How to become a materials engineer

Call on physics, chemistry, and your imagination to improve existing materials—and make new ones!

What does a materials engineer do?

Materials engineers research, design and develop specifications for materials used to create things. They can modify existing materials – such as plastics and ceramics – to make them stronger or cheaper. And they can engineer new materials for cutting edge initiatives like space exploration and nanotechnology.

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 analyse new materials.
  • Design lab procedures to meet production cost and performance criteria for new or improved materials.
  • Evaluate new product designs and recommend optimal material combinations.
  • Strive to make products more efficient, safe and cost-effective.
  • Evaluate the environmental factors resulting from new materials, and recommend safety standards and procedures.
  • Oversee operations to make sure that proper material specifications and equipment are used.
  • Practice a high level of alertness and safety at all times. Identify malfunctions and problems requiring additional safety precautions.
  • Use your knowledge of materials and chemical components to identify the best combinations for particular product uses.

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