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Materials Science

New materials for a greener, healthier planet

Blue fungus on a piece of wood
Xylindein, a pigment secreted by wood-eating fungi, may be a sustainable, low-cost, easily fabricated alternative to silicon

Researchers investigate new sustainable materials and methods to address current societal needs and to build the foundation for a healthier planet. We address fundamental questions that unlock new technologies to enhance the performance of batteries, solar cells, quantum information systems and the many devices associated with the Internet of Things.

Our highly collaborative environment and extensive research funding attracts expertise across disciplines in science and engineering. We consistently integrate innovative computational and experimental approaches to reveal insights that would otherwise remain hidden.

Hometown Advantage

Students and faculty at the College of Science are well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities at the Pacific Northwest high-tech sector through companies such as Intel, Hewlett Packard, Lam Research and On Semiconductor. Oregon is also home to several specialty chemical and materials manufacturers that serve as suppliers for high-tech manufacturing. The I-5 corridor and the Williamette Valley sustain a vigorous ecosystem of start-up companies and growing ventures that support numerous industries requiring advanced and sustainable materials.

Oregon State’s hometown, Corvallis, has the fourth-highest patent rate per capita in the nation, as ranked by a Brookings Institute 2016 report.

“We’re pushing the boundaries of science and seeing things that no one has ever seen before.”
Douglas Keszler Distinguished Professor of Chemistry

Materials Science opens the door to a myriad of careers.

Where will it take you?

Graduates in materials science increasingly find jobs in the renewable energy and energy storage and conversion sectors, Department of Energy National Laboratories, academic institutions and private industry, including ceramic, superconductor, paints and coatings, and plastics manufacturers and biomedical industries, among many others.

In addition, the skills you learn in sustainable materials are broadly applicable to a much wider range of careers and are in high demand by employers. You will learn to:

  • Communicate and share your work with diverse audiences
  • Collect and analyze scientific data
  • Work successfully in teams to brainstorm and solve problems
  • Persist until you find not just any solution, but the most sustainable one