Graduate Courses: Winter 2017


  • Note: most formal courses begin the week of January 9, 2017

*New* MSE 1022 HS—Special Topics in Materials Science I: Materials Issues & Application of Advanced Materials in Nuclear Systems

Instructor: M. Baghbanan

Lectures, room LM123: Mondays (5:00- 7:00)

Nuclear materials are subjected to the unique environment presented in nuclear systems. In addition to the high strength and thermal stability, nuclear materials must have a low cross section for neutron absorption. These unique requirements limit the type of materials that can be used for nuclear applications.

This course describes nuclear reactor structural materials including their manufacture, structure-property requirements, degradation mechanisms (e.g. fretting wear, creep, corrosion), structural integrity of major components, with an introduction to fitness-for-service and leak-before-break concepts.

This course will provide an advanced overview of multi-disciplinary areas in nuclear engineering. A review of microstructural evolution Zr alloys during the manufacturing process and fracture mechanics of failure analysis will be discussed. This course provides a foundation to advance students’ knowledge of nuclear materials and presents an opportunity to explore application of advanced materials in the nuclear systems.

Prerequisite:  MSE101, MSE316 or equivalent

Minimum Enrollment: 6

MSE 1023 HS—Special Topics in Materials Science II: Electrochemical Energy Storage—Materials and Systems

Instructor: K. Lian

Lectures, room FG129: Wednesdays (5:00- 7:00)

The course will start with a review of some fundamentals of electrochemistry including the types of electrochemical reactions, theories of determining voltages and capacities, key performance parameters in electrochemical energy storage systems and the techniques of testing and characterizations. This will be followed by the types of energy storage technologies from primary (non-rechargeable) to secondary (rechargeable) batteries to electrochemical capacitors. The discussion will be emphasized on the reactions at positive and negative electrodes, the effects of structure and composition of the electrodes and the effects of aqueous and non-aqueous electrolytes on the performance of the electrodes and cells. The principles of anode-cathode electrode matching, cell design and safe operation will be presented. The energy storage for large-scale applications as well as an outlook to the future energy will also be given in the course.

Prerequisite:  Fundamental knowledge of electrochemistry

Minimum Enrollment: 5

MSE 1031 HF—Forensic Engineering

Instructor: D.D. Perovic

Lectures, room WB130: Thursdays (6:00 – 9:00)

The course provides participants with an understanding of scientific and engineering investigation methods and tools to assess potential sources, causes and solutions for prevention of failure due to natural accidents, fire, high and low speed impacts, design defects, improper selection of materials, manufacturing defects, improper service conditions, inadequate maintenance and human error. The fundamentals of accident reconstruction principles and procedures for origin and cause investigations are demonstrated through a wide range of real world case studies including: medical devices, sports equipment, electronic devices, vehicular collisions, structural collapse, corrosion failures, weld failures, fire investigations and patent infringements. Compliance with industry norms and standards, product liability, sources of liability, proving liability, defense against liability and other legal issues will be demonstrated with mock courtroom trial proceedings involving invited professionals to elucidate the role of an engineer as an expert witness in civil and criminal court proceedings.

Prerequisite: MSE101/APS104/MSE260/MSE160 or equivalent

Course Text: TBA

Exclusion:   MSE431

MSE 1036 HS—Application of Electrochemical Techniques in Materials Science (revised schedule)

Instructor:  S. Thorpe

This course will be offered January 9 – 13

Lectures, room WB139, 9:00 – 12:00 (every day)

Labs, room MB209, 1:00 – 4:00 (every day)

This course covers both the fundamental aspects of techniques used to assess electrochemical reactions (cell potential, current distribution, analytical electrochemistry), their mechanisms from a materials perspective (electrocatalysis, general and localized corrosion, energy systems) with an additional emphasis on in-class laboratory practice in specimen preparation, utilization of electrochemical equipment, analysis of electrochemical data and their link to structure-property relationships in materials. Experimental methods will cover d.c. electrochemical techniques such as cyclic open circuit potential measurements, cyclic potentiodynamic anodic polarization, cyclic voltammetry, chronopotentiometry, chronoamperometry, and a.c. techniques such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy.   Throughout the course, examples of the application of principles and techniques to the development of novel materials for a variety of applications will be highlighted.


  • MSE 315 H1S or equivalent
  • Successful completion of Safety Training in accordance with the MSE Graduate Requirements to undertake research

Course Text: TBA

Minimum Enrollment: 5

Maximum Enrollment: 16

MSE1039HS Optical and Photonic Materials

Instructor: N. Kherani

Lectures, room WB130: Tuesdays (3:00 – 4:00) and Thursdays (3:00 – 5:00)

Labs, room SF2201: Wednesdays (9:00 – 12:00)

Tutorials, room GB405: Fridays (12:00 – 2:00)

Optical and photonic materials play a central role in a variety of application fields including telecommunications, metrology, manufacturing, medical surgery, computing, spectroscopy, holography, chemical synthesis, and robotics – to name a few. The properties of light and its interaction with matter lie at the heart of this ever-expanding list of applications.  The syllabus comprises the nature of light, wave motion, lasers, interference, coherence, fibre optics, diffraction, polarized light, photonic crystals, metamaterials, plasmonic materials, and practical design applications.

Minimum Enrollment: 5

Exclusion: MSE435

MSE1058HS   Nanotechnology in Alternate Energy Systems (formerly MSE558H1S)

Instructor:   S. Thorpe

Lectures: Mondays (3:00 – 4:00) & Wednesdays (3:00 – 4:00) in BA1240

                 Thursdays (12:00 – 1:00) in BA1230 (revised)

Tutorials:  Tuesdays (12:00 – 2:00) in SF3201

The unique surface properties and the ability to surface engineer nanocrystalline structures renders these materials to be ideal candidates for use in corrosion, catalysis and energy conversion devices. This course deals with the fabrication of materials suitable for use as protective coatings, and their specific exploitation in fields of hydrogen technologies (electrolysis, storage, and fuel cells) linked to renewables. These new devices are poised to have major impacts on power generation utilities, the automotive sector, and society at large. The differences in observed electrochemical behavior between amorphous, nanocrystalline and polycrystalline solid materials will be discussed in terms of their surface structure and surface chemistry. A major team design project along with demonstrative laboratory exercises constitutes a major portion of this course. 

Prerequisite:  Familiarity with nanomaterials and nanostructures is desirable.

Course Texts:             

  • “Fuel Cell Fundamentals”, R. O’Hayre, S. Cha, W. Colella, and F. Prinz, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2006 (recommended but not required)
  • “Fuel Cell Systems Explained”, J. Larminie, A. Dicks,  John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2003 (recommended but not required)
  • “Alternate Energy Systems and Applications“, B.K. Hodge, John Wiley & Sons, NY, 2010 (recommended but not required)

Enrollment:  limited

Exclusion: MSE558

MSE1062HS Materials Physics

Instructor: Z.H. Lu

Lectures, room BA4010: Mondays (9:00 – 11:00)

Tutorials, room HA409: Wednesdays (9:00 – 10:00)

Electron quantum wave theory of solid-state materials will be introduced. Quantum phenomena in various materials systems, in particular nano materials, will be discussed. Electronic properties of materials such as charge transport, dielectric properties, optical properties, magnetic properties, and thermal properties will be discussed using appropriate quantum theory. Materials systems to be studied may include metals, semiconductors, organics, polymers, and insulators.

Enrollment: no restriction

Exclusion: MSE462

JMB1050HS Biological & Bio-Inspired Materials

Instructor: E. Sone

Lectures, room RS412: Mondays (10:00 – 12:00)
This course, offered jointly through IBBME and MSE, covers fundamental aspects of the formation, structure, and properties of natural materials, and the use of derived biological principles such as self-assembly and mineralization to design synthetic materials for a variety of applications. Examples are drawn from both structural and functional biomaterials, with emphasis on hybrid systems in which protein-mineral interactions play a key role, such as mineralized tissues and biological adhesives. Additional materials with remarkable mechanical, optical, and surface properties will be discussed. Advanced experimental methods for characterizing interfacial biological structures will be highlighted, along with materials synthesis strategies, and structure-property relationships in both biological and engineered materials.

Prerequisite: students should have a physical sciences/engineering background and have some familiarity with basic concepts in biochemistry and cell biology

Course Text: none

Enrollment: no restriction

JTC1135HS Applied Surface and Interface Analysis

Instructor: C.A. Mims

Lectures: Tuesdays (3:00 – 4:00) in BA2155

                 Thursday (2:00 – 4:00) in MS4279 (revised)

                 Exceptions Tuesday April 18 & April 25 in BA2135

There is no single or simple analytical technique for the study of surfaces and interfaces. Multiple techniques are available, each limited in what it can reveal. A knowledge of most current analytical techniques, their strengths and limitations, is the main material delivered in this course. The fundamentals of the techniques will be presented sufficient to understand the techniques; the material will be presented in the context of relevant technological problems, including individual projects.

The fundamentals of surface and interface chemistry is covered extensively in a separate companion course (JTC1134 Applied Surface and Interface Science – taught in alternate winter terms). No prerequisite knowledge of surface chemistry fundamentals is assumed.

Prerequisite: none

Course Text: TBA

Enrollment: Limited