Updated 1/2/2024

Our economy is transitioning from linear (take, make, waste) to circular. This process necessitates a redesign of products and services. The Sustainable Materials concentration will prepare engineers to use and manage materials that will have the least impact on our environment and economy.

Key knowledge, skills and capabilities include:

  • Understanding the benefits and properties of today’s materials from a whole-systems perspective
  • Providing alternative materials and designs with the potential to achieve benefits while reducing issues from a whole-systems perspective, including:
    • Renewably sourced materials
    • Sustainable end of life via a circular economic path
    • Elimination of harmful or persistent ingredients or byproducts
    • Elimination of habitat or other ecosystem harm in procurement of feedstocks
    • Material production processes that are energy, cost and ecosystem efficient

Top research areas:

  • Renewably sourced materials
  • Closed loop systems
  • Non-harmful alternatives
  • Additive manufacturing
  • High performance per unit mass
  • Biomimetic materials

Key courses include:

  • SUSE 7113 – Sustainable Materials & Design (Fall) – Required
  • SUSE 7200 – Biomimicry (Spring)
  • ME 7501 – Reinforced Composites (Spring, even) – only for students with undergraduate background in solid mechanics
  • CHE 7570 – Polymer Science & Engineering (Summer)
  • SUSE 8111 – Advanced Lifecycle Analysis (Fall) - skills



Dr. Bridget Wadzuk
Director of Sustainable Engineering
Professor, Edward A. Daylor Chair in Civil Engineering

Lexi George
Program Coordinator