Brief history of the department of materials science and engineering
The Department of Materials Science and Engineering formerly known as Department of Metallurgical and Materials Engineering was established in March 1978 in the Faculty of Technology in order to provide the nation’s first training facility for skilled manpower in the rapidly expanding metallurgical and materials engineering field, at a time when the focus of the country in this area was on metallurgical processes for the production of primary metals; particularly iron and steel. Prior to this, a degree programme in this discipline had been offered as an option in the Department of Chemical Engineering of the University. Then, it had two broad-based sub-sections of metallurgical and minerals engineering, strategically planned to take care of Nigeria’s emerging iron and steel, aluminum, tin etc, mining, processing and development sectors. Over the years, the Department has played a leading role in training and research focused on ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, to support the then newly established or planned integrated iron and steel industries (Delta Steel Company, Aladja, Ajaokuta Steel Company, Ajaokuta, iron ore beneficiation and coke plants at Itakpe and Enugu and a number of inland rolling mills), Aluminium Smelting plant at Ikot Abasi and the Amalgamated Tin Companies in Jos.
Materials Science and Engineering has come a long way in the last three hundred years or so with various exciting developments that led to the decline of metal’s dominance. This led to a proposal by the Department in 1997 for a change of the name of the Department to the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. This was finally approved by the University Senate to take effect from 2003. The degrees offered with effect from 2003/2004 were in Materials Engineering.