Materials Science and engineering (MS&E) is one the most important of the engineering disciplines as it impacts nearly all the traditional fields of engineering. The discipline is concerned with the structure, properties and application of materials used in modern technology. Undoubtedly, Materials Science and Engineering is at the forefront of high technology as the advancements in technology are the direct result of advances in materials. MS&E program is directed towards understanding why materials behave the way they do, how materials are made, and how new materials with unique properties can be developed. The study of MS&E encompasses specific materials such as metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, semiconductors and nanotechnology etc and understanding how their structure, from the atomic level to that of common objects, influences physical, chemical, biological and magnetic properties.
The existing departments of materials and metallurgical engineering in the country mainly focus on teaching, research, development, production and processing of materials used in conventional applications at ambient conditions. There is not even a single institute/university other than the IST imparting education in materials science and engineering not only for conventional applications but also as per programs/requirements of the strategic organizations and in particular to the Pakistan’s Space Policy.
Aeronautic and astronautic programs of any country require materials having high strength, low density (i.e. specific strength should be high) which should withstand high temperature, most importantly high temperature gradient in presence of intense radiations. As metallic materials are mostly dense with acute potential of damage due to radiations, therefore, alternative materials like composites and nano-technology materials with modified surfaces and coatings are required to be explored. So a wide variety of opportunities await the materials science and engineering graduates in research, development, design, production and management almost in every industry.