Arizona State launches materials school

There's more to technology than silicon and ASU's new School of Materials aims to move forward the science of the stuff that makes laptops, phones and iPods.

The quest for a lighter plane, a more fuel-efficient car and better medical devices just took a step forward as Arizona State University announced the launch of its new School of Materials, reports Arizona State University News.

"Materials are the driving force for nearly all emerging technology,'' explains Jordan Kennedy, a senior in the school that was established July 1.

Advances in many fields can be attributed to advances in materials. Laptop computers, cell phones and iPods "have been made better and easier to use because of advancements in materials engineering," says doctoral student Morgan Bradshaw. The growing demand to make modern devices "smaller, faster, lighter and more durable" will continue to make it a vibrant field, he says.

"We are laying groundwork for something unique that many institutions across the nation will be watching," says Subhash Mahajan, director of the school.

The school is jointly administered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. The school hopes to encourage collaboration between scientific, technological and entrepreneurial disciplines.

"The synthesis of disciplines defines what materials science is all about. The formation of the school enhances that synthesis by bringing together faculty from many different science and engineering backgrounds," says Cody Friesen, a professor in the school.