Materials Science and Engineering

Headed by: Prof. George Rading



The thematic area of materials science and engineering seeks to impact on engineers the necessary knowledge and expertise in materials to enable them to properly relate the structure and processing of materials to the properties (and hence applications) of the materials. Moreover, it seeks to develop in the engineers the ability to “engineer” materials to have a set of properties. The theme also prepares graduates to further their studies and be engaged in academia and other research establishments involved in the development of materials. Hence the objectives of the Thematic Area are:

  • To train engineers to have a broad knowledge of the properties of materials, how to understand these properties on the basis of fundamental laws of science, how to investigate these properties and how to use this knowledge to solve engineering problems.
  • Prepare students to carry out research on the characterization and computer modelling of the properties and applications of materials.
  • Impact skills on the students to enable them to: manage their time; engage in independent thought; carry out critical literature reviews; develop necessary IT skills; develop their technical writing and presentation capabilities.

Since all types of engineering applications involve use of materials, this Thematic Area is closely intertwined with all other Thematic Areas in mechanical engineering, and with all areas of engineering in general. There is a particularly large area of overlap between materials science and solid mechanics.

At the UoN, the Thematic Area also houses the African Materials Science and Engineering Network, AMSEN whose purpose is to prepare MSc and PhD graduates for deployment in University teaching.