Introduction

I. History

National Taiwan University has a long record of teaching and research in the discipline of materials science, with sixty years of history in the study of metallic materials. Early pioneers in the field Professors Lu Chih-houng and P.S. Lu worked in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Lu Chih-houng’s major interest was in the development of alloys, heat treatment, and its relationship with mechanical properties, while Professor P.S. Lu focused on the physical and chemical reactions between steel and furnace atmosphere. However, in those days, very few undergraduate students elected to do their research thesis on topics related to materials science. This was fifty years ago, when teaching salaries were very low and research funding extremely scarce, meaning that an environment for research did not exist. For most people, “research” was just a word. However, the painstaking efforts of Professors Lu Chih-houng and P.S. Lu provided a foundation for research on metallic materials at National Taiwan University. 

 

Subsequently, the National Science Council was established, and there was some improvement in the scientific research environment in Taiwan. With the support and encouragement of the Ministry of Education, graduate schools were established. In 1966, the Graduate School of Mechanical Engineering at National Taiwan University was approved. In the same year, the school’s solid mechanics and materials science divisions began admitting master’s students. This presented a new opportunity for teaching and research in materials science. In order to ensure that materials science received the attention of academia and industry, the efforts of Professor Lu Chih-houng finally received a response from 64 scholars and experts at home and abroad, and in the summer of 1968, a Modern Engineering and Technology Seminar (METS) on the theme of materials science was convened, and the National Taiwan University College of Engineering lecture series on materials science was organized. In autumn of the same year, the “Materials Research Society Taiwan” was established, and in the following year, the journal “Materials Science Quarterly” was established for the exchange and dissemination of knowledge in the discipline of materials science. As a result, materials technology received increasing attention in Taiwan’s academic community. 

 

In 1982, teaching staff and equipment from the “Metallic Materials Division, Graduate Institute of Mechanical Engineering,” the “Polymer Division, Graduate Institute of Chemical Engineering,” and the “Materials Division, Graduate Institute of Electrical Engineering” were brought together to establish a Master’s program at the Graduate Institute of Materials Science and Engineering. The Ph.D. program was subsequently established in 1987. In recent years, to respond to the demand for talent in the field of materials science from both industry and the Ministry of Education, consolidate basic education in materials science, and provide a more comprehensive educational vision, an undergraduate program was added in 2001, becoming the “Department of Materials Science and Engineering,” with a commitment to the balanced development of different areas of research, including metals, ceramics, polymers, electronics, energy, biomedical engineering, and theoretical modeling and process. The department believes that materials science is undoubtedly an interdisciplinary science. The best achievements will only be realized by bringing together these different fields.

 

II. Education Targets

National Taiwan University is renowned for its human and cultural talent. The fourth president of the university following retrocession, Prof. Fu Ssu-nien, encouraged students with the words “Integrity; Diligence; Fidelity; Compassion,” which became the school motto, and referring to the words of Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677), proclaimed “Let us dedicate this university to the pursuit of universal spirit.” This provided the basis for National Taiwan University’s mission of “holistic education,” and the expectation that National Taiwan University graduates can both embrace the world and be ambitious for the future, making their own contribution to a harmonious society and social well-being.

 

As a part of the National Taiwan University community, materials science at the university continues in this spirit and tradition. In 2008, the First Curriculum Committee Meeting formally established the following education targets in the hope that the department can carry on its fine tradition and progress into the future: 

Knowledge:

Providing students with a solid and extensive knowledge in materials science theory and engineering practice.

Ability to Explore Problems and Develop Solutions:

Training students to think independently, take the initiative to identify, analyze, design, and solve problems, and acquire basic research capabilities in materials science.

The Ability to Lead and Guide:

Developing team spirit among students and enhancing communication and leadership abilities

Ethics and Service:

Building a healthy personality, recognizing the social responsibilities of modern citizens, focusing on professional ethics, and a willingness to share and cooperate with others.  

Strengthening International Perspective:

Responding to technological integration and industrial trends in the era of globalization, developing the international perspective of students, and developing a forward-looking vision. 

 

             

                             Interdisciplinary Diagram of our education purpose

 

 

III. Academic Performance

The National Taiwan University Department of Materials Science and Engineering is currently the top 2 program in Taiwan for stream 2 students, bringing together the most competitive students from the science and engineering stream in high schools across Taiwan. The department is located in the College of Engineering, adjacent to the library, Language Center, Computer and Information Networking Center, College of Science, College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and the soon to be complete College of Social Sciences, at the heart of research activity on the National Taiwan University campus. 

International Ranking:

i.  According to results of the removed British QS higher education survey, materials science at National Taiwan University was globally ranked in 34th place in 2013.

ii. According to the Higher Education Evaluation & Accreditation Council of Taiwan’s 2013 “Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities,” the National Taiwan University Department of Materials Science and Engineering was ranked in 31st place globally.

 

IV. Research Features

The National Taiwan University Department of Materials Science and Engineering provides the most comprehensive education in the discipline in Taiwan, bringing together a solid grounding in scientific knowledge with an inter-disciplinary approach to teaching, balancing different disciplines, and promoting cooperation between laboratories, which in recent years has produced outstanding results. At the same time, the department has close research contact with the Institute of Electro-Optical Science and Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Institute of Polymer Science and Engineering, the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Physics, the Institute of Applied Mechanics, the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and the College of Medicine. We not only seek breakthroughs in the fundamentals of materials properties, but also the development of practical applications. In the future, our research will focus on the sustainable development of energy and resources. The department is also striving to become a global center for materials science research. This effort has led to the establishment of two major research centers.

 

           Advanced Microstructure Control Engineering Research Center

                         

 

Center of Strategic Materials Alliance for Research and Technology