Department of Materials

About us

Welcome to the Department of Materials

For nearly 50 years Materials Science and Engineering has been a core strength at Loughborough University, contributing to the advancement of the field through teaching, research and enterprise activities.

We are very proud of our achievements, not least because of our record of inspiring our students and helping them to build an exciting and rewarding career.

What is Materials?

The term 'materials' broadly describes everything we use to manufacture everyday objects from cars to bridges, toys to aeroplanes.

The impact of Materials

Materials have literally shaped our society, from everyday plastics through to the advanced superalloys used in jet engines and functional ceramics that form the backbone of our electronic components. Everything that we make is based on materials in one form or another and they underpin just about every modern technological development.

A wide range of major industrial sectors rely on the latest materials innovations, from superalloys used in jet aircraft turbine blades operating at temperatures above their melting point, to packaging materials that minimise environmental impact. Materials engineers research the behaviour of materials used in industry to make them stronger, lighter and more hard-wearing.

Our work

Our work in the Department is focused on the engineering design, processing and use of new and existing materials. We have state-of-the art, world-class facilities for use in materials synthesis, processing and characterisation, which support our research and teaching. In fact, the Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre is considered to be one of the best facilities of its kind in Europe.

Our unrivalled links with industry are hugely beneficial to our students, who have the opportunity to take industrial placements as part of their study. We also tailor our courses according to industrial feedback and needs, ensuring our graduates are well-prepared for the job market.

The quality of our courses and teaching has been consistently highly ranked in the league tables, too.

What does a Materials student study?

Materials students gain an in-depth knowledge of what things are made of, how they are made and why. This provides a great opportunity to use science and maths skills in a practical way across every industrial sector.

Engineering materials can be split into three main areas; metals, polymers and ceramics, which all feature in our courses in a balanced way, along with sub categories such as nanomaterials and composites.

Starting with the basics of what makes materials the way they are, students consider the development and improvement of new and existing materials by investigating their structure, processing and properties and how they can be used to design and make new and improved products. In their final year students do a genuine research or design project that can result in better materials and hence better products for our society.