Materials and engineering are soulmates. Materials transform designs and equations into artifacts. Engineering, in turn, enables this transformation. Advancements in one have propelled advances in the other, creating new and well-integrated technologies. The relationship between materials and applications remained empirical throughout most of history, with clever artisans shaping materials that were obtained in native form in land and riverbeds. This experience was well recognized in ancient texts, such as in the Indian King Somadeva IIIwritings in Manasollasa and by the Tamil Saint Ilango in the Tamil epic Silapadhiharam. There are similar examples from ancient Greece and Italy. Such references, however, are few and far between. In the ancient world, materials and design were yet to become commonplace, except in the form of fired clay pots and pans and other implements.
(*Gopal R. Rao is the other author of this paper.)