Facilities and Centers

Featuring state-of-the-art facilities and a myriad of specialized research centers, the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is on the leading edge of materials research.


Recognizing the immense value and explosive growth of the materials industry, Penn State has made it a point to invest in our faculty and students via state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories.  

steidle buildingSteidle Building

Located on the west side of campus, Steidle Building is the academic home for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Science on display

With more than 22,350 square feet of shared laboratory space on the second, third and fourth floors, researchers can collaborate with one another and also teach undergraduate students the fundamentals of conducting research, including how to integrate proper lab safety protocols and how to use high-tech, cutting-edge equipment to study materials.

While researchers work, visitors can watch, thanks to the laboratories' floor-to-ceiling glass walls.

Preserving an iconic landmark

The renovations help to breathe new life into a building, originally called the Mineral Industries Building, which was first constructed in 1929. Edward Steidle, dean of the School of Mineral Industries (a predecessor to EMS), led the construction and believed the building would help the school attain a goal of collaboration among different — yet related — research disciplines. In 1978, the building was renamed in honor of Steidle, whose visionary approach to education and research laid the groundwork for today’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

The Mineral Industries Building was designed by the architect Charles Klauder, who designed numerous buildings on campus, including Rec Hall, Old Main, The Nittany Lion Inn and Pattee Library. To preserve a connection to the college's past, and also maintain one of the most iconic features of a building on west campus, one primary design goal was to retain the exterior of the building while revamping the inside.

Now, the same architecture remains but the space is now being used by researchers to advance one of the most impactful fields of science today. 

For more information click here.

millennium science complex

Millennium Science Complex

One of the premier research facilities in the nation, the Millennium Science Complex (MSC) is a 275,600 square-foot science building housing one of the University's top research organizations—the Materials Research Institute.  This amazing research space features 40,000 square feet of quiet labs shielded from vibration and electromagnetism, 10,000 square feet of Class 1000/100 clean rooms for nano/micro-fabrication, and nearly 4000 square feet of collaborative space to encourage the exchange of knowledge and ideas across colleges and departments.

Available to both the academic and non-academic research communities, the Materials Research Institute in the Millenium Science Complex features four specialized laboratories—the Materials Characterization Laboratory, the Materials Simulation Center, the Nanofabrication Laboratory, and the Smart Materials Integration Laboratory.  Each lab is staffed with full-time technical personnel who maintain the equipment and train or assist researchers with the instrumentation and tools.

To learn more about the research facilities and specialized laboratories at the Millenium Science Complex please visit the MRI User Research Facilities page.


Our department is home to a wide variety of interdisciplinary research centers, many headed by our own world-class faculty members.  A full listing of materials-related research centers can be found below:


Other Research Facilities

The University is home to other research facilities used for materials research, including the:


User Facilities

Advanced Materials Processing Lab

This cutting edge facility provides a learning environment that allows our students the opportunity to work with material development in the areas of thin films, micro deposition, bulk forming, plastic deformation, powder synthesis, and thermal processing.

Metallography and Microscopy Lab

Metallography is the preparation of specimens for microscopic examination and the study of microstructure in relation to the physical and mechanical properties of a particular material.