The Materials Science and Engineering Department has seen a lot of changes through the decades, and materials today matter just as much (and probably more) than they ever did before. Take a look at our rich history:
1906 – Iowa legislature mandated a new course in Ceramic Engineering at ISU to capitalize on the demand from manufacturers for ceramic drainage tiles. No students came until 1907.
1910 – Milton F. Beecher becomes Iowa State’s first graduate in Ceramic Engineering and then becomes the second faculty member of the program.
1918 – Ceramic Engineering is elevated to department status
1925 – Department has 30 men formally enrolled in Ceramics Engineering and approximately 50 women from other departments working in pottery
WWII – ISU chemist, Frank Spedding, does metallurgy work with the Manhattan Project to manufacture an atomic bomb and lays the foundation for the parallel development of metallurgy and ceramics
1947 – U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory is established
1950s-1960s – Ceramics and Metallurgy begin working together and focus on a broader notion of materials
1961 – Metallurgy separates from chemistry as its own department
1975 – The MSE Department is formed by the merger of Ceramic Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering
1996 – Graduate degrees in ceramic engineering and metallurgical engineering are discontinued, replaced by the MSE and PhD in Materials Science and Engineering
1998 – Unified bachelor’s degree in Materials Engineering is introduced to replace undergraduate degrees in Ceramics Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering
2003 – Hoover Hall is dedicated and becomes the new home of MSE
2011 – Dan Shechtman, MSE Professor, wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry
2012 – Department exceeds 200 undergraduate students for the first time