BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, University of Nigeria, Nsukka was established at the 316th Senate Meeting of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka on the 1st day of February, 2006.
The National Universities Commission (NUC), after the Resource Verification Visit from December 2nd to December 8th, 2007, officially approved the establishment of the Department on the 15th April, 2008 to run a programme for the award of B.Eng. degree in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. Actual teaching started in October 2007 with the admission of 42 foundation students with 4 members of staff who are presently 16.
Almost every problem in the complex technology of any industrial society is at its core a materials problem. Power generation; lighter, more crash resistant and energy saving components for land; sea and air vehicles, electronic devices miniaturization; communication systems, from telephones to satellites, high strength, corrosion-resistant, fatigue-resistant, creep resistant materials for all types of structures; nuclear energy aspects from the production of the uranium fuel to the fabrication of massive steel structure of the reactor and the radiation shielding which makes it safe and transportation systems, all depend on the development of new engineering materials or the improvement of well-tried ones.
The Metallurgical & Materials Engineering is geared towards the non-renewable resources (metallic and non-metallic or fuel) to provide for the minerals and fuel resources which are being depleted faster than new ones are found; it also involves finding new ways of economically utilizing available materials and extracting metals from low grade sources with minimum disturbance to the environment and with the minimum consumption of energy.
Transportation systems are becoming faster and faster because the Metallurgical & Materials Engineer is improving the materials: light- weight high -strength materials for fuel efficiency, stainless steel for various industries, super alloys for aircraft engine, titanium for space craft. Communication systems from telephones to satellites are tying the world together because the metallurgical engineer has developed ultra-pure silicon for transistors, germanium for diodes, cesium for electron emitters, tungsten for hot filaments and copper in low cost abundance to knot these components into electronic communication circuits. Nuclear energy is a field fundamentally dependent on metallurgical & materials engineering- from the production and fabrication of the uranium fuel to the massive steel structure of the reactor and the radiation shielding which makes it safe. In solving social problems, the Metallurgical & Materials Engineer designs and develops processes and equipment for recycling scrap materials for removing impurities from air and water and supplying materials required for man’s standard of living.
To carry out these functions, the Metallurgical Engineer requires basic knowledge of thermodynamics, electron theory of materials, phase systems, heat and mass transfer, kinetics, mechanics of solids and fluids, fundamentals of design, processes and product optimization, manufacturing processes, law and management.
- To train engineering professionals who are highly motivated and equipped theoretically and practically to face the challenges of a rapidly expanding industrial society.
- To carry out research and development for sustainable technological growth.
- To exposes the students to cutting-edge technologies to make them globally competitive.
The field of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering involves the mastery of the science and engineering of metals, ceramics and polymers to enable the graduate understand the behaviour of these materials in everyday application. The programme, in addition to consolidating the fundamental aspects of metallurgical, ceramic and polymer engineering exposes the graduates to the cutting edge engineering technologies in materials processing and development.