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  Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

A degree from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) in Virginia Tech's nationally ranked College of Engineering will open many doors for young engineers at all levels. The faculty and staff in this small, close-knit department provide an atmosphere where academic and personal growth go hand-in-hand. The diverse faculty and technical staff have combined expertise in development, manufacturing, characterization, testing, and application of ceramic, metal, polymer, composite, and microelectronic materials systems. They have worked extensively with companies ranging from aerospace and automotive to chemical and biomedical; from nuclear fuels, energy generation, and petroleum products to heavy equipment and defense industries. The quality of these individuals and the students who graduate from the program will provide the basis for future growth of MSE at Virginia Tech.

Some of the unique aspects of MSE include: 

  • We have 17 full teaching faculty as well as 5 instructors for a student body of 130 undergraduates and 59 graduates.

  • The department supports an MSE Communications Program Center where students receive instruction in writing and communications as an integral part of their studies.

  • Students at all levels participate in the Materials Engineering Professional Societies (MEPS), an umbrella organization that promotes professional development in all areas of materials.

  • Approximately 35 percent of our student body is female.

  • Six of the teaching and research faculty members are recognized as Fellows of at least one professional engineering organization.

  • We have over 30,000 square feet of space spanning Holden, Hancock, Torgersen, Whittemore Halls as well as Collegiate Square, and including our recently completed Kroehling Advanced Materials Foundry located on Plantation Road. Faculty and undergraduate teaching facilities are located primarily in Holden Hall and Collegiate Square. 


The MSE department has as its objective to be in the top 20 departments in the country. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, we will have to make strides forward in several areas. Below is a summary of our progress over the last 12 years.

  Critical Areas     In 2001    In 2013
  Faculty     12 full time teaching faculty in all sub-disciplines of materials     17 (14.5 tenure-track positions & 1 vacancy)
  Graduate Students     49     59
  Undergraduate Students     69     122

Average GPA > 3.0
  Space     26,430 ft2 of labs and offices     26,430 ft2 plus


Kroehling Foundry

Lab Renovations
  Funding     $1.5 million in federal and industry grants     $7.3M 
  International Ties     With major universities in France and Brazil     Strong formal programs in Germany, China, and Brazil  










Our vision for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is to be recognized internationally for: 

  • Providing outstanding, state-of-the-art undergraduate and graduate education, and

  • Conducting cutting edge, visionary research in materials.


We will achieve this goal, always mindful to retain the unique characteristics that make MSE a special place to be at Virginia Tech.


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