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Students can find out about engineering careers on-line

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- What can you do with a degree in materials engineering?

A new on-line resource developed by a Purdue University professor is providing some answers to that question.

"Materials scientists and engineers are involved in many aspects of the manufacture of a wide variety of products, from coffee cups and kitchen utensils to cars and computers," says Gerald L. Liedl (LEE-dul), head of Purdue's School of Materials Engineering.

Last year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awarded a $441,550 grant to The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS) to develop an on-line career resource center for the field of materials science and engineering. As education director of TMS, Liedl is coordinating the effort, which will provide high-school students and others nationwide with information about careers in the field.

"When it's completed in late 1997, the Career Resource Center for Materials will be a computer-based source of information about the wide range of careers available in materials science and engineering," Liedl says. "The audience is primarily high-school students and underclassmen at universities -- both groups of students are at the point where they're making career choices."

The Career Resource Center for Materials is still in a developmental stage, Liedl says, and will be updated periodically. The first version is available on the World Wide Web through the TMS homepage at http://www.tms.org

When completed, the page will be interactive, asking users for information about themselves and what they want to know. Users now can choose from a set of options, including an "Ask the Expert" page, through which they can send e-mail inquiries to professionals with materials science degrees. Users also will be able to access video interviews with practicing materials engineers and explore academic programs that offer one of the materials curricula.

CONTACT: Liedl, (765) 494-4100; e-mail, liedl@ecn.purdue.edu