Detailed approaches for
education, research And
Seoul National University
Modern society is changing rapidly with the development of high-tech industries such as precision
machinery, electronics, aerospace, energy engineering, and environmental engineering. Given the
remarkable pace of development over the past decades, the 21st century will be a world where the
tales and imagination of science fiction writers come true. The field that is the basis of these high-tech
developments is material engineering.
Take an example, mankind has long dreamed of development in space. One of the prerequisites for space development was a space shuttle that carries people and goods. Now that the space shuttle is successfully performing its mission, we take it for granted, but one of the main reasons it was created only recently was that the insulation material protecting its hull on entry to the Earth's atmosphere had not been developed. In addition, looking back in history, we classify ancient human civilizations as Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age: in other words, stages of civilization were measured by the materials used in their tools. Some say that the present is the New Iron Age; others call it the Neo- Stone Age, Silicon Age, Plastic Age, etc., depending on their different perspectives. Materials engineering is an engineering field that is the basis for a country's industrial development, and is indeed a measure of national competitiveness. Behind the development of the automobile, shipbuilding, and other heavy industries, which have contributed greatly to Korea's development as an industrially advanced country, solid steel materials are located, and other inorganic materials are located behind the development of cities, construction, and civil engineering. Behind the development of the semiconductor industry necessary for today's information and communication have been many materials engineering efforts in process development, and the development of plastic materials, a new concept, is necessary for a new world to be opened through well-being, biological, and ubiquitous industries. As such, materials engineering has always played a central role in solving problems.
The materials treated in material engineering can be largely divided into polymers, metals, inorganic materials, biomaterials, and electronic materials. Maximizing the performance of these materials requires a macroscopic and microscopic understanding. Performance can be judged only through a macroscopic understanding of the material, and obtaining the desired performance is possible only through a microscopic understanding of the material on the diagram of structure-process-properties. In materials engineering, processing and microstructure are controlled to obtain the desired properties. These three are called microscopic understanding of materials, and the deep relationship between structure-process-property. Performance, which is a macroscopic issue, depends on all the microscopic factors. In other words, when each microscopic factor is maximized, the material exhibits maximum performance.
In addition, materials engineering is a comprehensive discipline that encompasses many disciplines. For example, for sheet metal used in automobiles, there are various necessary properties such as strength, toughness, and workability, and in order to understand why these properties are necessary, student of materials engineering must at least know what a car is. It's reasonable. If students semiconductor materials and processes do not know what a semiconductor is and how it works, but insist only on the material dimensions, then they cannot communicate with other students of semiconductors and, furthermore, cannot expect to make progress in the field. In addition, it is impossible to improve microscopic understanding of materials without understanding basic disciplines such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, thermodynamics, kinetics, crystallography, including quantum theory and statistical mechanics. Therefore, material engineering has an inseparable relationship both with its application areas and with basic physical sciences.
Throughout history, humanity has evolved with changes in materials, and we continue to perform research for future developments and applications yet undreamed of. In particular, with the rise of nanotechnology, new properties not present in existing materials are being discovered, and new materials and the advent of nanoindustries are confidently expected. This combination of nanotechnology and materials engineering promises the development and prosperity of mankind and will become a driving force for future society.