Materials Science Engineering - how much does it have to do Chemistry?

<p>I know Materials Science is an interdisciplinary field having to do with nanotechnology, fundamental properties and characteristics of materials (correct me if I'm wrong). But what I want to know is how much it has to do with high school chemistry - if you are good at chemistry, if you enjoy chemistry, will you be good at and enjoy materials science? There's only so many kinds of courses you can take in high school, so would the subject of chemistry be a good indicator of how well you would do in MSE?</p>

<p>Nothing you do in high school is a good indicator of what you will do in any type of engineering. Physics is pretty much the best indicator, and it isn't even a good one. MSE has more chemistry than, say, civil engineering, but it has a good amount of physics and other sciences as well.</p>

<p>^Absolutely NOTHING? You can't think of any competitions, extracurriculars, classes, nothing!? Oh and I forgot to ask, this might seem like a dumb question but it's not: Does Chemical Engineering or MSE have more to do with chemistry?</p>

<p>from the Caltech website:</p>

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The field is inherently interdisciplinary, with strong connections to physics, chemistry, biology and the engineering fields.

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How does it have anything to do with biology?</p>

<p>If you think about it - material science is not only about the physical things that we usually see - TV, cable, concrete. There is material science in biology, and how the material affects the health of people. Ex: materials used in building a house.</p>

<p>Beside that, we have medical devices. Some of the medical devices / medical accessories are installed inside a human body - that's biomaterial.
They don't have to be physical at all. They could be fluidly-like materials!</p>

<p>In essence, material science is

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The field is inherently interdisciplinary, with strong connections to physics, chemistry, biology and the engineering fields.

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</p>

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How does it have anything to do with biology?

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</p>

<p>It probably doesn't unless you're looking at biocompatibility, but even then it's more of a chemistry issue (then again, what is biology if not applied chemistry).</p>

<p>As for your question, it's really more chemistry than anything.</p>

<p>Chemistry, physics and math. There is a lot more to materials science than mixing chemicals to make new polymers. There is the entire field of continuum mechanics that goes into at least certain parts of it. Mechanics of materials, metallurgy... lots of stuff. It isn't really even mostly chemistry. Perhaps it chemistry makes up a plurality, but not a majority of MSE.</p>

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<p>Not really. College is so wildly different than 99.9% of the high schools in this country that it is hard to draw a direct parallel. Sure, someone with good grades in high school is probably statistically more likely to do well in college, but I know lots of people who were in the middle of the high school class who graduated in engineering and work for nice companies now, and I know several people at the top of the class that are totally useless. High school performance really doesn't mean a ton other than you may be smart and/or motivated.</p>

<p>For example, over 75% of the incoming freshman engineers at UIUC are in the top 10% of their class, yet a huge number drop out every year despite their high school success. There is so much more to it than how well you did in chemistry or physics or calculus or whatever else.</p>

<p>Then what truly makes a quality engineering student? If you are good at chem, physics, calculus, etc., what causes people with all those skills to do poorly in engineering? Maybe the better way to answer the OP's question is to enlighten us on what exactly is necessary to be a good engineering student.</p>

<p>Being good at physics, chem, and calculus is all relative, as these subjects are taught much differently in high school then college. In high school these subjects are taught slower, and with more emphasis on allowing the student to sort of learn whats going on, which includes going over topics 2,3,4 times in a week. In college you sit in a giant lecture hall and you learn the one topic that might have taken a week in high school takes 50 minutes, and once its taught, a new topic begins. Many people are not used to this style of having to understand things so quickly and as a result do poorly on their midterms, and considering there are usually 2 or 3 midterms in a semester/quarter it pretty much spells doom for your grade. Plus factor in the freedom of college, and you have a perfect recipe for engineering drop outs.</p>

<p>Being good at all those in college would certainly be an indicator, but the OP asked about high school chem, not college chem.</p>

<p>^Seems to me like it is just adapting to a different environment. However, the OP is still looking for information on what are good indicators for success in engineering.</p>

<p>No. MSE is a bunch of stuff. It involves a lot of chemistry. General, Organic, Physical. Hope you don't have to take it all. Would recommend pchem though.</p>

<p>Engineering is problem solving ability. The ability to take the theory and skills you've learned in physics, chem and math and apply them to non-standard conditions (something you've never seen before) to solve a problem. They do not necessarily teach you these word-problem skills in high school, and learning to think like an engineer can be the hardest thing for most new students to adapt to. An AP Physics class is probably the closest thing to this you will get in HS.</p>

<p>Maybe high school chem, even at the AP level, isn't a good indicator, but I remember MIT for example say that "we look for indicators of potential success in your application, and some things, for example USAMO qualifiers, indicate the applicant is more likely to succeed". So, if anyone is familiar with the National Chemistry Olympiad, how would that be for an indicator of college success?</p>

<p>Does ChemE or MSE have more to do with engineering?</p>

<p>And what I'm really trying to say is, would a strong interest and ability in chemistry "match" my intended major well?</p>

<p>
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what are good indicators for success in engineering

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</p>

<p>Bingo:</p>

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..so after you accumulate some book learning, the best qualities for success are creativity, solid analytical-thinking skills and the ability to work in, and often lead, teams seeking innovative solutions to practical problems.</p>

<p>As far as chemistry is concerned with Chemical Engineering, you do take a lot of chemistry, Gen Chem, OChem, and PChem, but a lot of what you do requires a heavy physics and math background especially with conservation of mass, momentum, energy, and likewise</p>

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but a lot of what you do requires a heavy physics and math background especially with conservation of mass, momentum, energy, and likewise

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</p>

<p>You named things that all appear in physics 1. That's not heavy physics.</p>

<p>Sorry there is also some Electricity and Magnetism, especially magnetism when dealing with mass spectrometry, as well as heavy influence of modern physics dealing mostly with Physical Chemistry, which includes topics such as quantum tunneling and wave equations.</p>

<p>And just because it deals with Physics 1, doesn't necessarily mean its light on physics, mechanical engineering relies a lot on concepts from physics 1 (force, torque, ect.) but it doesn't make mechanical engineering light on physics.</p>

<p>A well structured AP Physics C: Mech/E&M class would be the best indicator of success or potential. All other AP courses are pretty simplistic and straightforward in nature (with possible exception to Lit, but then again I am a math head).</p>

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A well structured AP Physics C: Mech/E&M class would be the best indicator of success or potential.

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How would AP Chem compare?</p>