Materials engineer

Materials Engineers research, design and develop specifications of materials to create products or investigate their properties. They may modify materials such as ceramics, chemicals, composites, metals, plastics and rubber to improve the performance of their intended use and increase cost-effectiveness. They should have knowledge of the properties and behaviour's of substances from raw materials to finished products.

Duties and tasks

  • Consult with material producers to understand components, properties and reactions while evaluating optimal materials appropriate for specific product applications
  • Design and organise laboratory tests to produce new materials and design procedures to meet production cost and performance criteria
  • Evaluate new product designs and recommend optimal material combinations for production, working to make products more efficient, safe and cost-effective
  • Evaluate utilisation of products and environmental factors caused from waste or use of those products, recommending safety standards and procedures
  • Oversee operations ensuring that proper material specifications and equipment are used
  • Practice high level of alertness and safety at all times and identify when a material process or malfunction requires additional safety precautions
  • Strong knowledge of materials and chemical components and be able to identify the best materials and combinations for particular product uses

Skills required

  • Adhere to Strong Health and Safety Standards
  • Innovative
  • Scientific Knowledge
  • Strong Attention to Detail
  • Strong Critical Thinking Skills

Working conditions

Materials Engineers typically work Mondays to Fridays, but may be required to work evenings or weekends to meet deadlines. They work with a variety of materials which may be hazardous and should operate at high levels of safety and alertness. They typically work in commercial plants, industrial processing factories, offices and experimental laboratories.

Professional associations / Industry information

Engineers Australia: 

National Engineering Registration Board: 

Related jobs and job titles

  • Chemist
  • Civil Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Metallurgist
  • Process Engineer