Table of Contents > College of Engineering

Head: Professor Mark Weaver, Office: 116 Houser Hall
The department offers programs leading to the master of science in metallurgical engineering degree and to the doctor of philosophy degree in the area of materials/metallurgical engineering.
An interdisciplinary PhD degree in materials science is also offered (see catalog Section 13.1  Interdisciplinary Programs).  The graduate program in metallurgical and materials engineering allows for close association between graduate students and the faculty.

Research interests of the department include thermodynamics and kinetics of molten metal processes, chemical metallurgy, metal-casting, corrosion phenomena, computer modeling of solidification and other metallurgical processes, electrodynamics of molten metals, metal matrix composites, thin-film technology, tribology, magnetic materials, microgravity effects in solidification, modeling microstructural evolution, and micromechanical behavior in cast materials, fracture mechanics, refractories, molten salts, electronic materials, thin films, and fuel cells, and phase equilibria. Facilities are available for directional and high-speed solidification, levitation melting, sputtering and chemical vapor-deposition, optical and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, corrosion, nanoindentation, and electrochemistry, materials characterization facilities, MEMS and thermal properties, and thermodynamic properties. A metal-casting facility is equipped with up-to-date metal melting and casting equipment and is one of the finest facilities in the United States for teaching, research, and service to the metal-casting and processing industry. Well-qualified machinists are available for construction of highly specialized research equipment.
Computational facilities are comprehensive, ranging from workstations, minicomputers, and PC units with associated data-acquisition peripherals to access the campus mainframe equipment.

Admission Requirements


Admission Requirements are outlined in the Admission Criteria section of this catalog.


Degree Requirements


Master of Science

Plan I (thesis) is the standard MS degree plan. However, in exceptional cases, a student who has the approval of his or her supervisory committee may follow Plan II (non-thesis). A student who believes there are valid reasons for using Plan II must submit a written request detailing these reasons to the department head no later than midterm of the first semester in residence.

All graduate students, during the first part and the last part of their programs, are required to satisfactorily complete MTE 595 Seminar (first part) and MTE 596 Seminar (last part). This required credit is in addition to the other degree requirements. Additional information is in the Degree Requirements section of this catalog.

Doctor of Philosophy

The program for the PhD in the area of materials/metallurgical engineering is conducted jointly with The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This arrangement permits sharing of facilities, exchange of faculty, joint seminars, and a wide choice of dissertation advisors. The PhD degree in the area of materials science is also offered, in collaboration with UAB and The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Full details of this program may be found in this catalog in section 13.1 (Interdisciplinary Programs)


For additional information, see the Graduate School's general requirements for advanced degrees in the online catalog (Sec. 4.11.3), and for Interdisciplinary Programs, (Section 13.1)  

Course Descriptions

MTE 519 Principles of Casting and Solidification Processing. Three hours.
Overview of the principles of solidification processing, the evolution of solidification microstructure, segregation, and defects, and the use of analytical and computational tools for the design, understanding, and use of solidification processes. 

MTE 520 Simulation of Casting Processes Three hours.
This course will cover the rationale and approach of numerical simulation techniques, casting simulation and casting process design, and specifically the prediction of solidification, mold filling, microstructure, shrinkage, microporosity, distortion and hot tearing.  Students will learn casting simulation through lectures and hands-on laboratory/tutorial sessions.

MTE 539 Metallurgy of Welding. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 380 or permission of the instructor.
Thermal, chemical, and mechanical aspects of welding using the fusion welding process. The metallurgical aspects of welding, including microstructure and properties of the weld, are also covered. Various topics on recent trends in welding research.

MTE 542 Magnetic Recording Media. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 271.
Basic ferromagnetism, preparation and properties of magnetic recording materials, magnetic particles, thin magnetic films, soft and hard film media, multilayered magnetoresistive media, and magneto-optical disk media.

MTE 546 Macroscopic Transport in Materials Processing. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 353 or permission of the instructor.
Elements of laminar and turbulent flow; heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation; and mass transfer in laminar and in turbulent flow; mathematical modeling of transport phenomena in metallurgical systems including melting and refining processes, solidification processes, packed bed systems, and fluidized bed systems.

MTE 547 Intro to Comp Mat. Science Three hours.

This course introduces computational techniques for simulating materials.  It covers principles of quantum and statistical mechanics, modeling strategies and formulation of various aspects of materials structure, and solution techniques with particular reference to Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamic methods. 


MTE 549 Powder Metallurgy. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 380 or permission of the instructor.
Describing the various types of powder processing and how these affect properties of the components made. Current issues in the subject area from high-production to nanomaterials will be discussed.

MTE 550 Plasma Processing of Thin Films: Basics and Applications. Three hours.
Prerequisite: By permission of instructor.
Fundamental physics and materials science of plasma processes for thin film deposition and etch are covered. Topics include evaporation, sputtering (special emphasis), ion beam deposition, chemical vapor deposition, and reactive ion etching. Applications to semiconductor devices, displays, and data storage are discussed.

MTE 556 Advanced Mechanical Behavior of Materials I: Strengthening Methods in Solids. Three hours. Same as AEM 556.
Prerequisite: MTE 455 or permission of the instructor.
Topics include elementary elasticity, plasticity, and dislocation theory; strengthening by dislocation substructure, and solid solution strengthening; precipitation and dispersion strengthening; fiber reinforcement; martensitic strengthening; grain-size strengthening; order hardening; dual phase microstructures, etc.

MTE 562 Metallurgical Thermodynamics. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 362 or permission of instructor.
Laws of thermodynamics, equilibria, chemical potentials and equilibria in heterogeneous systems, activity functions, chemical reactions, phase diagrams, and electrochemical equilibria; thermodynamic models and computations; and application to metallurgical processes.

MTE 574 Phase Transformation in Solids. Three hours.
Prerequisites: MTE 373 and or permission of the instructor.
Topics include applied thermodynamics, nucleation theory, diffusional growth, and precipitation.

MTE 579 Advanced Physical Metallurgy. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
Graduate-level treatments of the fundamentals of symmetry, crystallography, crystal structures, defects in crystals (including dislocation theory), and atomic diffusion.

MTE 583 Advanced Structure of Metals. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
The use of X-ray analysis for the study of single crystals and deformation texture of polycrystalline materials.

MTE 585 Materials at Elevated Temperatures. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.
Influence of temperatures on behavior and properties of materials.

MTE 587 Corrosion Science and Engineering. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 271 and CH 102 or permission of the instructor.
Fundamental causes of corrosion problems and failures. Emphasis is placed on tools and knowledge necessary for predicting corrosion, measuring corrosion rates, and combining this with prevention and materials selection.

MTE 591:592 Special Problems (Area). One to three hours.
Advanced work of an investigative nature. Credit awarded is based on the work accomplished.

MTE 595:596 Seminar. One hour.
Discussion of current advances and research in metallurgical engineering; presented by graduate students and the staff.

MTE 598 Research Not Related to Thesis. One to six hours.

MTE 599 Master's Thesis Research. One to twelve hours. Pass/fail.

MTE 622 Solidification Processes and Microstructures Three hours.

Prerequisite:  MTE 519
This course will cover the fundamentals of microstructure formation and microstructure control during the solidification of alloys and composites. 


MTE 643 Magnetic Materials and Magnetic Recording. Three hours.
Prerequisite: ECE 341 or MTE 271.
Basic Magnetism, Ferromagnetism, Spintronics, Magnetic Recording, Magneto-topical Recording.

MTE 644 Optical Data Storage. Three hours.
Prerequisite: ECE 341 or MTE 271.
Characteristics of optical disk systems; read-only (CD-ROM) systems; write-once (WORM) disks; erasable disks; M-O recording materials; optical heads; laser diodes; focus and tracking servos; and signal channels.

MTE 655 Electron Microscopy of Materials. One to four hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 481 or permission of the instructor.
Topics include basic principles of operation of the transmission electron microscope, principles of electron diffraction, image interpretation, and various analytical electron-microscopy techniques as they apply to crystalline materials.

MTE 670 Scanning Electron Microscopy. Three hours
Theory, construction, and operation of the scanning electron microscope. Both imaging and x-ray spectroscopy are covered. Emphasis is placed on application and uses in metallurgical engineering and materials-related fields.

MTE 680 Advanced Phase Diagrams. Three hours.
Prerequisite: MTE 362 or permission of the instructor.
Advanced phase studies of binary, ternary, and more complex systems; experimental methods of construction and interpretation.

MTE 684 Fundamentals of Solid State Engineering. Three hours.
Prerequisite: Modern physics, physics with calculus, or by permission of the instructor.
Fundamentals of solid state physics and quantum mechanics are covered to explain the physical principles underlying the design and operation of semiconductor devices. The second part covers applications to semiconductor microdevices and nanodevices such as diodes, transistors, lasers, and photodetectors incorporating quantum structures.

MTE 691:692 Special Problems (Area). One to six hours.
Credit awarded is based on the amount of work undertaken.

MTE 693 Selected Topics (Area). One to six hours.
Topics of current research in thermodynamics of melts, phase equilibra, computer modeling of solidification, electrodynamics of molten metals, corrosion phenomena, microstructural evolution, and specialized alloy systems, nanomaterials, fuel cells, and composite materials.

MTE 694 Special Project. One to six hours.
Proposing, planning, executing, and presenting the results of an individual project.

MTE 695:696 Seminar. One hour.
Presentations on dissertation-related research or on items of current interest in materials and metallurgical engineering.

MTE 698 Research Not Related to Dissertation. One to six hours.

MTE 699 Doctoral Dissertation Research. Three to twelve hours. Pass/Fail.




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