Science-led or design-led? Two approaches to materials teaching

Most things can be approached in more than one way. In teaching this is especially true. The way to teach a foreign language, for example, depends on the way the student wishes to use it—to read the literature, say, or to find accommodation, order meals and buy beer. So it is with the teaching of this subject, Materials.

The figure shows the enrolment in engineering and materials-related departments in US universities in 2006. Mechanical, Civil and Chemical Engineering account for two-thirds of the total. Aerospace, Manufacturing and General Engineering account for a further 20%. The more science-related subjects—Materials Science, Engineering Science and Physics—total ...

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