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What is the ambitious goal of this project?

Create a rare-earth free magnet more powerful than rare-earth magnets and at a cost less than a tenth of that of rare-earth magnets.

This team will make magnets for economical and ecological wind turbines and electric motors. 

Melting of a magnetic alloy in an induction furnace.

Experience Gained

Students will be able to 

(1) discuss the geopolitical, human rights, and environmental issues of green technology based on contemporary rare-earth containing magnets, 

(2) describe the methods for making alloy magnets and

(3) acquire and interpret data pertinent to magnetic materials.

This project uses the following tools and methodologies:

  • case studies
  • engineering lab
  • laboratory testing
  • market research
  • quantitative research methods
  • Writing
  • Other

Majors and Interests Needed

Preferred course preparation: None

  • Bachelor of Applied Science
  • Chemistry-Biochemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Environmental Studies Program
  • Geosciences
  • Global Studies
  • Information Technology & Supply Chain Management
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Materials Science & Engineering
  • Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering
  •  Physics

VIP Coach Information

Dr. Peter Müllner is a faculty in the Micron School of Material Science and Engineering and an expert in magnetic materials.

John Martin is a graduate student in the Materials Science and Engineering PhD program studying rare-earth-free permanent magnets.

Course Information

VIP  200, VIP 400 or VIP 500.
Full semester course. Choose to enroll in 1 or 2 credits.
Team meetings: In-person, Meeting times to be decided once students register

Interested in joining this team?

For more information and to request a permission number to register contact Peter Müllner at or John Martin at OR complete this interest form and someone will contact you. Check out this page for tips on contacting a professor.

To register, search by Subject: Vertically Integrated Projects, read the project description to find the right section of VIP 200, 400, or 500.

Here are instructions on how to use a permission number Add with a permission number