PhD in Materials Science and Engineering

Advance the forefront of materials science and engineering by developing new theories and models or innovative approaches to materials processing, microcharacterization or engineering of materials with novel properties.

materials student working in Nitinol Accelerator Lab

Degree: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Major: Materials Science and Engineering

If you want to achieve the highest acumen in the field of advanced materials, then a PhD is essential for career success. Pursuing a PhD gives you an extended period of time to conduct your own research, carve out your space as an independent scientist, and advance the field. You’ll publish in peer-reviewed scientific journals, create a vision for your future career path and develop personal skills that will enable you to serve in leadership positions.

At the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, we develop materials engineering leaders by combining the best attributes of small and large graduate programs to offer you both personalized attention from faculty members and access to world-class equipment and mentorship from internationally renowned researchers.

Your PhD advisor, along with your committee, will help you grow as an independent thinker and researcher, and take you to the highest level of materials knowledge. Here, you’ll have ample opportunities to engage in cutting-edge materials research like materials for energy conversion, lightweight alloys, additive manufacturing, surface engineering, failure analysis and materials data science.

To gain such in-depth understanding, our unique facilities let you study all aspects of materials science and engineering in the most advanced ways possible. Our world-class equipment lets you analyze materials from the atomic scale on up. See atoms up close and perform nanoanalysis in our Swagelok Center for Surface Analysis of Materials, which greatly elevates what you can accomplish with some of the most sophisticated microcharacterization instruments in the world. At the SDLE Research Center, combine materials data analytics with lifetime degradation science to develop long-lasting solutions. Our foundry is unique as one of few production-sized academic foundries in the nation. The Advanced Manufacturing and Mechanical Reliability Center enables ultra-clean primary processing with a variety of secondary processing options for both structural and functional materials, followed by mechanical reliability testing. Our Nitinol Processing Lab explores metallurgical processing and mechanical characterization of nitinol for use in biomedical and aerospace applications. Plus, our collaborations with the MORE Center give you access to state-of-the-art equipment for the fabrication and characterization of materials and devices for solar energy and emerging electronic and optoelectronic technologies.

All of our facilities and resources mean that with a PhD in materials science and engineering from Case Western Reserve, you’ll become an expert not just in the fundamentals of materials behavior, but in materials processing, lifetime performance, surface engineering and the use of state-of-the art equipment, analysis and results interpretation.

Our faculty members lead new research discoveries in everything from data science, mechanical testing, casting of metals, additive manufacturing, lightweight alloys, solar materials and more. Working side-by-side with our faculty researchers, you’ll collaborate on research projects funded by federal entities such as the Department of Energy, NASA, the Office of Naval Research, the Army, Air Force, DARPA and more on both defense and nondefense projects. Whether your interests are in developing the next generation of turbine blades or alloys for airplanes or the next era of biomedical implants, you’re able to find your materials niche within our department.

Explore degree requirements, courses and more in the university's general bulletin.

As a graduate student within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, you’ll enjoy our monthly Van Horn Seminar Series, which brings internationally renowned materials science and engineering experts to campus for an entire week to present on emerging topics in the field, and gives you an opportunity to interact with the field’s elite. Additionally, the department sponsors weekly seminars that feature speakers from within and outside the university, keeping our materials community engaged and connected.

Plus, our close ties with our polymers department—the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering—lets you perform research with an even broader variety of materials.

With our renowned faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, leading research projects and unique seminar programs, you’ll fully develop your expertise with a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University.


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