Materials are at the heart of our quality of life and economic welfare and this will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, especially considering the need to build a sustainable world and to use our resources intelligently. Materials engineers invent, design, make and use materials for products, processes, and services. You are educated for leadership in sectors where materials play a decisive role.
What's the Master of Materials Engineering about?
The structure of the program consists of a core of 60 credits, four options of 12 credits, three fixed elective packages of 12 credits, engineering and general interest electives of 12 credits and the Master's thesis of 24 credits. The four options focus on materials families or on application domains: Metals and Ceramics, Polymers and Composites, Materials for Nanotechnology, and Materials for Biomedical Applications. The three fixed elective packages have been designed to help the students in imagining themselves in their future professional environment and thus in developing a career profile: research, production, and management. The two latter packages include industrial internships.
The program is crowned with the 24 credits Master's thesis where the student will apply his/her knowledge to a research topic of choice. These topics are usually embedded in a cutting-edge research project in cooperation with other institutions and/or industrial companies.
Application deadline for 2018-2019
- 1 March 2018 (for non-EEA citizens)
- 1 June 2018 (for EEA citizens)
KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via www.kuleuven.be/application. Students with a Flemish degree can consult www.kuleuven.be/studentenadministratie.
The tuition fee for the 2018-2019 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2018. Please consult the website for the most recent information: www.kuleuven.be/tuitionfees.
- The hosting Department of Materials Engineering (MTM) is a world player in production, characterization, modeling, and development of new materials to solve material challenges in sectors such as transport, energy or health. MTM has close ties with industrial partners through a broad variety of national and international projects which is reflected in the program through plant visits, practical exercises, internships and the master thesis topics.
- Thanks to the diversity of the research profile of the host department MTM, the program is able to cover a broad gamut of materials families and applications. Concerning structural materials, MTM is one of the few materials departments where both metals and composites are strongly represented in both research and teaching. Concerning functional materials, the close links with i.m.e.c. and KU Leuven's biomedical group position the program in addressing upcoming application domains.
- Scarcity, closed materials loops ('cradle to cradle') and recycling processes are core research topics and are taught in several engineering courses as well as in a dedicated core course on Sustainable Materials Management. The efforts in this domain have recently been rewarded with the grant of an EIT-KIC 'Raw Materials'.
- At MTM, students in classes, exercises, and practical sessions meet fellow-students, assistants (68% non-Belgian), lecturers (26% non-Belgian) from all over the world. In terms of outgoing mobility, participation in the Erasmus+ program is encouraged for the Belgian students. The concentration of core courses in the first Master year has considerably simplified Erasmus exchanges.
- In terms of gender, Materials Engineering is doing pretty well among the engineering disciplines: in the Dutch-language program, 21% of the students are female, in the English-language program 41% and among the incoming Erasmus students 37%.
This program is an initial Master's program and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
Is this the right program for me?
The Master of Science in Materials Engineering aims at educating engineers who will be able to design new materials and/or processes to manufacture them, and who can make sustainable choices in materials selection problems, both in the industrial and academic environment. These capabilities will be based on a thorough understanding and sovereign use of the relationships between the internal structure (crystal structure, microstructure, architecture) of materials, their properties (mechanical, electrical, chemical) and their processing (the materials triangle).
As an academic program, the Master of Materials Engineering focuses on teaching the knowledgeable application of general principles to a broad gamut of materials challenges rather than on transferring encyclopedic knowledge on specific material families. The program builds on the basics of engineering science: physics, mathematics, chemistry, and mechanics. It is also assumed that the student has already covered the fundamental courses in the materials engineering curriculum (structures, microstructures, mechanical behavior of materials, transport phenomena, thermodynamics, and kinetics) prior to starting the Master's program.
The economic and societal context is considered both in engineering and in general interest courses. In particular, scarcity, sustainable materials management in closed materials loops, life cycle analysis, and recycling processes are broadly covered in both research and teaching. Finally, the program aims at conveying the social, communication and leadership skills required on an engineering work floor.
The ideal prospective student should be strongly motivated to pursue a career in materials science and engineering or in industrial sectors dealing with materials. He/she should hold a basic three- or four-year Bachelor's degree in a field of engineering or one of the physical or chemical sciences.
Graduates have access to a wide range of engineering sectors. Prominent technical industries such as the automotive, aerospace, energy, microelectronics, and chemical industries and emerging sectors such as nanotechnology, biomaterials, and recycling are keen to hire qualified and talented materials engineers. Materials engineers are also well suited for functions as process engineers, materials or product developers, design specialists, quality control engineers or consultants. Graduates with an interest in research can apply for an R&D position or start a Ph.D. Several alumni have also gone on to start their own companies.
1. The graduate is proficient in one or more scientific disciplines
- has an advanced knowledge of:
- the production, processing, and recycling of materials;
- the families of materials and their properties;
- the techniques used for material characterization and material modeling;
- the behavior of materials during use.
- understands and actively seeks the connections between processing, structure, and properties of materials and their applications.
2. The graduate is competent in doing research
- can divide a complex realistic problem into sub-problems, is able to distinguish the critical sub-problems, and to structure these sub-problems into research questions and research strategies.
- can generate, process, analyze and critically evaluate experimental or theoretical results in a planned manner.
- can gain insight in and knowledge of material sciences and apply it interdisciplinary.
3. The graduate is competent in designing
- can formulate design problems at the level of material development and material applications.
- can develop new materials based on insights into the relationships between structure, properties, and processes.
- can make responsible choices of material in interdisciplinary design projects, taking into account technical constraints and specifications, and the prudential context.
4. The graduate has a scientific approach
- is curious, has an attitude of lifelong learning, is able to identify and acquire relevant developments.
- is critical to scientific literature and research results and is able to process it.
- has a systematic approach; can use, develop and validate models and is able to consciously choose between modeling techniques.
- is capable of abstracting basic knowledge and insights relating to material engineering and apply it in different contexts.
5. The graduate possesses basic intellectual skills
- can ask relevant questions, and take and substantiate a reasoned position.
- recognize irrelevant and incomplete information and unsubstantiated arguments.
- has a sense of realism and a sense of orders of magnitude.
6. The graduate is competent in collaboration and communication
- can communicate orally and in writing about his or her field in Dutch and English with laymen and specialists.
- has a professional attitude, characterized by dedication, accuracy, and commitment.
- has social skills and is capable of leadership and teamwork in (interdisciplinary) teams
7. The graduate takes into account the social and temporal context
- can take into account the various aspects of safety, health, and environment in the production and use of materials.
- has an eye for sustainability issues in the production, use, and recycling of materials.
- is aware of the importance of materials, material innovation and the role of a materials engineer in the changing society.
Materials are at the heart of our quality of life and economic welfare and this will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future, especially considering the need to build a sustainable world and to use our resources intelligently. Materials engineers invent, design, make and use materials for products, processes, and services. You are educated for leadership in sectors where material plays a decisive role. Examples are the materials making and processing industries, nanotechnology, chemical industry, automotive and aerospace, but also the biomedical sector.
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