||Industrial Press, Inc.
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Materials are basic to man's needs and it is well established that materials and energy are two of the most important entities that move the universe around. There is no economy without engineering, and there is no engineering without materials and energy. Mechanical engineering (ME) dedicates itself to building machines and equipment. In this pursuit, it involves itself in specifying the principles and functionality of machines and equipment. Through new designs, new machines are constantly being synthesized and brought to usage. The efficiency of machines and their useful lives depend upon how successfully the design principles have been deployed in their synthesis and how elegantly the machines have been produced. As the adage goes "without materials, there won't be any machine," it therefore derives that "without proper materials and their skillful application, there won't be any successful and efficient machines." For efficient and fruitful mechanical engineering or, indeed, for any engineering, it follows that the best and optimum possible materials be sought, processed properly and applied. This necessitates that the mechanical engineers be thoroughly conversant and skillful in selecting, processing, and applying the right kind of materials in the systems they develop and use. Best machines have been designed and built by engineers and scientists before, and this has been accomplished based on past experience of materials' functionality. However, numerous problems that arose during applications could be traced to materials' deficiency. Better materials and/or synthesis procedures were adopted to overcome those problems. Although most of these problems are well realized, the engineers are still forced to learn about them through practical experience. The engineering curricula offered in schools, I believe, are not offering adequate venues to bring all the materials-related information to design, manufacture, and maintenance of equipment.