The purpose of this course is to familiarize the student with the analytical methods used for the structural, elemental, chemical and molecular characterization of matter. An important part of the course concerns the analysis of materials in the solid state but some basic methods for the analysis of compounds in the liquid and the gas phase are also described.  The course introduces the fundamental science needed for a good understanding of the characterization methods, such as the physics of radiation-matter interactions or the principles of compound separation in the liquid or the gas phase.  The practical examples are chosen within the different application fields in which the engineer is expected to work, for instance, the technology of polymers and composites, the catalysis, the bio- and nanotechnologies, etc. Via interactive demonstrations of the analytical technique in the laboratory, the emphasis is put on the practical aspects of materials characterization in a spirit of solving problems such as those encountered in the industrial context.