MSE-101(b) / 5 crédits

Enseignant(s): Klok-Lermann Eva, Rappaz Michel

Langue: Anglais


This class will teach the fundamental concepts regarding materials and their micro-structure, as well as the equilibrium and dynamics of chemical reactions. A link will be made between these concepts and the mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic and optical properties of materials.



Materials: Microstructures, Properties, Applications, Transformations

Chemistry: electronic structure of atoms, chemical bonds, thermodynamics, equilibria, acids and bases, redox, chemical kinetics.

Example of the use of material properties (mechanical, thermal, electrical, magnetic and optical).

Learning Prerequisites

Required courses

Physics, chemistry and mathematics courses of High School or equivalent.

Recommended courses

Physics and mathematics course of the first semester of the year propaedeutic at EPFL.

Important concepts to start the course

Elementary laws (high school level) of chemistry and physics, mechanics, electricity, optics. Mathematical concepts of high school or equivalent.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the student must be able to:

  • Explain the structure and basic properties of atoms and chemical bonds
  • Apply the principles of thermodynamics to solving equilibrium problems
  • Carry out calculation of physical and chemical parameters like pH
  • Establish the laws of chemical and physical processes
  • Formulate a problem related to materials in terms of simple equations
  • Choose or select a type of material according to its specifications
  • Analyze the properties of materials according to their structure and composition
  • Carry out calculations of some basic properties of mechanical, thermal, optical, electrical or magnetic materials, respecting orders of magnitude and units

Transversal skills

  • Assess one's own level of skill acquisition, and plan their on-going learning goals.
  • Take responsibility for environmental impacts of her/ his actions and decisions.
  • Evaluate one's own performance in the team, receive and respond appropriately to feedback.
  • Take account of the social and human dimensions of the engineering profession.

Teaching methods

Ex cathedra, exercise sessions, experimental demonstrations during course

Expected student activities

To successfully complete the course, it is necessary to: (1) read the pages indicated in the book before the course or watch the recommended videos; (2) attend class and take additional notes; (3) DO THE EXERCISES and check the solutions obtained with the answer key distributed the following week. Read the notes associated with the various developments in progress.

Assessment methods

written exam


Office hours No
Assistants Yes
Forum Yes
Others presence of the teacher during exercise sessions for answers to questions.



Materials : Engineering, science, processing and design, M. Ashby, H. Shercliff, D. Cebon, Butterworth-Elsevier, 2018.

Chemistry: Chemical Principles, The Quest for Insight, P. Atkins, L. Jones, L. Laverman, W.H. Freeman and Company, 7th edition 2016

En francais:

Traduction française, Matériaux: science, ingénierie, procédés et conception. L.Deillon, M. Rappaz, Presses Polytechniques Universitaires Romandes, 2013.

Traduction francaise: Principes de chimie, P. Atkins, L. Jones, L. Laverman, De Boeck Supérieur, 4e édition 2017

Ressources en bibliothèque


Slides and notes of the course are avaiable on Moodle

Moodle Link

Prerequisite for

MSE 214 and MSE 215: Mise en oeuvre des matériaux I + II

Dans les plans d'études

  • Semestre: Printemps
  • Forme de l'examen: Ecrit (session d'été)
  • Matière examinée: Materials: from chemistry to properties
  • Cours: 3 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Exercices: 2 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Semestre: Printemps
  • Forme de l'examen: Ecrit (session d'été)
  • Matière examinée: Materials: from chemistry to properties
  • Cours: 3 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines
  • Exercices: 2 Heure(s) hebdo x 14 semaines

Semaine de référence

9-10 SG1   
12-13  CE6  
13-14   CE1106

Mardi, 9h - 11h: Cours SG1

Mercredi, 12h - 13h: Cours CE6

Jeudi, 13h - 15h: Exercice, TP CE1106

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