Graduate Courses

Course Delivery

For the 2020-21 academic year, courses will be delivered through one of the following methods. The course instructor will provide specific expectations of the course. The possible course delivery methods are:

  • Online, synchronous (SYNC): An online course with scheduled meeting times (posted in ACORN) when a student may be expected to participate in activities. Lectures classified as synchronous will be recorded for 2020 Fall Term for students who are not available at the scheduled time. The course may have optional in-person meetings.
  • Online, asynchronous (ASYNC): A course delivered online that does not have scheduled meeting times in ACORN. Students are expected to keep up with course work throughout the term.
  • In-person (INPER):  A course that will be delivered in-person and has scheduled meeting times posted in ACORN. Students are expected to attend all meeting sections for in-person courses.

Please note: Synchronous online engineering lectures will be recorded. The recordings will available to students signed up in the synchronous lecture section that was recorded. Students will be able to review recorded lectures at a time that works best for them during the day.

  • Enrolment will open on August 4, 2020 – 6:00 a.m EST time

Fall 2020


  • Most formal classes begin the week of September 8, 2020

MSE1022H F Special Topics in Materials Science I: Material Category Theory

Instructors: G. Hibbard and Fabian Parsch
Lectures, online (SYNC): Wednesday (10:00 – 12:00)

This course tackles the question of understanding materials systems in general. We begin by defining a multi-scaled framework of material assemblages: first at the level of nuclide (nuclear physics), then at the level of molecule (chemistry), then upwards to the ultra-molecular.

Of the three, it is the ultra-molecular that is the least formalized and for it we look to define a framework of material information. Our starting point is the crystal physics of Nye [Nye, 1957], which offers an analytical framework for considering reversible material thermodynamics and provides a complete tensorial description of energetic inputs.

Reversible thermodynamics, however, represents only a very limited range of material behavior and different conceptual tools are needed to consider the more interesting thermodynamically irreversible material phenomena. Irreversible material dynamics unfold over a multiplicity of organizational scales and model systems are necessary for illustrating these changes. First we start with those material systems occupying the intersectionality between simplest molecular configuration and greatest extent of physical understanding.

We then move on to look at the question of relative material complication in several steps. First in the hard condensed materials and then in the soft condensed materials. We look at why one type of system is more difficult to model than another. We will also address the hypothetical question of limiting material complication: what is the most complicated a material system can be? Student projects will be assigned as case studies examining more detailed aspects of these questions.

Prerequisite: None
Course Text: Selected Readings
Minimum Enrollment: 5

MSE1023H F Special Topics in Materials Science II: Soft Materials and Machines

Instructor: H. Naguib
Lectures, online (SYNC): Wednesday (12:00 – 14:00) – starting Sep 16

The future of smart manufacturing will depend on integrating multi-functional materials and devices. Flexible sensors, actuators and energy devices will help as a platform in sharing information as well as multitasking. Interacting smart systems will change how the manufacturing industry operates, enhance automation Internet of Things (IOT), (Industry 4.0). Soft materials are a class of materials characterized by their unique flexible and malleable properties that can be easy to deform and manufacture with distinct multifunctional properties. They can be used in a wide range of applications since they can exceed the current abilities of traditional materials especially in new devices and machines including sensors, actuators, energy devices, wearables and textiles. This course is designed to provide an integrated and complete knowledge to soft materials and machines, which makes a strong foundation for further studies and research on these materials and devices. Topics include structure, processing, properties of soft materials; definition of soft devices and machines; Processing and design; Applications of soft material and machines: Soft Sensors and E-skins, Soft Actuators and Robotics, Flexible Energy Storage, Flexible Energy Harvesting, Wearables and Textiles.

Prerequisite: None
Course Text: Course Notes
Minimum Enrollment: 5
Minimum Enrollment: 50

MSE1026H F  Analytical Electron Microscopy

Instructor: J. Howe
Lectures, online (SYNC): Tuesday (17:00 – 19:00)

A course covering both introductory and advanced topics in scanning and transmission electron microscopy including:  Instrumentation; Electron Scattering Fundamentals; Electron Diffraction Techniques; Diffraction Contrast Imaging; High Resolution TEM; SEM Imaging Techniques; Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrocsopy; Electron Energy-Loss Spectroscopy; and, Advance SEM Techniques.  All topics will be presented using a range of materials science examples for all classes of materials. 

Prerequisite: None 
Course Text:  “Transmission Electron Microscopy”, D.B. Williams and C. B. Carter Plenum Press, NY, 1996 
Minimum Enrollment: 5
Maximum Enrolment: 50

MSE1036H F  Application of Electrochemical Techniques in Materials Science

This course will be offered Sept 8 to Sep 14, only – the class is now full

Instructor: S. Thorpe
Lectures, online (SYNC): : 9:00 – 12:00 (every day)
Labs, in person, room MB209: 13:00 – 17:00 (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 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 415 or equivalent (electrochemical or corrosion courses).
  • Consultation with instructor prior to enrolment is required. Students will have to be approved by the instructor to take the course in advance.
  • Successful completion of Safety Training in accordance with the MSE Graduate Requirements to undertake research.

Course Text: None required but course texts for various subject areas will be recommended.
Maximum Enrollment: 4 – enrolment is limited to the ability to perform laboratories with proper social distancing and PPE requirements


MSE1037H F  Process Metallurgy of Iron and Steel

Instructor: Joydeep Sengupta
Lectures, online (SYNC): Wednesday (16:00 – 17:00) and Friday (16:00 – 17:00)
Tutorials, online (SYNC): optional, Friday (15:00 – 16:00)

etallurgical and industrial aspects of production of liquid iron from the blast furnace and production of liquid steel from basic oxygen and electric arc furnaces will be explored in this course. Secondary refining operations and continuous casting processes will also be introduced and examined. Newly emerging technologies (e.g. direct ironmaking and thin slab casting) will be discussed to explain their impact on process, product and environment. Students will understand both industrial equipment design and critical parameters associated with each process for optimizing productivity and quality. Course activities will include offline lecture narrations, online live lectures, online case studies and group discussions, industrial videos and online demos using steel samples. Guest lecturers from HATCH and Stelco will also be invited.

Prerequisite: knowledge of thermodynamics and transport phenomena
Exclusion: MSE437                          
Course Text: PowerPoint-based Lecture Notes
Minimum Enrollment: 5
Max enrollment: 25

MSE1038H F  Computational Materials Design

Instructor: C.V. Singh
Lectures, online (SYNC): Friday (14:00 – 15:00) and Tuesdays (13:00 – 14:00)
PRA, online (SYNC): Thursday (16:00 – 18:00)

In this course, graduate students will be taught the theory and application of computer modeling of materials at the atomic scale. Specific topics include: classical and modern first principles atomistic modeling approaches, statistical mechanics, molecular statics and dynamics, density functional theory and kinetic Monte Carlo sampling. The approximations, advantages and limitations involved with each approach will be highlighted. A significant focus of the course will be to provide a “hands-on” training on these computational techniques through software such as LAMMPS, GROMACS and Quantum-Espresso. To illustrate computational modeling research, a number of practical case studies from advanced materials and nanotechnology will be highlighted. The course will also include an individual or group project. Some advanced topics, such as accelerated molecular dynamics, multiscale modeling, coarse-graining approaches and DFT+U will also be introduced.

Students from diverse fields of study are welcome to attend the course. A number of approaches and case studies from hard materials as well as polymers and biological systems will be covered. Projects from diverse research areas are also encouraged.

Prerequisite:  Graduate level understanding of Materials Science; basic knowledge of MATLAB or any programming language.     
Exclusion: MSE1032, MSE438
Minimum Enrollment:  5
Maximum Enrollment: 20 (approx.)

Winter 2021


  • Most formal courses begin the week of January 11, 2021

MSE1031H S1  Forensic Engineering

Instructor: D.D. Perovic
Lectures, online (SYNC): Mondays (17:00 – 20:00)
Tutorial, online (SYNC): Wednesday (14:00 – 15:00)

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/APS110 or equivalent
Exclusion: MSE431

MSE1035H S1 Optical and Photonic Materials

Instructor: N. P. Kherani
Lectures, online (SYNC): Wednesday (12:00-15:00)
Tutorials, online (SYNC): Tuesday (15:00 – 17:00)
Practicals/Labs, online (SYNC): Tuesday (13:00-15:00); occurs once every two weeks

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; MSE1039
Max Enrollment:  15
Prerequisite:  Mathematics:  Calculus, differential equations, matrix algebra, complex numbers; Physics:  Introductory physics, materials science
Course Texts:

  • Introduction to Optics, F.L. Pedrotti, L.M. Pedrotti and L.S. Pedrotti, 3rd Edition, (Reissued by Cambridge University Press 2018, previously published by Pearson)
  • Optical Properties of Solids, M. Fox, 2nd Edition, Oxford
  • Optics, E. Hecht, 5th Edition, Pearson
  • Optoelectronics & Photonics: Principles & Practices, S. O. Kasap, 2nd Edition, Pearson

MSE1043H S Composite Materials Engineering

Instructor: H. Naguib
Lectures, online (SYNC): Thursday (15:00 -18:00)

This course is designed to provide an integrated approach to composite materials engineering, and provide a strong foundation for further studies and research on these materials. Topics include:  structure, processing, and properties of composite materials; design of fillers reinforcements and matrices reinforcements, reinforcement forms, manufacturing processes, testing and properties, mechanics and modeling of composite systems;  nanocomposites systems, new applications of composites in various sectors.

Minimum enrollment: 5
Max enrollment: 30
Exclusion: MSE443
Course Texts:  Lecture notes

MSE1058H S   Nanotechnology in Alternate Energy Systems

Instructor: S.J. Thorpe
Lectures, in person (if permitted), room MY350Monday 11-12, Wed 11-12, Thursday 11-12
Tutorials, in person (if permitted), room MY370: Thursday 15-17

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.
Exclusion: MSE558; MSE458
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

The combined enrolment of MSE458 and MSE1058 is capped at 20 students maximum.

Students will NOT be able to drop course after the first week due to the nature of the major design project in the course.

The unique team work required in the multidisciplinary nature of the design project of this course will necessitate its delivery in an in person mode only.

MSE1062H S1 Materials Physics

Instructor: Z.H. Lu
Lectures, online (SYNC): Friday (9:00 – 11:00)
Tutorials, online (SYNC):  Friday (14:00 – 15:00)

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.

Min enrollment: 5
Max enrollment: 10   
Exclusion: MSE462
Course Texts:  Electronic Properties of Materials (Rolf E. Hummel) and Introductory Quantum Mechanics (R.L. Liboff)

MSE1067H S1  Materials Failure

Instructor: C. V. Singh
Lectures, online (SYNC): Wednesday (15:00 – 17:00)
Practicals, online (SYNC):  Friday (15:00 – 17:00)
Understanding how different materials fail is a key design consideration in materials science. In this course students will be exposed to the mechanisms leading to the damage and failure of engineering materials, and modeling of failure at atomic and continuum levels. First, we will describe different mechanisms by which various materials fail, including metals, alloys, ceramics, composite materials, and nanomaterials; and the nature of failure – brittle vs. ductile. Then, various approaches to model and analyze damage and failure in materials will be discussed, including finite element-based failure analysis at the macroscale, and molecular dynamics at the atomic scale. Hands-on practice will be provided through practical case studies using softwares. Finally, students will apply these skills through a term project on a materials science problem of their interest.

Minimum Enrollment:  5
Maximum Enrollment: 25

JBM1050H S  Biological & Bio-Inspired Materials

Instructor: E. Sone
Lectures, online (SYNC): Wednesday (10:00 – 12:00)
This course, offered jointly through Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering, covers fundamental aspects of the formation, structure, and properties of natural materials, and the use of derived biological principles such as self-assembly 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
Maximum Enrollment: 20

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