You are on page 1of 4

MSEN 601 Section 600 (Fall 2013)

Fundamentals of Materials Science and Engineering


Amine Benzerga

Office hours:

Tuesday and Thursday: 12:00-2:00 PM

by appointment
Tuesday & Thursday
3:00 5:00 PM
Shamik Basu

Class schedule:


(979) 845-1602


H.R. Bright Building (HRBB)

Room 736C





Course description:
Fundamentals of microstructure-properties relationship of engineering materials. Topics will include: electronic and
atomic structure of solids, structure of crystalline materials, imperfections in crystalline materials, introduction to
dislocation theory, mechanical properties, fundamental thermodynamics of materials, phase equilibria and diagrams,
diffusion, and kinetics of phase transformations.

Class Credits:

Four credits (4-0)


You need to be a graduate student to enroll in this class


You are required to at least use the undergraduate-level book by W. D. Callister, Materials Science and
Engineering An Introduction, 7th or 8th Ed. John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 978-0470419977.
Additionally, the following texts will be used for specific lectures (these books will be on reserve at the
Evans library or available as electronic copy through the library):
G.S. Rohrer, Structure and Bonding in Crystalline Materials, Cambridge University Press ISBN: 9780521663793, e-copy available at Texas A&M University Library
D.A. Porter and Kenneth E. Easterling, Phase Transformations in Metals and Alloys, 2nd Edition,
CRC PRESS, ISBN: 978-0748757411
D. Hull and D.J. Bacon, Introduction to dislocations, Butterworth-Heinemann, ISBN: 9780750646819, e-copy available at Texas A&M University Library
M.W. Barsoum, Fundamentals of ceramics, 2nd Edition , Institute of Physics Pub., ISBN: 9780750309028; e-copy available at Texas A&M University Library
R. Abbaschian and R.E. Reed-Hill, Physical metallurgy principles, CL-Engineering, ISBN: 9780495082545
G.E. Dieter, Mechanical Metallurgy, McGraw-Hill, ISBN: 978-0070168930
You might also find following books useful for the course:
J.I. Gersten and F.W. Smith, Physics and Chemistry of Materials, Wiley-Interscience, ISBN: 9780471057949
R.T. Dehoff, Thermodynamics in Materials Science, CRC Press, ISBN: 978-0849340659
R.A. Swalin, Thermodynamics of Solids, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN: 978-0471838548
N.E. Dowling, Mechanical behavior of materials : engineering methods for deformation, fracture, and
fatigue, Prentice Hall, ISBN: 978-0139057205

Additional Material: Lecture notes, assignments, solutions, grades, laboratory instructions, and additional
material will be available at

Learning Outcomes:

Provides graduate students with fundamental materials science knowledge used to perform materials related research
and development.
Investigate processing-microstructure (chemistry) properties relationship. Briefly we will study chemical bonding,
crystal structures and microstructure, defects in solids, theory of dislocations, mechanical properties and strengthening,
basic thermodynamics for solid materials, phase diagrams and transformations; nucleation and growth. Enables
students to predict microstructures and mechanical properties from phase diagrams.
Basic and introductory overview of structural characteristics and mechanical and thermal properties of principal
material classes: polymers, ceramics, metals is also provided.
The students will also learn how to perform proper literature reviews as well as develop a synthetic view of the topics
being researched
This course also provides students with training on the communication of scientific concepts through written and oral

Assessment and Evaluation:

Proper understanding of the structure-property relationships will be evaluated through conceptual questions in both quizzes
and examinations and through numerical problems in which the relevant physical quantities will be calculated or candidate
materials will be selected based on their underlying properties. To be able to solve the homework, the student needs to
understand the theory covered in classes, implement different theories, solve the problem, analyze the results, etc.



Test I
Test II
Test III




Final Exam (optional)







Number of credits needed

Final grade
With final
final exam

Grading will not be based on a curve, or normal distribution because:

o Curves rely on the assumption that all classes are the same. Thus, grades have as a different weight depending on the
overall class performance.
o Grading on a distribution implies a normal distribution of grades. If distribution is not normal, it can result in fewer
o By definition, there will always be people one or two standard deviations below the average if grading is based on
curve. Thus, there will always be students that get a D or an F. Also, the number of students with an A will be limited
by the actual statistics of the grades. At any time during the semester, you will be able to know how many credits you
have accumulated. All grades will be posted on
The criteria for assigning final grades have been clearly outlined above. Those criteria are final, non-negotiable.
Individual activities:

Practice problems:
o The set of problems/questions will be assigned at the end of the each class and posted on Please do
not bring solved problems and/or answers to the questions to instructor or teaching assistant. Although this is individual
activity, work on homework problems with classmates is strongly encouraged. One or two numerical problems from the
assigned set of homework problems will be on Tests and Exams.
o Approx. 50% conceptual question and 50% numerical problem.



o Quiz handed out at beginning of class. You will have 15 minutes to answer Quiz questions.
o Closed book. Formula sheets provided by the instructor.
o Quizzes are graded on the 0-10 points scale.
o The contents and schedule of quizzes are shown in Lecture and Assignment Schedule.
Tests 1, 2 & 3:
o Closed book. Students can bring formula sheet limited to one side of the letter size paper!.
o Duration: One class (approx. 1h and 30 min)
o Approx. 60% conceptual question and 40% numerical problem
o Tests are graded on the 0-100 points scale.
o Tests are scheduled for: TBA.
Final Exam is OPTIONAL!
o Final grades without final exams will be posted after Exam 3 on If you are satisfied with your grade
you do not need to take Final Exam. However, if you think that you can improve your grade you can take Final Exam. Please
e-mail instructor if you want to take Final Exam by 05/01/2013.
o Closed book. Students can bring formula sheet limited to one side of the letter size paper!.
o Duration: 2 hours.
o Approx. 40% conceptual question and 60% numerical problem.
o Final exams is graded on the 0-100 points scale.
o Scheduled for: TBA

Group activities:
Extra Credits:
4. Materials Advantage Seminar:
o 2 extra credits can be gained by attending one out of 3 Seminars organized by Materials Advantage Students Chapter at Texas
A&M University. Students will be informed about day, time and topics of the Seminars in the class.

What you can expect from me:
To make sure that tests, exams and other activities will be graded within a week of being turned in.
To come prepared to class.
To treat you with respect.
To begin and end the class on time.
To admit to not knowing something, but to search for an answer promptly.
To pursue the maximum punishment for plagiarism, cheating, and other violations of academic integrity.
To make myself available to you for both course and career advice.
To maintain confidentiality concerning your performance.
To assign a grade that will reflect the quality of your work and nothing else.
To be honest with you.
To promptly reply to your e-mils and answer your questions, except if you ask me something that is already explained in the
What I expect from you:
To be willing to learn the material.
To treat everyone in the class, including the instructor, teaching assistant and visitors with respect.
To do the work on time.
To accept that previous academic preparation (e.g., mathematics, lower engineering courses) will affect your performance in
this course.
To realize that your perception of effort is not enough to justify a good grade.
To not plagiarize or otherwise steal the work of others and be true to the Aggie Honor Code.
To accept the consequences of your actions.
Come to lecture ready to learn. As you enter the classroom, occasional handouts and quizzes will handed out. After the class is called
to order, the first several minutes of class will be devoted to announcements, questions of interest to the entire class and a summary of
topics to be covered in the day's lecture. Lectures will be presented mainly on the whiteboard and overhead projector. Questions
during the lecture material are always welcome.

Work missed due to absences will only be excused for University-approved activities in accordance with TEXAS A&M
UNIVERSITY STUDENT RULES (see ). Specific arrangements for make-up work in
such instances will be handled on a case-by-case basis. In accordance with Rule 7, please be aware that in this class any
"injury or illness that is too severe or contagious for the student to attend class" will require "confirmation of visit to a health
care professional affirming date and time of visit" even if the absence is for less than 3 days (see Injury or illness less
than three days.).
University-Approved Absences are for activities formally scheduled with the Department of Student Activities (see: 7.
Attendance, There are two kinds of activities: Authorized Activities (associated with
classes), and Sponsored Activities (generally student organization activities).
Just because an activity is suggested by a faculty member, it does not necessarily mean it is a University-Approved
Activity. Additional details are available at:
In accordance with recent changes to Rule 7, please be aware that in this class any "injury or illness that is too severe or
contagious for the student to attend class" will require "a medical confirmation note from his or her medical provider" even
if the absence is for less than 3 days.
Missed tests and final exam require a written University excuse; otherwise a zero will be assigned:
Tests: Make up will only be available within one week of the absence, at the instructor's office.
Final exam: you may take the examination the day before the final for justified absences (earlier winter vacations is
definitely not a valid reason). If grades have not been reported to the Registrar, you may take the test after the
examination date in case of emergency justified according to University Regulations.
No cell phone calls allowed. If you are expecting an extremely important call from someone you know, let me know before the class
begins. This is the only exception. Please refrain from talking with your classmates about stuff not related to the course.
Grading disputes:
If you wish to dispute the grading of a tests, exam or other activity first contact the grader and explain the problem. If you are
not able to resolve the problem with the grader, then please approach the instructor within 1 week of the paper being handed
back to the class, thereafter the grade will not be changed.
If you want to dispute the final, you will need to quickly see the instructor before the final grades are submitted at the end of
the semester.
Unless there is a clear grading error on the part of the instructor, final grade will not be modified. Grade upgrade will only be
applied at the discretion of the instructor, based on the criteria outlined above.
Academic Misconduct:
Sign and give back to instructor Aggie Honor Code on the first class. The form is given in attachment.
Academic misconduct (see for definitions) will not be tolerated.
Academic misconduct will be dealt with according to University Regulations.
Academic misconduct in ANY Test, or final Exam will automatically imply a grade reduction of 30 points.
A second violation receives an F* in the course and an Honor Violation Probation
Regarding plagiarism:
It is your responsibility to understand what plagiarism is. Check for example this website:
I will scan all your papers through plagiarism-detecting technology, so please avoid the temptation. 20% plagiarized
material (copy-paste from Wikipedia, for example) automatically qualifies as plagiarism.
This technology will compare your paper with billions of papers to search for possible cases of intellectual
dishonesty, as defined here, here, here and here. Remember: ignorance cannot be used as an excuse.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy Statement
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection
for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning
environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an
accommodation, please contact Disability Services, in Cain Hall, Room B118 or call 845-1637. For additional information visit