What does a Materials Engineer do?
A materials engineer process, test, and develop materials used to make a large variety of products, such as aircraft wings, computer chips, biomedical devices, or even golf clubs. They study and evaluate the structures and properties of metal, composites, ceramics, plastics, and nanomaterials to create new materials that can meet particular chemical, electrical, and mechanical requirements.
A materials engineer would mostly be found working in offices in order to have the needed access to design equipment and computers but others might work in research and development laboratories or factories.
How to become a Materials Engineer
A materials engineer must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering and materials science or obtain a degree in a similar field. These programs should include classroom and laboratory work with an emphasis on engineering principles. Some colleges or universities offer a 5-year program where a student can obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree.
A graduate degree, which might be PhD Level, would allow an engineer to do research and development or be a postsecondary teacher. Often a college or university offer a student cooperative programs and internships that have a partnership in industry allowing one to get practical experience while finishing their education. Some employers prefer to employ an applicant who has graduated from an accredited program from the ABET and is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.
High school students that want to consider this career field should take classes in computer programming, mathematics and science.
Job Description of a Materials Engineer
A materials engineer's job is to study and create materials at an atomic level and use computers to replicate the characteristics of materials and their components. They have the task of planning and evaluating new projects, prepare budgets and proposals, write reports, and analyze labor cost among other managerial jobs.
A materials engineer may supervise the work of technicians, technologists, and other scientists and engineers. They would monitor the performance of materials and study how they deteriorate. A materials engineer would find and correct any product failure and evaluate economic and technical factors concerning the design objectives of products or processes.
A materials engineer requires math and analytical skills, as well as, writing, problem solving and speaking skills.