A Brief History

The tri-campus Ph.D. program in Materials Science was implemented in Alabama in 1989. This innovative program involves over 80 faculty at the three campuses of the University of Alabama System - Birmingham, Huntsville and Tuscaloosa. The program presently has a total of about 50 students over the three campuses.

About two dozen students have been awarded a Ph.D. in Materials Science from the program since 1989, the majority of them at UAH. These students are employed in materials related industries at locations around the world.

An M.S. degree program in Materials Science was established at UAH in 1998. This program has both a Plan 1 (thesis) and Plan 2 (coursework) option.

A Joint Program

The joint nature of the Ph.D. program has lead to improved faculty collaboration in research and has promoted shared use of research equipment among the three campuses. It has also resulted in cooperation between students and faculty on the different campuses, not only in research, but also in experiences with courses and program examinations.

Some of the strongest research collaborations at the UAH campus are with faculty in biomedical engineering at UAB.

Student interaction is also encouraged through financial support provided to attend the annual Alabama Materials Research Conference and the Semi Annual Tricampus Program Materials meeting regularly rotated between the three campuses.

The Faculty and Research

Over a dozen Materials Science faculty members from Engineering, Chemistry and Physics disciplines are active at UAH. Birmingham and Tuscaloosa Materials Science Faculty are adjunct faculty for the Huntsville Program and vice versa.

Research interests at UAH are varied, as shown in the faculty listing. Some of the stronger materials related research programs on the Huntsville campus are associated with the fields of micro-gravity, biomaterials, and surface science.

There are 20 - 30 full and part time students in the UAH program. Most of the full time students are supported by research grants. Several have fellowships (NASA, NSF, DOE), are supported by industry, or have teaching assistantships.