Topic outline

  • Objectives

    This course exposes students to state-of-the-art developments in some specific engineering materials, or processes related to engineering materials, and examines the technological, societal, and historical context in which materials research and development occur.

    During the course, the students will learn to locate and read scientific literature in their field, to critically evaluate it, and they will become familiar with the format and style of scientific literature and conference presentations.

    For doctoral students, there is a strong emphasis on providing constructive criticism of the papers for which you are assigned as a co-author.

    Course staff

    Lecturer is professor Sven Bossuyt (sven.bossuyt(at) Course assistant is Antti Forsström (antti.forsstrom(at)


    Enrolment in Oodi.


    Compulsory prerequisites are KJR-C2004 / Kon67.3100 or similar basic course on materials science, or permission from the teacher.


    The course consists of minimal lecturing, independent reading on a topic chosen by each student, and a student-led seminar where students present a paper they wrote about their topic. Except for the seminar day at the end of the course, all the coursework can be done online.

    Each student shall propose a specific material or material class, a specifically demanding use case for a material, or a specific process related to materials, and between 3 and 7 references from the scientific literature --such as journal papers, textbooks or patents-- about this topic, for approval. Ideally, but not necessarily, this would be a topic that the student already has a strong interest in and is already knowledgeable about. Based on this literature, the student will then write a concise but thorough paper about their topic, in a format appropriate for a paper submitted to a scientific conference. These papers will be critically reviewed by other students, in two phases. In the first phase, you share drafts with a few other students, who take the role of co-authors. Co-authors are not responsible for the submissions, but they are responsible for giving constructive feedback to drafts that they are provided with in a timely manner. The second phase follows the format of the peer review of a scientific paper: each student will have to review three to five other students' papers. Course staff will assess the feedback you give to other students, and be available by appointment to provide advice if needed. Finally, the students will prepare a brief presentation about their topic for the seminar, and have time to revise their final papers taking into account the feedback from the seminar and the two rounds of peer review.

    The language of the paper and the seminar is English. For students who are not yet proficient at writing and presenting in English, concurrently enrolling in the writing clinic offered by the language center might prove very useful.


    You will pass the course if you meet the deadlines in the conference management system, with submissions that meet the minimal standards described there, actively participate in the collaboration with your assigned co-authors, present your topic at the seminar, and at the end of the course submit the final version of your paper as well as your evaluation of the peer review your paper received.

    Evaluation and examination

    The abstract and initial version of your paper are graded as pass/fail. The course grade is based on the peer review evaluation reports, the revised paper, and participation in the seminar, which are each graded on a 0 to 5 -scale.


    kick-off meeting Tuesday April 16th, at 2-4 in classroom Y228a:

    • You must prepare one or more ideas for your topic (i.e. find suitable topic on the field of materials science —new materials innovation, new research finding or similar— and prepare the preliminary title and description of your topic) and be able to discuss the topic (what the topic means, why it is relevant, how much you already know about it, etc.) at this kick-off meeting.
    • Answering the pre-questionnaire will help us assign suitable co-authors.
    • Attendance isn't necessary if you know what to do and have an abstract ready.
    Topic proposals Apr 18th
    Co-authors assigned Apr 23rd
    EasyChair abstract submission May 3rd
    Progress checks Apr 26th, May 3rd, and May 10th
    Initial EasyChair submission deadline May 13th
    EasyChair peer review deadline May 20th
    EasyChair revised paper deadline May 27th
    Seminar Tuesday May 28th, at 8-4 (all day) in classroom Y228b
    Final paper submission and evaluation of peer review deadline May 31st

    Contact hours

    kick-off meeting on April 16th

    office hours by appointment

    final seminar on May 28th