The discipline was taught as part of a combined Mining and Metallurgy program until 1914, when the separate programs of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering and Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering were established. These existed until 1935 when the Department of Metallurgical Engineering was founded as a separate unit in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
The department grew steadily in subsequent decades in response to increased demand from manufacturing industries and processors of primary metals for graduates knowledgeable in metallurgy. The department was originally concerned almost exclusively with studying the production and use of metals and metal alloys.
Reflecting this trend, the department was renamed Materials and Metallurgical Engineering in 1990. The department expanded into Jackson Hall in 1993 with the establishment of a materials and metallurgy research laboratory.
Beginning in 2002, the Materials option began to be offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The department is now named Mechanical and Materials Engineering.
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