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Welcome to Materials Science!

This course provides experiences in exploring materials through self-directed, hands-on projects. I hope the course environment works well for you, and I hope that you find your time in Materials Science and Solid State Chemistry interesting and enjoyable. If you have any questions, concerns, or feedback at any time throughout the semester about anything, please let me know. - Jon

Course Syllabus and Course Overview

In this course, we build connections among material structure/bonding/composition, material behavior and properties, technical performance or function, and broader societal and environmental impacts. We start with real-world products -- like a bicycle tire -- and explore these products from both atomic and global perspectives.

bicycle graphic


As noted in the course syllabus, you may opt to purchase a copy of Callister's Materials Science and Engineering: An Introduction, or you may choose to use Ashby's Engineering Materials books, which we can access through Olin's electronic library resources:

Materials Science-Related Links

Know of any interesting mat sci-related web sites? Let me know, and I'll post them here.

Snail teeth are world's hardest substance! (Thanks, Doyung)

New steel with strength-to-weight ratio as good as titanium (Thanks, Allen)

Nature Materials

National Science Foundation: Chemistry & Materials Discoveries

Metal Cutting to Mozart materials science page

Inside Science - Materials News

EPA - Sustainable Materials Management program

Materials Research Society - Materials360 Online News

Nike - Material Choice and Impact Project

AskNature - Biomimicry 3.8 Institute site

MRS Bulletin - Materials for Sustainable Development


Lab Hours and Office Hours

Jon Stolk is availble by appointment for just about any kind of assistance. Early afternoons on Mon and Wed, or late afternoon on Tues, work best with Jon's schedule, but other times are available, too.

Matt Neal, our Materials Science Laboratory Specialist, is also available by appointment. Matt is an amazingly helpful and knowledgeable person, and he knows the materials science labs like none other. Matt's office is in the back of AC413, and his email address is

Finally, we'll have a course assistant (NINJAs) this term... I hope.





For more information on this course, please contact

Jonathan Stolk, PhD

Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

Needham, MA 02492