Because of the broad interests of the metallurgical engineering faculty, the department offers an unusually wide choice of specializations, including: physical and mechanical metallurgy, extractive metallurgy, and manufacturing metallurgy. Opportunities are also available for study and research in a variety of related areas due to the extensive collaboration between the faculty of metallurgical engineering and other engineering and science disciplines.
The principal research interests of the faculty include:
- metals casting, joining and forming;
- film metal deposition;
- high-temperature metals and intermetallic compounds;
- powder metallurgy; plasma spray deposition;
- thermodynamics and kinetics of pyrometallurgical and electrometallurgical processes;
- environmental aspects of metal manufacturing;
- and treatment of metal industry wastes.
McNutt Hall houses most of the offices, classrooms and laboratories of the department. Additional facilities are located in Fulton Hall, the Materials Research Center (MRC), and facilities acquired from the former U.S. Bureau of Mines Metallurgy Research Center.
An electron microscope laboratory provides facilities
for both scanning (three machines) and transmission electron microscopy along with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis. The department's foundry has research facilities for green sand casting, lost-foam casting, centrifugal casting, and permanent mold casting, along with a variety of metal joining processes. Friction stir welding and adaptations known as friction stir processing form another significant area of processing. Additional research equipment is available for crystal preparation, characterization and sectioning; image analysis, heat treatment; atomic absorption and X-ray florescence spectrography; thin-film sputtering; hydro- and electrometallurgical processing; metal deformation processing; and thermal spray deposition.
The Materials research Center
provides access to additional electron microscopes, along with extensive capabilities in the area of material coatings, material characterization, and analysis. The Fulton Hall laboratories and pilot plant facilities include: an analytical laboratory; apparatus for studying mixing in reactors; a vacuum induction furnace; a plasma smelting furnace; and a metal atomizing pilot plant.
Metallic materials are found in all areas of the world, and are in use in virtually every industry. As a result, metallurgical engineering is a broad discipline with numerous and widely-diversified career opportunities. Our graduates have secured employment in areas that include: aerospace (Boeing, G.E. Jet Engine Division), automotive (Ford and G.M.), farm and off-road equipment (Caterpillar, John Deere), electronics (Texas Instruments, Honeywell), metals production (US Steel, Nucor, Alcoa), metals casting (Wagner Castings, Wells Manufacturing), heat treatment (Paulo Products, Lindberg), and a variety of others.
Opportunities also exist in government laboratories and agencies
, such as NASA, Los Alamos, the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. We even have graduates doing corrosion work for Exxon-Mobil and Campbell's Soup. With one job in four in the United States being directly involved with the manufacture or use of metal, the choices and opportunities are virtually unlimited.