The predecessors to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering were the Department of Metallurgy and the Department of Applied Chemistry, which were established at the same time as Kyushu Imperial University in 1911. In 1997 three departments related to materials science were merged, resulting in the creation of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
We live our lives surrounded by materials. The understanding of the properties of these materials and the creation of materials with new properties can thus be seen to be tremendously important for knowledge and technologies that contribute to all aspects of human life. Materials science thus has the power to enrich people's lives.
Students at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering acquire basic scientific knowledge about all kinds of organic and inorganic materials and also learn about the latest knowledge and technologies required to create new materials. Once they have acquired the basics, students can then engage in a wide range of research and development activities, including in the areas of production processes, nano-materials, life and environmental sciences, and new energy development.
Upon entering university the first year and a half is dedicated mainly to basic courses common to all departments of the university. The remaining two and a half years are when students can acquire more advanced, specialist knowledge, through elective courses (Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, and Materials Engineering, which are selected at the end of the first year). In the fourth year students also embark upon research for their graduation thesis. After graduating, more than 80% of students progress into graduate school (masters programs and doctorates) and acquire even more specialized knowledge. Alumni of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering are active in many industrial sectors, including polymers, metals, ceramics, chemical agents, foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, electrics, computers and information, machinery, energy, resources, automobiles, aviation and astronautics.
The fields related to materials science are incredibly wide-ranging and varied, from materials development through to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. The Department of Materials Science and Engineering is the gateway to this vast field of opportunity. We seek to nurture able scientists who can contribute to the future by creating new materials.
This course is the foundation for learning about the field of chemical engineering. Chemical engineering comprises a number of other disciplines, including physical chemistry, reaction, engineering, biochemical engineering, material transfer engineering, heat-transfer engineering, fluid engineering, and process systems engineering. These areas of specialization have been developed for the purpose of manufacturing materials and products in chemical plants, etc. In addition, in recent years chemical engineering has also progressed into cutting-edge fields, including bio, environment, energy, new materials, astronautics and artificial intelligence. In this way it is making a contribution to the creation of a safe and secure society.
In this course students acquire the skills to work and apply their knowledge in three areas: "Living things and life," "Environment and energy," and "New materials." In the area of "living things and life" the aim is to learn about artificial organs, bio-pharmaceuticals, genetic delivery, regenerative medicine and bio-production. In the areas of "environment and energy," topics include fuel cell batteries, energy saving technologies, elimination of toxic substances, separation of trace amounts of useful substances, and safe factory/plant operation, etc. In the "new materials" area, the objective is to learn about new materials, biomaterials and electronic materials, etc., used in nano-level control. Many of the instructors responsible for this course are involved in the two 21st Century Global Centers of Excellence (COE) Programs (Targeted Support for Creating World-standard Research and Education Bases) being run at Kyushu University relating to chemistry and materials, and environment and energy.
Alumni of this course are engaged in research in various fields with a basis in chemical engineering and they have achieved many outstanding results. Chemical engineering advances with the times. Prospective students will find that in their time at university further new fields of discovery will open up.
The word nano-technology (nano-tech) has now become commonplace. It refers to technologies that use various materials at the atomic or molecular level. By putting chemistry-related knowledge into practice it is possible to precisely combine atoms or molecules to create a totally new function or mechanism.
These kinds of nano-tech materials are revolutionizing fields including IT, bio and the environment. Examples of the use of nano-tech materials are far too numerous to list here, but including materials production making highly efficient use of energy and resources, high performance materials for electronics industry infrastructure, and new materials that are safe, secure and environmentally friendly. The organic molecular mechanisms behind life phenomena that have remained a mystery until now have been discovered and understood down to levels of a nanometer (1 billionth of a meter) through DNA and enzyme analysis, etc. There has never been a time like now for chemistry experts to demonstrate their talents, including in medicine and pharmaceuticals.
On the Applied Chemistry Course students acquire broad-based knowledge through various lectures and experiments. The fourth year of the course represents the culmination of four years of study, as students embark upon research for their graduation thesis. The cutting-edge research challenges that students tackle and their outstanding results are made known domestically and overseas through academic papers and presentations.
Many graduates of the Applied Chemistry Course progress to graduate school. Our group is one of the very few locations in the country functioning as a research base for the 21st Century COE Program. Making best use of this opportunity, we are also engaged in efforts to enhance graduate school education.
Materials engineering covers many areas of learning, including the physics and chemistry of extracting various inorganic source materials from metals, semiconductors and ceramics, etc., and combining these materials into a final form, as well as the development of new materials and the analysis and evaluation of material characteristics. The course comprises three areas. (1) Reaction processes to extract and refine physical, chemical or electrochemical matter and materials from source materials that exist in various forms and chemical compounds around the world; (2) Material properties, including mixing or fixing materials in powdered, dissolved or gaseous form, controlling their properties through the application of health or deformation, investigating their various characteristics and microscopic structure, and developing materials with new functions; and (3) Manufacturing processes through which by dissolution, coagulation or plastic deformation, etc., the materials are made into their final form.
The course comprises a curriculum that allows students to acquire knowledge in these broad areas. For example, a wide variety of classes are offered, from those in the areas of nano- and micro-science in order to understand material properties at the electron, atomic, and crystalline levels, to macro processes employed in the actual production of materials. This is a wide-ranging course and the opportunities are many and varied, allowing students to select what area of science interests them most, be it research using the latest ultrahigh resolution electron microscope with the world's highest optical resolution, or materials analysis that employs simulations using measurement devices, etc. More than 70% of students progress to graduate school.