In order to specialise in specific types of materials, students can choose between two majors.
The Major Metal Science and Engineering focuses on metals with an emphasis on understanding and developing innovative, light metals used in constructions where these metals have to fulfil increasingly stringent safety requirements. Both optimization of the chemical composition (alloy formation) and processing are discussed in detail. Ceramic materials are also highlighted. The concept of sustainability is addressed. On the one hand, the student will acquire knowledge to understand why a material deteriorates and how surface engineering can increase its life span. On the other hand, you will learn to process metals from secondary sources, such as scrap or e-waste, and will understand that metals can be produced that are equally performing as metals produced from primary raw materials (ores). Further, emphasis is put on modelling. You will become familiar with the available options to simulate the material properties and their evolution and subsequently will learn to adequately interpret the outcome of these simulations.
The Major Polymer and Fibre Engineering focuses on polymers, fibres and fibre-based materials such as textiles or composites. The programme covers these materials, both natural and man-made, and their physical, chemical and mechanical processing and treatment. Emphasis is put on understanding the fundamental properties and behaviour of the different materials, how they relate to the material structure, and on understanding processing technology and sustainable engineering. You will learn about additives and colourants and dyes, which are used to give polymers and textile-based materials a specific aesthetic and better or even new properties (flame retardancy, crease resistance, antibacterial, soil resistance…), thus creating added value. As such, you obtain an understanding of textile materials and processes with special attention for the development of products with specific functionalities. You will acquire knowledge on new technologies such as nanotechnology and bio-based materials and processes. A specific type of functional materials relates to intelligent (interactive) textile materials.
In both majors students have two possibilities: either an advanced programme of materials sciences through elective courses or a more broad approach (by choosing a Minor) which – next to a thorough study of materials science – gives the opportunity to specialise in one of the following fields: Management, Environment and Sustainable Development, Automotive Production Engineering. The thematic clusters of elective courses offer students the possibility to concentrate further on specific materials (possibly from the other Major), or on specific themes such as ecology, nanotechnology, smart materials, chemistry or business-oriented technical and non-technical topics.