May 22nd 2017

Materials Science: 10 Things Every Engineer Should Know (Coursera)

We explore “10 things” that range from the menu of materials available to engineers in their profession to the many mechanical and electrical properties of materials important to their use in various engineering fields. We also discuss the principles behind the manufacturing of those materials.

By the end of the course, you will be able to: Recognize the important aspects of the materials used in modern engineering applications.

Explain the underlying principle of materials science: “structure leads to properties,” Identify the role of thermally activated processes in many of these important “things” – as illustrated by the Arrhenius relationship. Relate each of these topics to issues that have arisen (or potentially could arise) in your life and work.


Week 1: Course Overview / The Menu of Materials / Point Defects Explain Solid State Diffusion

Week 2: Dislocations Explain Plastic Deformation / Stress vs. Strain -The “Big Four” Mechanical Properties

Week 3: Creep Deformation / The Ductile-to-Brittle Transition

Week 4: Fracture Toughness / Fatigue

Week 5: Making Things Fast and Slow / A Brief History of Semiconductors