Scientific and technological progress of our society demands the development of new materials as well as the optimization of the properties in those materials of actual use; materials–related issues are present in all types of industries. Therefore, the formation of professionals with an effective background in the understanding of science and engineering concepts behind materials utilization and performance becomes indispensable.
The University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez (UPRM) PREM project in association with the Department of Engineering Science and Materials designed and proposed the establishment of an undergraduate Certificate in Materials Science & Engineering (CMSE). The curricular sequence has been approved by UPRM administration to start running in August 2008. The purpose of the CMSE is to provide the students with a solid background and basic skills to identify, rationalize and face common problems associated to materials processing and the macro, micro and nanoscale. This complementary knowledge will situate our students in an advantageous position in the labor force market related to processing and technological applications of functional materials. Also, the CMSE can be considered as a platform to motivate the students to pursue a more advanced degree in Materials Science and Engineering in our Campus.
The CMSE includes courses, a seminar and a hands-on research experience. The courses will cover selected topics on the characterization and processing of functional materials. The Seminar will be used to expose our students to actual situations of critical scientific and technological interest. Additional elective courses from other departments will also be associated to this new curricular sequence. Finally, the participant students will also get hands-on expertise on the processing and characterization of materials being part of active UPRM research groups in structural materials, nano-structured materials, multifunctional materials, among others.
To sustain this effort and an upcoming Master of Science program on Materials Science & Engineering (another UPRM PREM's objective), in the last two years the UPRM College of Engineering has hired six professors with a wide range of expertise.