Materials engineers create new materials and improve existing materials. Everything is limited by the materials that are used to produce it. Materials engineers understand the relationship between the properties of a material and its internal structure — from the macro level down to the atomic level. The better the materials, the better the end result — it’s as simple as that.
Martin Thuo and his research group have developed heat-free solder. They’ve printed electronics on rose petals. They’ve made “chameleon metals” that change surfaces in response to heat. With a bit of “metal whispering,” they’ve found a better way to recover precious metals from electronic waste.
In the Recyclables Evolved from Offscouring Remade to Music (REFORM) project, students are working together to reduce plastic waste at Iowa State by gathering plastic materials and transforming them into durable plastic musical instruments.
In the first installment of the new “Innovators of Iowa State” video series, President Wendy Wintersteen visits with Steve Martin, Distinguished Professor of materials science and engineering, who shares insights on his research to make batteries safer and longer-lasting.
Xiaoli Tan and a team of campus collaborators used a transmission electron microscope at the Ames Laboratory’s Sensitive Instrument Facility to study the effects of engineering defects into certain materials.
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What is Materials Science