Course lists and descriptions

For current MTRL students we strongly encourage you to use the up-to-date information that is located on the MTRL Internal Program Info and Discussion Forum canvas page (only available to students in our program). This provides more detailed information on the courses listed below, how to register in non-MTRL courses and specific information particularly on our 4th year streams. Please note that the canvas site linked above should be considered the most up-to-date information on our undergraduate program.

The official calendar description of our program, year-by-year, can be found on the official UBC academic calendar website.

Full course descriptions are available with a valid CWL login. Please note that not all courses may be offered in a particular year.

Please reach out to for questions related to the undergraduate program.

*Please see note at the end of this page specifically for students in 2022/23

Second Year

MTRL 201Technical CommunicationWritten and oral communication in business correspondence, engineering design methods, report preparation, and oral presentations of technical materials. 3
APSC 278Engineering MaterialsAtomic bonding; crystal structures and imperfections; properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, wood, concrete and fibre composite materials; selection of materials; corrosion; mechanical testing and heat treatment.3
APSC 279Engineering Materials LaboratoryAtomic bonding; crystal structures and imperfections; properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, wood, concrete and fibre composite materials; selection of materials; corrosion; mechanical testing and heat treatment.1
MATH 253Multivariable CalculusPartial and directional derivatives; maxima and minima; Lagrange multipliers and second derivative test; multiple integrals and applications. Please consult the Faculty of Science Credit Exclusion List:,215,410,414.3
MATH 255Ordinary Differential EquationsReview of linear systems; nonlinear equations and applications; phase plane analysis; Laplace transforms; numerical methods. Please consult the Faculty of Science Credit Exclusion List:,215,410,414.3
MECH 260Introduction to Mechanics of MaterialsStatically determinate frames and trusses; normal and shear stresses and strains; shear force and bending moment diagrams; theory of beam bending, torsion of circular rods; transformation of stress and strain in two and three dimensions, Mohr’s circle; yield and ultimate failure criteria.3
MTRL 250Thermodynamics of Materials IHeat and mass balances applied to materials engineering; thermodynamic principles applied to materials processing: heat of reaction, free energy, activity, phase equilibrium, reactions involving gases, Ellingham diagrams4
MTRL 251Thermodynamics of Materials IIBehaviour of solutions, phase diagrams, electrochemistry, chemical potential and free energy diagrams applied to materials processing and thermodynamic modelling4
MTRL 263Transport Phenomena IFluid statics; fluid mechanics; laminar and turbulent flow; equations of continuity and motion; boundary layers; flow in conduits and packed and fluidized beds; flow measurements. 3
MTRL 264Transport Phenomena IIConduction, forced and natural convection, and radiation. Heat transfer with fluid flow, applications of heat exchange, and solidification of castings.3
MTRL 280Materials in DesignThe process of materials selection for different design criteria; the importance of shape and processing variables; the use of computer software in the selection process.3
Humanities/Social Sciences ElectivesSee information here:APSC Approved Courses6
Impact of Engineering on Society, Sustainability and Environmental Stewardship ElectiveSee information here: APSC Course Planning3

Third Year

MTRL 320Management of Engineering DesignFundamental communication and inter-personal skills, as well as operational processes, that engineers require to effectively work in design teams. Concepts and best practices around project management tools and techniques, team dynamics, planning, and organization. NOTE: For all students (pre-2022) who have taken MTRL 392 and 398 (no longer existing), you will NOT need to take MTRL 320. For those who have only taken one of MTRL 392 or 398, you will need to complete MTRL 320.3
MTRL 340Manufacturing in Materials EngineeringManufacturing processes from a materials perspective; metal casting, heat treating processes, forming processes, machining and joining. Role of manufacturing in microstructure and material properties development and on component performance.3
MTRL 358Hydrometallurgy IAqueous extraction of metals from ores and concentrates.3
MTRL 359Hydrometallurgy I LaboratoryLaboratory exercises on aqueous extraction of metals from ores and concentrates.1
MTRL 361Modelling of Materials ProcessesMathematical and physical modelling of processes employed in the production of materials. The application of models to analyse, design and improve materials production.4
MTRL 363Transport Phenomena III - Mass TransportDiffusion and mass transfer with chemical reaction; gas-liquid, gas-solid and liquid-liquid systems; analysis of mass transfer processes in metallurgical operations; mixing in continuous and batch processes.3
MTRL 365Mechanical Behaviour of MaterialsPolycrystalline and single crystal deformation; dislocation theory; strengthening mechanisms; fracture mechanics; fatigue; high temperature deformation mechanisms.3
MTRL 378Phase TransformationsSolidification and solid state transformations; nucleation and growth processes; segregation and structure in castings; phase changes in steel; transformation diagrams; diffusion equations.3
MTRL 381Structure and Properties LaboratoryStructure and properties of ferrous and non-ferrous metals; heat treatment; hardenability; metallography; age hardening.1
MTRL 382CeramicsFundamentals of engineering ceramics focusing on raw materials, forming, sintering and properties, characterization, and design with ceramics.4
MTRL 394Polymers and Polymer Matrix CompositesThe structure and properties of polymeric materials, reinforced polymers and polymer matrix composites with emphasis on their engineering properties and applications.4
STAT 251Elementary StatisticsProbability, discrete and continuous random variables, joint probability distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, regression, analysis of variance, goodness of fit. (Consult the Credit Exclusion list within the Faculty of Science section of the Calendar).3

Fourth Year

APSC 450Professional Engineering PracticeLegislation affecting the practice of engineering; ethical principles and responsibilities. Management of engineering enterprises; labour relations, safety and environmental legislation. Restricted to engineering undergraduate students in the final year of their program.2
MTRL 455Economic Aspects of Materials EngineeringTime value of money, cash flows, capital and operating cost estimation, financial decision making and relevant case studies.3
MTRL 456Environmental Degradation of MaterialsFundamental aspects of environmental degradation of metals (corrosion), ceramics, and polymers, with an emphasis on aqueous environments.3
MTRL 460Monitoring and Optimization of Materials ProcessingMeasurement systems for materials processing and evaluation, methods of data collection and analysis in materials engineering, materials processing monitoring and control, design of experiments for materials processing and optimization.3
MTRL 466Engineering Project IDesign projects to illustrate the full spectrum of design encountered in Metals and Materials Engineering including the design of components, structures and processes used to manufacture materials.3
MTRL 467Engineering Project IIDesign projects to illustrate the full spectrum of design encountered in Metals and Materials Engineering including the design of components, structures and processes used to manufacture materials.3
Technical electives*Recommended that you take at least 4 of the recommended courses for the stream you have chosen. Beyond these 4 courses (12 credits) you will take an additional 3 courses (9 credits) for a total of 21 credits. These 9 credits could be from the remaining recommended courses for your stream or any 9 credits from the list in the section “Eligible technical electives”.21

Subject to change.

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4th-year streams:

An additional 21 credits must be obtained in 4th year through technical elective courses to complete the final 38 credits for the program (17 credits core course + 21 technical elective credits = 38 4th year credits).  To help prepare you for careers/further education in areas of particular speciality in our program, we have curated lists of technical electives in 4 streams. Materials Manufacturing and Performance, Minerals and Metals Extraction, Biomaterials Engineering and Aerospace Materials Engineering. For information on the courses belonging to each of these streams please see the up-to-date list that is on our Department Information Canvas page (only available for MTRL students). The expectation is that students will take at least 4 courses (12 credits) from one of these streams to get the full benefit from that stream.  The additional 3 courses (9 credits) needed can be obtained from any of the MTRL technical electives (from any stream) or from the approved technical electives list on the canvas page above.

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All 4th-year eligible technical electives

The list below shows all MTRL 4th year technical electives as well as approved technical electives from other programs. Please note that not all of these courses will be offered every year. Also, it is your responsibility to make sure that you have the appropriate pre-requisites to be able to take the courses of your choice.

MTRL Courses

MTRL 451Microstructural Analysis LaboratoryBasic principles and techniques of microstructural analysis with particular reference to engineered materials including x-ray, SEM microprobe TEM and high energy electron analysis.
MTRL 469Casting TechnologyVarious casting technologies related to the automotive and aerospace sectorswill be covered, including upstream liquid metal processing
MTRL 458Hydrometallurgy IILeaching, purification, precipitation, regeneration; thermodynamics and kinetics of separation steps; electrochemical applications.
MTRL 472Welding and Joining of MaterialsCase studies addressing temperature modelling in welding and joining, material selection for welds and joints, calculation of properties for welds and joints, mechanical analysis of joints, and design of welding and joining procedures.
MTRL 475Microstructure EngineeringFollows the production of metallurgical products, focusing on process design models used to describe solidification, recrystallization, and precipitation.
MTRL 478Electronic MaterialsSemiconductor materials, MOSFET structure, operation and applications in digital circuits, fabrication techniques, basic mask and fabrication flow design and semiconductor fabrication process theories at an entry level.
MTRL 485Failure of MaterialsFailure by excess deformation, fracture, fatigue, and environmental effects. Failure theories and case studies of engineering failures.
MTRL 486Nondestructive EvaluationPrinciples of test methods; inspection techniques and equipment; quantitative flaw evaluation; reliability analysis.
MTRL 494Composite MaterialsUnderstanding the properties and the mechanical behaviour of composite materials with emphasis on analysis, design, and manufacturing. Credit will only be given for one of MTRL 494, 594.
MTRL 495BiomaterialsEngineered materials in medical applications with an emphasis on material properties, functionality, design, and material response in the biological environment.
MTRL 496Materials SustainabilityConcepts of life cycle analysis, circular economy and critical materials. Project-based introduction to key concepts, calculations, and design.

MANU Courses

MANU 400BBiomanufacturingNot offered 2023/24
MANU 400CAdditive Manufacturing DesignNew course for 2022
MANU 465AI and Machine Learning Applications in ManufacturingArtificial intelligence, machine learning techniques, Deep learning, Python libraries for machine learning, Basic signal processing techniques, Data Acquisition, Applications in Manufacturing, Use of sound to evaluate operation of CNC machinery, Use of AE sensor to evaluate metal 3D printing

CHBE Courses

CHBE 355Kinetics and Reactor DesignKinetics of homogeneous chemical and biological reactions, isothermal ideal reactor design, analysis of non-ideal reactors using residence time distribution and mixing models.
CHBE 381Bioprocess Engineering IBiological process engineering in the fields of biotechnology and biomedical engineering; enzymatic and cellular kinetics; cell culture, process development and product recovery; bioreactor design and operation. Credit will be granted for only one of CHBE 381, CHBE 560.
CHBE 477Fuel Cell and Electrochemical EngineeringStoichiometry, thermodynamics and kinetics of electrode reactions; conductivity and mass transport in electrolytes; material, energy and voltage balances; design of electrosynthesis, electrorecovery of metals, and energy generation of batteries and fuel cells. Credit will be granted for only one of CHBE 477, CHBE 577.
CHBE 481Bioprocess Engineering IIBioprocess flowsheeting; production-scale fermenter design; production recovery and purification; bioseparations; chromatography; viral inactivation and removal; process validation.
CHBE 485Air Pollution Prevention and ControlImpacts of air pollutants on health, visibility, smog formation, ozone depletion and global warming; air quality and emission standards; atmospheric dispersion of air pollutants; prevention and control technologies for particulates, SOx, NOx, VOCs, and CO2. Credit will be granted for only one of CHBE 485, CHBE 575.
CHBE 487Interfacial PhenomenaOutline of the physics and chemistry of interfaces; discussion of the part played by surface effects in technical processes. Credit will be granted for only one of CHBE 357, CHBE 487

IGEN Courses

IGEN 450Pipeline EngineeringPipeline materials and material selection; fracture mechanics; manufacturing and processing; welding and corrosion; soil-pipe interactions; surveying and site investigations; slope stability; natural hazards; pipeline loads and response.
IGEN 451Pipeline Systems and InfrastructureEnergy infrastructure; pipe flows; equipment and facilities including compressors, pumping stations, coolers and controls; terminals; pipeline integrity; corrosion control.
IGEN 452Pipeline Engineering DesignPipeline and pipeline system design reflecting technical, regulatory, environmental, societal, professional, and economic aspects; pipeline design project.

MECH Courses

MECH 360Mechanics of MaterialsBeam deflections, singularity functions; use of tabulated solutions; column buckling; Castigliano’s theorem, statically indeterminate beams, bending of beams with asymmetric cross-sections, shear centre; principal stresses and stress invariants in three dimensions.
MECH 435Orthopaedic BiomechanicsMusculoskeletal anatomy. Muscle and joint loads. Muscle mechanics. Musculoskeletal dynamics. Gait. Tissue mechanics of tendon, ligament, articular cartilage, and bone. Biomaterials. Application examples in orthopaedics including joint replacement and fracture fixation. Students who have received credit for BMEG 230 or 330 cannot also receive credit for MECH 435.
MECH 436Fundamentals of Injury BiomechanicsIntroduction to injury biomechanics. Anatomy. Impact experiments. Multi-body dynamic simulation and finite element analysis. Skull, face, brain, spine, eye, pelvis, abdomen, and extremity injury. Anthropomorphic test devices, seat belts, airbags, child restraints, and helmets. Credit cannot be obtained for both MECH 436 and MECH 536.
MECH 462Finite Element AnalysisTheory and element selection. Virtual work and weighted residual formulation. Linear elastic analysis. Heat transfer analysis. Isoparametic elements. Development of computer programs for simple problems. Utilization of existing computer packages. Application to mechanical engineering problems.
MECH 485Aircraft Design: StructuresStructural components of aircraft, introduction to the finite element method, bending and buckling of thin plates. Design of aircraft wing and fuselage structures, moments of inertia for complex shapes.

MINE Courses

MINE 303Rock Mechanics FundamentalsThe study of the mechanical and structural properties of rock materials at the laboratory and field scale, with reference to common mining, geological and civil engineering problems.
MINE 331Physical Mineral ProcessesMineral processing unit operations and sampling, crushing, grinding, screening, classification, gravity separation, magnetic separation, electrostatic separation, concentrate dewatering practices.
MINE 333FlotationTheory and technology of flotation and ancillary processes.
MINE 404Strategic Issues in MiningStrategic issues in an organization; types of organizations; personnel evaluations and job rating systems; impact of manpower planning on decision-making; union negotiations; public relations; dealing with the media; corporate responsibilities to society and employees.
MINE 434Processing Precious Metal OresProcess alternatives and mineralogical considerations; physical and chemical recovery technologies; environmental protection; flowsheet studies.
MINE 486Mining and the EnvironmentEnvironmental topics of importance to engineers practicing within the mining, metallurgical and related industries including technical practices, regulatory and public issues.

APSC Courses

APSC 440Management Fundamentals for Technology-Based Product Marketing and DevelopmentManagement topics are presented from the perspective of technology-based industrial practice; project management, marketing and marketing planning, product development and commercialization, introduction to quality management, teamwork and effective individual participation.
APSC 486New Venture DesignTeams comprising students in APSC 486 and COMM 486 create a business plan and a prototype or engineering solution of a novel product, process, or process component. NOTE: This course may only be taken as a replacement for MTRL 466/7 not as a standard technical elective.
APSC 498Directed studiesRequires approval of a Department Head or Program Director.

All courses subject to change.

Note for 2022/23

As of this year, the MTRL curriculum has undergone several changes, which you should be aware of:

Communication courses:

  • MTRL 392 and 398 have been removed, and replaced by MTRL 320. For all students who have taken both MTRL 392 and 398, you will NOT need to take MTRL 320. For those who have only taken one of MTRL 392 or 398, you will need to complete MTRL 320. 
  • MTRL 489 has been removed from the curriculum; you will no longer need to take this course.

Thermodynamics courses:

  • If a student has taken MTRL 350 but has not taken MTRL 252, they may proceed without MTRL 251.
  • If a student has taken MTRL 252, but does not have MTRL 350, then they will need to take MTRL 251.
  • Meanwhile, MTRL 252 will remain as a required course for students entered MTRL in 2021W and earlier

If you are unsure about how these changes impact on you, please do not hesitate to contact the MTRL undergraduate advising team at

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