existed for less than a year, and we are already getting a lot of interest from undergraduates."

The Dwight Look College of Engineering’s 25 by 25 has ensured that high quality students enroll and graduate to become well-prepared engineers who address global issues.

“There is a strong competition among undergraduates,” said Williams. “Industry professionals want to know what else I did in addition to my major. The minor program enhanced my chances of getting full-time job opportunities.”

After graduation, Williams will be joining the oil and gas industry as a full-time engineer.

Materials science is a broad multidisciplinary field that traditionally draws strongly from chemistry and physics, among other disciplines. Nearly all engineering disciplines interact with materials in some form. Any engineering field that works with designing, manipulating, or manufacturing physical objects will face the question of how to optimize these materials for a specific function and how to meet specified levels of performance. Materials science and engineering embraces these challenges and works to design materials to solve a wide range of important challenges.

More information about the materials science and engineering minor can be found here.