Hey incoming Class of 2017.
Are you an undecided engineering major in the Whiting School of Engineering?
Does the cross-section of chemistry, physics, and engineering (and biology, if you want!) sound awesome to you?
Well then you need to check out Hopkins' Materials Science & Engineering major.
What is a material
? Usually when we are talking about different materials, we are talking about solid states of matter. Materials could be carbon nanotubes (graphene, a single sheet of hexagonal carbon atoms, rolled into a tube), biomaterials (like those used in tissue engineering or heart valves), or semiconductors (like silicon, used in microchips). With a degree in Materials Science & Engineering, you learn to change matter at the atomic level to have properties you want at the macroscopic level.
What's more, there are two concentrations: nanotechnology and biomaterials. I do research at the Institute for NanoBioTechnology where we do such things as imprint proteins in hydrogels for the detection of traumatic brain injuries, design better cancer biomarkers with quantum dots, and create artificial blood vessels. There is also the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, which has a grant from the US Army to create better blast shields and armor for the armed forces.
Why am I making this post? I am a rising sophomore MatSci major who wished he had been exposed to his major before
coming to Hopkins. I absolutely love my major. I entered last year as a Chemical & Biomolecular engineer, but quickly saw that it wasn't what I expected. What I thought ChemBE was, was actually Materials Science.
There will be a class available for you to take in the fall called "Materials Science & Engineering for the 21st Century." If you are interested, take it! It's a single credit, there won't be any homework, and the professor (Dr. Wilson, she's incredibly nice) will occasionally have pizza!
Here's the department website, for you to poke around at: Homepage - Materials Science and Engineering
PS it's better to declare your major before entering the school so that you take the right classes. For example, I technically only needed to take the single semester Materials Chemistry class, rather than two semesters of Intro Chemistry. Plus you have a sense of identity right away. Do your research! Our department websites are good. Look at the required classes, they're the most elucidating.