About the department
Head of Department - Professor Rachel Thomson
For nearly 50 years Materials Science and Engineering has been a core strength at Loughborough University, contributing to the advancement of the field through teaching, research and enterprise activities. There are currently 18 members of academic staff in the Department and a student population in the region of 350.
Materials have been used by man since the very earliest times. Indeed, we even name the epochs of our existence after materials, with stone, bronze and iron ages. We have since developed increasingly sophisticated materials, from everyday plastics through to the advanced superalloys used in jet engines and functional ceramics.
Our work in the Department is focused on the engineering design, processing and use of new and existing materials. We have state-of-the art, world-class facilities for use in materials synthesis, processing and characterisation, which support our research and teaching. In fact, the Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre is considered to be one of the best facilities of its kind in Europe.
Our unrivalled links with industry are hugely beneficial to our students, who have the opportunity to take industrial placements as part of their study. We also tailor our courses according to industrial feedback and needs, ensuring our graduates are well-prepared for the job market. The quality of our courses and teaching has been consistently highly rated by our students and, in the National Student Survey, we have been rated first in the UK for materials for five of the past six years.
In the most recent Government Research Assessment Exercise the Department was ranked 7th in the UK with over 20% of our research classed as ‘world leading’ and 95% of ‘international standard.’ Our research activities are organised into 5 key areas; energy materials, nano materials, processing, surface engineering and sustainability. However, we adopt an interdisciplinary approach to our research and frequently interact with other departments and Research Schools.
If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to get in touch, we will be happy to help.
Professor Rachel Thomson, Head of Materials