The University of Texas at Austin is among the biggest “rising stars” in the world, and top in the U.S., in the field of materials science. UT Austin was ranked fourth in the world on the materials rising stars list compiled by Nature Index, which tracks research output by universities around the world.

The index ranks universities based on the increase of authors contributing to major journal articles between 2019 and 2020. UT Austin was one of two U.S. universities among the top 10 rising stars, joined by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Cockrell School is at the center of UT Austin’s materials excellence and is home to the Texas Materials Institute (TMI) headquarters, located in the Engineering Education and Research Center. TMI, a campus-wide organization that offers a graduate program and an undergraduate minor, includes more than 100 affiliated faculty members from several colleges and schools making breakthroughs in materials research.

Additionally, the university's Center for Dynamics and Control of Materials is a multidisciplinary National Science Foundation Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) that seeks to extend the traditional paradigm of materials research beyond the study of behavior in or near equilibrium to encompass the understanding and control of materials over extended temporal and spatial scales. In addition to community outreach through hands-on demonstrations and collaborations with elementary school teachers, the center supports research on nanocomposite materials that combine inorganic and organic components, with applications in energy storage and filtration membranes, and on approaches for exploiting light to achieve dynamic, quantum control of materials.