The partnership between California State University, Los Angeles and Penn State University has the key goals of establishing a master-of-science degree program in materials science at Cal State L.A. and providing a bridge structure for students to continue on to Ph.D. studies at Penn State or other leading institutions, or to seek employment after their college graduation. This partnership also will manage a summer research experience for academically talented students from four high schools where enrollment of Hispanic-heritage students is more than 95 percent. Students in this program will work to use discoveries in materials science that are important for solving current societal problems.
About the Program:
The Cal State LA-PSU PREM is a synergistic and interdisciplinary approach to carrying out materials science and engineering research and education activities. Professors Oscar Bernal from Cal State LA and Vincent Crespi from PSU lead this project where 10 Cal State LA and 7 PSU scientists and engineers (chemistry, physics, mechanical engineering, and materials science and engineering) work collaboratively focusing on fundamental research projects in materials science and engineering. A main focus of the partnership is the establishment of a Master’s of Science Degree in Materials Science and Engineering at Cal State LA, which will remain an asset to the university well beyond PREM funding. A rigorous student-centered educational program consisting of mentoring, advising, a yearly PREM retreat, and a high school program, will increase the pool of well-prepared students for careers in materials science and engineering. Fundamentally, this partnership will enable the development, discovery, and application of new materials and materials properties that are important to solving current societal problems.