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Interested in materials science, contact the Department of Materials Science at Tuskegee University.

Recruitment of new material science engineering minors will begin this fall.

Tuskegee recently received a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to prepare undergraduate students for careers in materials science engineering.

The grant — awarded by NSF’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program — seeks to help meet the nation’s accelerating demands for STEM talent.

Under the grant, Tuskegee University juniors and seniors from various STEM majors will study in the new material science engineering minor.

The faculty team anticipates that during the five-year funding period the undergraduate minor program will prepare as many as 100 undergraduate STEM majors for careers in material science engineering.

When Sandia materials scientist Jon Madison won a BEYA in the Most Promising Scientist category, he told the story of how he got started in materials science. 

Madison went to Clark Atlanta University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering science.

He then headed to the University of Michigan to complete his master’s and a doctorate in materials science and engineering.

Madison was in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation initiative, a STEM scholarship program of the National Science Foundation. He did summer internships at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., Washington State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I was looking for mechanical engineering internships but ended up in materials research programs,” he said. “I got a lot of exposure and opportunity to see materials science in different ways. That’s when it clicked for me that I would like to pursue materials science as a career.”

Madison joined Sandia in 2010. His work centers on destructive and nondestructive techniques to understand microstructure in three dimensions, and using that information in experiments and simulations.

According to the American Chemical Society’s College to Career, materials science is a very broad field. It involves applications from a number of scientific disciplines that contribute to the creation of new materials.

Students Scholarships adds that applications of materials science include superconducting materials, graphite materials, integrated-circuit chips, and fuel cells.

Materials scientists develop materials to improve existing products or make new ones, however, few U.S. colleges and universities offer undergraduate-level degree programs in this field

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