Materials Science and Engineering theme is a component of Encyclopedia of Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology Resources in the global Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), which is an integrated compendium of twenty one Encyclopedias.
Materials Science and Engineering is concerned with the development and selection of the best possible material for a particular engineering task and the determination of the most effective method of producing the materials and the component. The Theme with contributions from distinguished experts in the field, discusses Materials Science and Engineering. In this theme the history of materials is traced and the concept of structure (atomic structure, microstructure and defect structure) and its relationship to properties developed. The theme is structured in five main topics: Materials Science and Engineering; Optimization of Materials Properties; Structural and Functional Materials; Materials Processing and Manufacturing Technologies; Detection of Defects and Assessment of Serviceability; Materials of the Future, which are then expanded into multiple subtopics, each as a chapter.
These three volumes are aimed at the following five major target audiences: University and College students Educators, Professional practitioners, Research personnel and Policy analysts, managers, and decision makers and NGOs.
Rees Rawlings obtained a BSc (Eng) in Metallurgy at Imperial College, London, and stayed on in the Department of Materials to study for a PhD. He joined the staff in 1966, was awarded his PhD in 1967, and was made Professor of Materials Science in 1993. His research field is the correlation of microstructure and properties, mainly mechanical properties, but in some cases functional properties such as electrical and magnetic. Early work was mainly on brittle metals and intermetallic compounds but an interest in ceramics, including glasses and glass-ceramics, also soon developed. This work has recently been extended to composites and functionally graded materials based on metals and ceramics. He has published about 200 research papers and is the co-author of two textbooks. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, was awarded a DSc in 1989 and the Pfeil Medal of the Institute of Materials in 1990. He was Head of the Department of Earth Resources Engineering (1997–1998), Dean of the Royal School of Mines (1995–1998), is Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Center for Composite Materials, Editor of the Journal of Materials Science and Journal of Materials Science Letters, and Pro Rector (Educational Quality) at Imperial College, London