Materials Process Engineering


Richard D. Sisson, Jr., George F. Fuller Professor, Director of Manufacturing and Materials Engineering: Ph.D. Purdue University

Y. K. Rong, John Woodman Higgins Professor, Associate Director of Manufacturing and Materials Engineering; Ph.D., University of Kentucky

Faculty from Management, Manufacturing Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering work with this program. Also see those programs for complete faculty listings.

Program of Study

The founders of Worcester Polytechnic Institute made their fortunes in the materials processing industries of wire drawing (Ichabod Washburn) and tin smithing (John Boynton). Since classes began in 1868, WPI has prepared young men and women for careers in materials processing. Many WPI alumni and faculty members have established materials processing companies including Norton Company, Wyman-Gordon, and PresMet.

WPI’s new Materials Process Engineering (MPE) Master of Science graduate degree program continues this outstanding legacy by providing engineers, scientists and managers with the knowledge, skills and experience to become the entrepreneurs, trend setters and executives in the materials processing industry in the 21st century. This 30-credit program offers the opportunity for serious professionals to become leaders by selecting courses from three programs:

Manufacturing Engineering
Materials Science & Engineering
Management/Industrial Engineering

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements include a B.S. in engineering or science and at least three years of industrial experience. The program is designed to be completed in three to four years while working full time. Classes are offered on campus one evening or two afternoons per week. Many classes in management are available through WPI’s Corporate Online Graduate Programs.

Degree Requirements

Materials Science & Engineering Graduate Courses (9 credits)

  • MTE 510 Principles of Materials Science and Engineering
  • MTE 525 Advanced Thermodynamics
  • MTE 530 Crystallography, Diffraction and Microscopy of Materials
  • MTE 540 Analytical Methods in Materials Engineering
  • MTE 550 Phase Transformations in Materials
  • MTE 560 Materials Performance and Reliability
  • MTE 5842 Corrosion and Corrosion Control
  • MTE 594P Analysis and Control of Materials Processes
  • MTE 575/ME 4875 Introduction to Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology

Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Courses (6 credits)

  • MFE 510 Control and Monitoring of Manufacturing Processes
  • MFE 520 Design and Analysis of Manufacturing
  • MFE 530 Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
  • MFE 540 Design for Manufacturability
  • MFE 5841 Surface Metrology: Measurement and Analysis of Surface Textures
  • MFE 594P Advanced Manufacturing Processes

Management/Industrial Engineering Graduate Courses (9 credits)

These credits may be selected from any graduate management graduate courses. Typically, students will select from Operations and Industrial Engineering (OIE) or Entrepreneurship (ETR) topics. However courses from other topical areas in management may be selected.

Electives (3 credits)

To ensure flexibility in this program, each student will select 3 credits of electives from any graduate-level course at WPI. Electives are typically selected from the topics listed above; however, electives from mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, social science, or any engineering program may be acceptable. Courses in nanotechnology and MEMS are also available.

MPE Project (3 credits)

Each student must complete the MPE project. This may be a team or independent project sponsored by industry. The project must address several issues in business analysis, operations, process design and quality, as well as the processing/ structure/property relationships in the process being studied. The culmination of this project will be a business plan and/or a research proposal or a new product. The final report is presented in a seminar or class in materials science, manufacturing engineering, or management.

Project Description

After at least seven courses have been successfully completed, the student registers for the 3-credit project with one or more faculty advisors. The project, which is completed over a 14-week semester, should be identified by a materials processing company liaison. Ideally, the project is completed by a team of three; however, smaller or larger teams will be considered. Working with the liaison and faculty advisor, the team develops a clear statement of the goals and objectives of the project. Weekly meetings with the advisor and liaison including written and oral reports are required. The culmination of the project is a business plan and/or a research proposal or new product. The project should integrate the skills obtained and knowledge acquired in the student’s coursework as well industrial experience.

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