Monash Materials Science and Engineering celebrates 50 years

This year, Materials Science and Engineering celebrates 50 years of ground-breaking research, innovation and graduates. Alumni, students and staff gathered at the Clayton campus to celebrate five decades of Materials Science and Engineering at Monash University.

The department of Materials Engineering was approved by the Monash University Council in 1969, before the official course launched in 1971 with 16 students. By 1980 the department had the largest research group in the faculty. The rest, as they say, is history.

Materials & Science Engineering Students

Founding department chair Dr Ian Polmear, and other former department heads, including Peter Thomson, George Simon and recently departed Nick Birbilis, along with new acting head Neil Cameron, showed up in force alongside postgraduate students and recent graduates.

“I can’t believe we got here so quickly,” said Nick Birbilis on the night, who is also a double graduate of the department (B.Eng and PhD). “The collection of people ... is just remarkable – the ‘who’s who’ of Materials over the last 50 years. I don’t think you’ll see this crowd put together again.”

The department has gone through numerous incarnations, even merging with the physics department for several years, before officially becoming Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) in 2013. Today, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the department is ranked 7th in the world for metallurgical engineering and 1st in Australia.

“It’s the people of materials science engineering that makes it what it is. The students, staff and academics”, said Neil Cameron, new acting department head, to the guests at the 50th anniversary event. “Our success, is your success.”

Materials & Science Engineering 50th Book.jpg

The anniversary celebrations also coincided with the release of the Monash Materials Science and Engineering 50th Anniversary book and new website, Materials featuring the stories of Monash MSE student and staff.

Watch the 50 years of Monash MSE video and read the full article here.