The University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering has announced that it will offer a new, first-of-its-kind master’s degree in data science for chemical engineering and materials science. Beginning in fall 2023, the program will meet growing industry demand for chemical engineers and materials scientists with experience in digital technologies such as automation and robotics, computing, artificial intelligence and data analysis.
“We’re approaching a new era in industry where chemical and materials manufacturing industries are evolving to become more automated and incorporate digital technologies,” said Prodromos Daoutidis, founding director of the new data science master’s program and a professor in the College of Science and Engineering. “The only problem is that they don’t have the workforce for it. Our new degree program fills this gap by preparing the next generation of chemical engineers and materials scientists to be able to apply foundational techniques from computer science and statistics — like artificial intelligence and machine learning — to the fields of chemical and materials engineering.”
A few other universities across the U.S. have smaller certificate programs where students might only take four courses. The new U of M master’s degree consists of 30 credits that can be completed over the course of one academic year.
Students will take core courses across three disciplines along with electives that span the subjects of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics, data analysis, business analytics and control and optimization. The program is not only open to students from chemical engineering and materials science backgrounds, but also many other fields including chemistry, physics, biomedical engineering or mechanical engineering.
“The U of M is a great place for this program because we have a deep tradition in innovation and education around mathematics that dates back to the 60s and 70s,” Daoutidis said. “We also have data science, computer science and engineering programs all within one single college, so it’s very easy for us to create an interdisciplinary program like this that responds to real needs in the industry.”
Students in the program will also have the opportunity to establish connections to local companies in the chemical and materials industries, and to complete projects relevant to these employers as part of their degree.
To offset the cost, the program will also offer competitive partial fellowships for students.
Applications are currently open for fall semester 2023. For more information and application requirements, visit the M.S. in Data Science for Chemical Engineering and Materials Science website.