Materials is an interdisciplinary field stretching over a wide variety of disciplines including ceramics; corrosion; electrical, mechanical, environmental, chemical, and civil engineering; glass; metallurgy; materials testing; polymers, composites, bio-materials; electronic materials; solid state chemistry; condensed matter physics; welding, joining and cutting; and standards. Materials are important to most manufacturing industries and almost all consumer products. They frequently pace our progress and delineate national competitiveness in transportation, aerospace, electronics, environmental remediation, infrastructure renewal, bio-prostheses, communications, computing, energy production and utilization, and national defence.
The strength of materials research and engineering lies in their interdisciplinary nature and in the fact that there is a continuity of activities from fundamental science through engineering, applications, processes and commercial products. University materials education involves materials science and engineering departments. In addition many activities in physics, chemistry, ceramics, metallurgy, polymer, electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering departments have a large materials content.