MSE Milestones

Take a look at the Department of Material Science & Engineering through the years…


Impact Magazine: Volume III


100 Years of Materials Innovation: the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Toronto marks a century of world-class research and education in materials engineering. MSE at U of T continues to be one of the largest and most reputable materials / metallurgy academic units in North America

Impact Magazine: Volume II½


2nd Annual Winegard Visiting Lectureship: Professor Sir Colin Humphreys of the University of Cambridge as distinguished lecturer on “How Materials Science Can Help to Solve Some Major World Problems”

Department received $1 million gift from alumnus Dr. Walter Curlook to advance research and reaching facilities in Materials Processing & Characterization

Impact Magazine: Volume II


Inaugural edition of Impact published

Department celebrates 10 years of UT², an annual academic exchange program between the 2 MSE departments at the University of Tokyo and the University of Toronto

Impact Magazine: Volume I


Department hosts 1st Annual Winegard Visiting Lectureship: Professor Donald R. Sadoway (MIT) as inaugural distinguished lecturer on “New Materials Engineering & the Path of Sustainability”

Canada Research Chair in Organic Optoelectronics established

Late-90s to Mid-2000s

Department’s first External advisory Board established under leadership of Professor Doug D. Perovic (Chair: 1997-2008): membership included Canada’s top industry leaders in Metallurgy / Materials Engineering — independent status of academic unit strengthened and secured

Department name changed to “Materials Science & Engineering (MSE)” in 2001, reflecting strategic expansion and faculty appointments in advanced and performance materials. Undergraduate specialization areas redeveloped to include: nanomaterials, biomaterials, materials in manufacturing, and materials processing & sustainable development

Undergraduate admissions quality and enrollment quantity increased to ~50 students per year; U of T becomes home to one of the largest MSE departments in North America

Three endowed chairs established: Energenius / Stan Meek Chair in Advanced Nanotechnology, Gerald R. Heffernan Chair in Materials Processing and Celestica Chair in Materials for Microelectronics

Canada Research Chair in Smart & Functional Materials also established in conjunction with the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering (MIE)

1980s & 90s

Continued department expansion under leadership of Professor W. Alfred Miller (Chairman: 1982-1992) via partnerships with NSERC and industry — MMS held highest number of NSERC industrial Research Chairs (IRCs) for a single academic department in Canada at the time

IRCs established: Steelmaking, Welding, Chemical Process Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, ELectromagnetic Processing, and Nanomaterials Engineering

Professor Alexander McLean (Chair: 1992-1997) establishes Departmental Strategic Planning Committee: undergraduate curriculum transformed and renamed “Materials Engineering” to reflect broader fundamental learning areas and applied knowledge


Centre for Chemical Process Metallurgy (CCPM) based in MMS under leadership of Director Roland Bergman


Centre for Nuclear Engineering moved to MMS under direction of Professor O. John C. Runnalls, and subsequently Professor Brian Cox


Expansion of research and teaching offerings via faculty cross-appointments to include Physics, Electrical Engineering and Dentistry / Biomaterials


Professor Pidgeon retires; Department confers 72 PhDs to date — a number greater than many U of T departments at the time

Professor C. Benjamin Alcock recruited from Imperial College (London, UK) to succeed Professor Pidgeon as Chairman


66 PhDs conferred in metallurgy; new building constructed (now L. M. Pratt Building) to accommodate rapid department ecpansion


Interdepartmental Materials Science Centre established in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering under MMS leadership


Department name changed to “Metallurgy & Materials Science (MMS),” reflecting broader coverage of research areas involving non-metallic materials


Department of Metallurgical Engineering established as research powerhouse in Canada: majority of research funding received by the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering from the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) was designated to metallurgy


Professor Bruce Chalmers recruited from the United Kingdom: major graduate program in Physical Metallurgy established, lending to the formation of the world’s preeminent research group in the study of the solidification of metals


First PhD granted in Metallurgical Engineering


Professor Lloyd M. Pidgeon joins Department from the National Research Council of Canada and appointed Head; significant department expansion ensues


Ceramics Engineering option established under direction of Professor Robert J. Montgomery


Department Eight: Metallurgical Engineering, established; Professor George A. Guess as 1st Department Head

Degrees offered: Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) and Master of Applied Science (MASc) in Metallurgical Engineering