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In 2015-16 Academic Year; We'll be Celebrating!

Carl WisemanThe Materials Science and Engineering Program at UT Arlington will be celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2015-16 academic year. The program dates from the mid 1960’s when Dr. Carl Wiseman was hired by the College of Engineering to initiate a graduate program in materials science. That eventually occurred in the fall of 1966, when the College of Engineering became the first component of UT Arlington authorized to offer graduate degrees.

The first materials courses taught in the fall of 1966 were within the Department of Engineering Mechanics. In fact, the early graduates of the materials program had their degrees titled “Engineering Mechanics.” That would change over the next decade and a half of the program’s evolution, as the materials faculty and materials degree responsibilities were changed to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The degrees were clearly identified as “Materials Science” or “MATS” by that time. In the early years, the materials faculty consisted only of Dr. Wiseman and Dr. Robert Johnson.

In 1969, the Materials Program was authorized to offer doctoral degrees, along with most programs in The College of Engineering. The next significant change in the materials program came in 1990, after an extensive external review of the doctoral program. The UT Arlington administration followed the recommendations of the reviewers and made a sustained commitment to the program by providing additional resources, approving an increase in the number of materials faculty, and hiring the first director for the program, Dr. Ron Elsenbaumer.

Also in 1990, the name of the program was changed to “Materials Science and Engineering,” reflecting the broader interdisciplinary scope of the expanded program. In 2005. Dr. Efstathios Meletis was hired as the new MSE Program Director and in 2006, the status of MSE was elevated to a Department within the College of Engineering.

There are twenty eight faculty (eight core and twenty affiliated faculty) in MSE, serving close to 70 students, with two thirds being doctoral students. Curriculum and research have evolved to broadly cover almost all technological and scientific aspects of materials. It’s come a long way from the fall of 1966, when Dr. Wiseman and an adjunct faculty member taught those first two graduate courses.