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  • MSE101
    Description

    An introduction to topics that span the vast field of materials science. From crystal structures to phase transformations to materials characterization to materials processing, this course will offer a glimpse and provide a basis of understanding that will carry you through pretty much every course you will study in MSE.

    Thematic Questions

    How do we go from our idea of atoms in chemistry to the materials we use in our daily lives?
    What simplifications must we make in order to understand how material properties arise?
    What models or machines do we use to “see” things at the level of atoms?

    Tips

    • Use the graphics that are presented (ex. Phase diagrams with pictures of changing crystal structure) to help you remember important processes and steps
    • 3-D visualization of crystal structures is really helpful in later courses, so use this course as an opportunity to pick up the skill!
    • Prof. Ramsay is really easy to talk to, so if you have trouble with the material, make sure to approach him
    Useful resources

  • MAT294
    Description

    This course is split into two sections: one part multivariable calculus and one part differential equations. You will learn how to describe surfaces and solids in 3D and higher dimensions, integrate in different coordinate systems, and discover some fundamental differential equations which govern related laws in materials science. The goal of this course is to learn and understand the mathematics that will appear in later courses.

    Thematic Questions

    How can we use different coordinate systems to more efficiently calculate systems or solids? What fundamental mathematical theorems do engineers use? What are their proofs and how can we apply them to real life? How can we use differential equations to predict a changing system at any point in time and space?

    Tips

    • Math is about practice; it will be difficult to figure out which coordinate system to use for certain integrals or which variable to integrate first if you don’t do a few practice questions first
    • Attend lectures because having a differential equation explained to you is much easier than trying to learn it yourself. Take notes for every step!
    • Don’t forget about the definitions of theorems which are simple proofs! They might appear on your midterm or final
    • If you’re stuck with a few questions, try YouTube (math examples are some of the easiest to find on the Internet, much easier than more specialized areas of study)
    • Most differential equations have been done many times, there are many online resources which will take you through the steps. Use these for clarification or practice on the basic differential equations. However, the final exam or midterm may feature one you have’t seen before.
    Useful resources

    • YouTube
    • Briggs, Cochrane, & Gillet, Calculus for Scientists and Engineers, Early Transcendentals
  • MSE202
    Description

    The laws of thermodynamics are the laws that govern matter and how it behaves in our universe. This course actually answers the question, “Why does anything happen in the universe?”, and before you start making references to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the answer is, ‘To lower the Gibb’s Free Energy’. Thermodynamics deals with all of the nitty-gritty details of chemical equilibrium and is essential in understanding material processing, material degradation and many other subjects you’ll be taking in your upper years. This course is also part of the 3rd year Mineral engineering curriculum so you will likely be sharing a classroom with 3rd year mins.ally answers the question, “Why does anything happen in the universe?” Before you answer ‘42’, I will save you the trouble. The answer is, ‘To lower the Gibb’s Free Energy’. Now, if you already knew that from other courses, don’t fear. You don’t spend the entire semester doing just that. Thermodynamics deals with all of the nitty-gritty details of chemical equilibrium.

    Thematic Questions

    What factors are present that determine whether a process can ever start? What does it mean to be energetically favorable? How can we design reactions to maximize efficiency? What considerations do we need to make?

    Tips

    • Your notes from Physical Chemistry (CHE112) will come in handy here, a good deal of the thermodynamics you learned in that course will be reused here.
    • Many formulas used are conditional so make sure you describe the system well (is it isobaric? Is it and endothermic reaction? Is the reaction reversible?) You won’t be able to memorize all the conditions per formula when you get to the exam so take good notes throughout the year to put in your cheat sheet.
    • Course content doesn’t change much year to year so getting your hands on past notes or past cheat sheets arranged by upper year students may be helpful
    Useful resources

  • MSE217
    Description

    Despite what CIV100 might have you believe, matter is always in motion. Atoms, whether they are arranged as a solid, liquid or gas, are in constant motion. Materials scientists can take advantage of this tendency to predict, create and modify materials. In Diffusion and Kinetics, we cover two of the most important basic building blocks to understanding materials phenomena: diffusion, the bulk atomic motion of matter due to a concentration gradient and kinetics, the study of the rate at which phenomena on the atomic and molecular level occur.

    Thematic Questions

    How do we describe bulk atomic motion in various media?
    What is the difference between thermodynamics and kinetics?
    How do we take advantage of factors affecting the kinetics of a situation?

    Tips

    • Understand when the steady state assumption applies and when it doesn’t
    • Drawing a diagram of the system and labelling it with known constants is really useful for more complicated geometries
    • Determining the order of reaction if possible will make kinetics problems much easier, but also recognize that a lot of problems, especially real ones, will not fit into one of the convenient categories
    Useful resources

  • MSE219
    Description

    This course offers an introduction to the basic concepts and principles of crystallography and characterization of materials – both in 2D and 3D. Beginning with the concept of reciprocal space and leading into crystal lattices and groups, the first half of the course deals with determining the arrangement of atoms in a crystal, their denotation, the language used in materials science to describe structures and transformations. Once you finish with tensors, the course shifts to cover material characterization, where you learn about various types of crystallographic techniques from Atomic Force Microscopy to X-Ray Diffraction.

    Thematic Questions

    What is reciprocal space and how is understanding it useful to us as Material Engineers? How does symmetry make our lives infinitely easier when studying crystalline solids? Which characterization technique is appropriate to determine a particular property? What are the sample limitations to using this technique?

    Tips

    • Spend extra time working on and rereading your lab reports. Although they are very detailed and take up quite some time, they are useful for fully understanding the information provided in the lab and the questions in the write-up are directly applicable to the exam.
    • Lab reports in this course will require more detail and depth than previous lab reports
    • Write any clarifying information you think might be important on the slides
    • Copy EVERY diagram the professor draws on the board.
    • In case you didn’t notice, reciprocal space is super important.
    Useful resources

    • R. Tilley, Crystals and Crystal Structures, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, UK, 2006
    • W.D. Callister, Materials Science and Engineering, 6th ed., John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2003
    • International Union of Crystallography
  • MSE238
    Description

    Divided into two sections, this course will cover essential statistics and numerical methods topics. The statistics portion covers probability, distributions, hypothesis testing, regression, and other basic statistics principles. Numerical methods will cover techniques to numerically solve problems in calculus and differential equations, by hand and through the use of MATLAB.

    Thematic Questions

    How can we test if our hypothesis is correct? What are the ways to solve calculus questions without computing them? How can we predict the outcome of an event?

    Tips

    • Professor Singh likes to ensure that everyone in the class understands everything in the lecture and is willing to slow down. So if you are confused, ask him to clarify the topic.
    • Try and do as many of the assigned questions as you can.
    • The MSE lab and ECF labs have MATLAB installed but it’s really helpful to get it on your laptop as well.
    • Like any coding language, practice is necessary.
    • Do not delay or procrastinate the final coding project.
    Useful resources

    • Applied Statistics and Probability for Engineers - Montgomery & Runger - 5th/6th Edition
  • MSE244
    Description

    This course covers the fundamental trends that help shape the periodic table, and offers an understanding of why different elements behave differently. Once a thorough understanding of periodic trends is presented, individual elements are analysed and their uses in modern applications are understood. This course is important to know how a material will react in a certain situation, before it is actually applied. A lot of the content covered will echo your high school chemistry introduction. This course also dabbles in material processing from natural resources such as ores.

    Thematic Questions

    What causes certain elements to be more or less reactive than others? How can we test and differentiate between different inorganic compounds?

    Tips

    • Write your notes on the slides given. Print them out and organize them in a binder, or save them in OneNote. Don’t forget to take notes on videos shown in class, a few test questions may come from videos.
    • This course is heavy on memorization so make sure to take note of details and generalizations mentioned in class, particularly periodic trends.
    • For the lab write-up due 1 week after the lab takes place, directly answer the questions in point form. You do not need to write anything more than what is asked directly. Clarify any analysis questions as marks for labs are significantly weighted.
    • Study past midterms and exams. The format of the tests rarely changes, and being prepared can give you a real advantage.
    Useful resources

    • Slides given each lecture
    • Powerpoints given each lecture
    • PDF copy of the stuff on the screen behind the lecturer
    • Glen E. Rodgers Descriptive Inorganic, Coordination, & Solid State Chemistry (Third Edition)
  • MSE245
    Description

    This course will mirror the style of MSE 244 but will cover Organic Chemistry, arguably on of the most difficult subdisciplines of chemistry. The course begins by working with the basic building blocks of organic compounds: Hydrocarbons, methyl groups, carboxylic acids, thiols etc. You will understand how to name such compounds, how they are formed and how they react with other compounds. The course ends on a few units in polymer chemistry which will lead into polymer courses taken in third and fourth year.

    Thematic Questions

    How can we predict reaction mechanisms and the product of two organic compounds? Which polymers are used in everyday life? How do we synthesize and organic compound

    Tips

    • If this course is usually taught by the same instructor as MSE 244, the tips and tricks of doing well in MSE 244 will carry over in this course
    • Memorize, practice, memorize and practice some more. Don’t lose easy marks on naming and multiple choice questions.
    • Past midterms and finals are great practice
    Useful resources

    • William H. Brown and Thomas Poon, Introduction to Organic Chemistry” (Fifth edition)
  • MSE290
    Description

    The goal of this course is that you advance your knowledge of work-related opportunities in Materials Science Engineering and that you communicate this knowledge in oral and written communications to your instructors and peers. You will work in teams of three or four on all assignments except for an individual written analysis or your team’s intermediate presentations. This course is designed to not be heavy in workload; most work can be complete in tutorial.

    Thematic Questions

    What style of language should be used in approaching industry? How do we go about researching about different job fields into actually contacting them and getting hired? How many paths would MSE lead into after graduation?

    Tips

    • Plan your interview ahead of time, be proactive
    • If necessary, contact one of your professors to be your interviewee
    • Attend all the lectures, especially the first one
    • Don’t be a bad team member. MSE is family until you graduate. Work together, it pays off in the long run
    Useful resources

    • Irish, R. and P. Weiss, Engineering Communication: From Principles to Practice. Oxford University Press, 2009
    • Supplementary readings will be posted on the course portal
  • MIE258
    Description

    This course introduces economics with a practical focus on accounting. Topics covered include: interest rates as applied to mortgages and bond yields, time value of money, reading and generating balance sheets, assessing costs of a project, and much more. You will learn and apply this knowledge while learning the ropes of Microsoft Excel, a more powerful program than most people realise. This course is extremely applicable to real life projects and will be helpful for your long term career.

    Thematic Questions

    How to determine the value of assets over time? How to determine if a project is financially sound? How to understand a corporate balance sheet?

    Tips

    • Practice, practice, practice. This cannot be understated.
    • The math is simple, but the vocabulary is abstruse.
    • Go to every class and tutorial especially the guest lectures—prime source of exam questions.
    Useful resources

    • C. S. Park, M. J. Zuo, R. Pelot, Contemporary Engineering Economics, A Canadian Perspective, Third Canadian Edition
  • MSE315
    Description

    This course is designed to teach the fundamental concepts of electrochemistry via the interactions in material-electrolyte systems and their application to the corrosion of materials. You will calculate the thermodynamics of interactions using the Nernst equation, the phase stability of materials using Pourbaix diagrams.The various types of corrosion processes covering all material types are discussed.

    Thematic Questions

    What are the interactions of material-electrolyte systems and how do they contribute to corrosion processes? What conditions exacerbate and inhibit corrosion processes? What methods can be used to prevent the environmental degradation of materials?

    Tips

    • Always get to class on time; otherwise, Thorpe will not let you in.
    • Know how to draw a Pourbaix diagram and polarization curve; both will be on the final.
    Useful resources

    • Jones, Denny A. Principles And Prevention Of Corrosion
    • Corrosion by Steve J. Thorpe, an app on iOS
  • MSE316
    Description

    This course covers the mechanical behavior of materials with a focus on stress-strain relationships, dislocation theory, strengthening mechanisms, and the processes and mechanisms of elastic, visco-elastic, plastic, and creep deformation. A strong focus is directed at the mechanical behavior of metals.

    Thematic Questions

    What mechanism governs the deformation of metals? How are mechanical properties of materials evaluated? How is mechanical behavior affected by time, temperature, and composition?

    Tips

    • Pay attention during the labs; they are essential to your understanding.
    • Always go to class and pay attention.
    Useful resources

  • MSE318
    Description

    Phase transformations are among the material engineer’s greatest tools in controlling the properties of a material system. This course relies on your knowledge of thermodynamics and diffusion to learn how the microstructure of a material impacts its macroscopic properties. This is explored by use of free energy diagrams to reflect such phenomena as crystallization, nucleation and grain growth. An integral course in the MSE curriculum.

    Thematic Questions

    How do metallic microstructures develop? How can thermodynamic and kinetic principles explain phase transformations? What are phase transformations?

    Tips

    • Review Thermodynamics and Diffusion thoroughly , this course is an application of those two courses.
    • Pay attention during the labs; the lessons learned are often subtle with far-reaching consequences.
    • Prof. Hibbard doesn’t usually use lecture slides.Take lots of notes
    • Pay attention in class . Prof Hibbard gives a lot of hints on midterm/exam content if you’re paying attention to the details.
    Useful resources

  • MSE332
    Description

    This course discusses how momentum, heat, and mass are transferred in a given process or system. This is done by exploring of the Navier-Stokes equation, the heat equation, and the diffusion equation with realistic boundary conditions to model real-world problems in metallurgy and materials processing such as melt cooling. An effective understanding of calculus and partial differential equations is recommended.

    Thematic Questions

    How can we model momentum, heat, and mass transfer? What are the engineering challenges for designing materials processes relating to heat and mass transfer?

    Tips

    • Review how to solve integrals and differential equations—it helps you derive the equations that you don’t have memorized!
    • Know your equations and the conditions in which they apply, there are many subtle variations applied for different situations.
    • Buy the textbook, read it cover-to-cover, and keep it. It’s that well-written!
    • Keep a running aid sheet throughout the course as a reference; it will make studying for midterms and exams easier.
    Useful resources

  • MSE335
    Description

    This course discusses the application of solid state physics used to describe material properties. Special focus is given to properties related to phonon and electron interactions in a crystal lattice. This course is essential in understanding the properties and effects used in the semiconductor/electronics industry.

    Previously taken in second year. The nitty-gritty of materials is expounded in this course that highlights the important theories and fundamental concepts that describe material behaviours. From the Drude model of electron motion that describes conductivity, to electron polarizations that result in the magnetization of materials, this course provides a look at the math and physics that lies at the heart of the material properties we take for granted.

    Disclaimer: some of the course content may be slightly different or more difficult than what past students remember.

    Thematic Questions

    What causes the electromagnetic properties of metals? How do electrons and phonons interact in a crystal lattice?

    Tips

    • The course is heavy on complex equations; however, the concepts the equations describe are fairly simple.
    • Focus on understanding the concepts and how the equations describe those phenomena.
    • Ask questions in class when things get confusing because 9 out of 10 times the rest of the class is also struggling with the same thing.
    • This course covers a lot of challenging content, try to sift through the topics and determine which are most important and will be tested.
    • Get help on assignments. Its rare that one student will naturally understand all the topics covered in the course immediately.
    Useful resources

  • MSE342
    Description

    This course offers general perspectives on the emerging fields of nanomaterial synthesis and manufacturing. Case studies of nanotechnology will be presented- primarily relating to the development of nano-Ni by our very own Professor Erb!

    Thematic Questions

    What defines a nanomaterial? How do we make nanomaterials? How can we observe nanomaterials? What are the advantages and disadvantages of nanomaterials?

    Tips

    • The midterms/exam echo the assignments
    • Try and relate the concepts of this course to Phase Transformations—they work on the same idea of energy-controlling microstructure.
    Useful resources

    The course slides—Erb’s slides are fairly comprehensive

  • MSE343
    Description

    This is an introductory course on biomaterials from the perspective of surgical implants. The focus is on the fabrication and materials selection of surgical implants and how the human body responds to those implants once in vivo. Basic concepts of cell structure and human immune response are covered.

    Thematic Questions

    What does it mean to be biocompatible? What considerations are necessary for biomaterials?

    Tips

    • Use flashcards or a similar method to become familiar with the large volume of vocabulary.
    • Try and keep detailed notes. Concepts introduced early in the semester become absolutely critical in the final weeks of the class.
    • This course may appear unrelated to materials science at first, but the applications of these basic biology lessons become apparent when body-material interactions need to be considered.
    Useful resources

  • MSE351
    Description

    This course is on the mathematical modelling of materials via the finite-element method. The focus is on developing practical solutions to the theoretical differential equations controlling stress/strain, heat transfer, and fluid flow. There is a strong lab/software component using the ANSYS software to solve practical and multidisciplinary engineering problems. There is also a group project to model an engineering system of your choice.

    Thematic Questions

    What controls how we model a material system and its boundary conditions? What are the limitations of computational materials modelling?

    Tips

    • Make sure your skills in Linear Algebra are sharp; the hand calculations in this course are typically matrix manipulations.
    • Be comfortable in deriving equations given a set of boundary conditions. It happens quite frequently.
    • Do not skip any of the early lecture; you’ll miss the common framework that is used throughout the course.
    • Ask for help- Professor Singh is more than willing to help those who aren’t afraid to ask!
    Useful resources

  • MSE354
    Description

    This course is essentially materials arts and crafts(in a good way!) because the manufacturing techniques covered in lecture are experienced hands-on in labs. Topics include: casting, sintering, surface treatments, etc.

    Thematic Questions

    What factors affect the setting of concrete? How do you make a double walled coffee mug? What processes are used in forming?

    Tips

    • Don’t miss the labs because they’re enjoyable, a great learning experience, and you get to keep what you make
    Useful resources

    • The television series How It’s Made
  • MSE355
    Description

    This course covers metal refining from a raw materials and energy resources perspective. Life cycle analysis is taught with activities to demonstrate the technique.

    Thematic Questions

    How can we efficiently use resources in materials processing? What methods can we use to evaluate a process?

    Tips

    • The midterm and final exam are similar to assignments
    • The first half of the course reviews topics discussed in MSE244
    Useful resources