Materials Science & Engineering is the interdisciplinary field focused on the development and application of new materials with desirable properties and microstructures. Disciplines in the physical sciences and engineering fields frequently play a central role in developing the fundamental knowledge that is needed for materials studies. The discipline of Materials Science & Engineering integrates this knowledge and uses it to design and develop new materials and to mate these with appropriate technological needs.

IMSE facilities

The majority of the IMSE user facilities are located in the basement of Scott Rudolph Hall (Department of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences), including a 12,000 net square foot facility opened in Fall 2013, which includes a nanofabrication facility and a materials characterization facility. These facilities are available for use by researchers both inside and outside the university. Please email the relevant point of contact regarding user fees, training and scheduling.

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Graduate program


The IMSE offers an interdisciplinary PhD program in Materials Science and Engineering designed to allow students to easily work across departmental boundaries. Student apply directly through the McKelvey School of Engineering, pursue coursework offered by several of the member departments and conduct their thesis research with the mentorship of interdisciplinary faculty teams. This allows our students to take advantage of the rich breadth of materials science expertise and facilities across the university.

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WashU Materials Research in the News

Barnes wins grant to expand architectures of interlocking molecular rings

Barnes wins grant to expand architectures of interlocking molecular rings

Jonathan Barnes, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, won a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate and expand efficient methods for synthesizing catenane-based polymers and networked materials.

Faculty spotlight

IMSE brings together more than 50 faculty and student researchers from engineering, the physical and natural sciences and the medical school to discover new materials, understand how they behave and envision innovative applications.