With fast developments in health, architecture, technology, and communication, as well as the growing demand for environmentally friendly products, the need for material science engineers is increasing.
This need has fueled a surge in the number of material science professionals. Material science engineers work on material research, design, and development to enhance technology and goods. They are involved in all stages of material development, from raw material selection to final product creation and testing.
What is the work like?
The need for newer, better materials is fundamental in all businesses. As a result, a material science engineer can work in a variety of disciplines. Material science engineers are most commonly employed in aerospace, electricity, and telecommunications. Other industries that employ people include sports equipment makers, biomedical engineering, transportation, sustainable materials industries, and information technology.
There are certain similar duties connected with this career regardless of the industry in which a material science engineer is working.
- Choosing the optimum material combination depending on intended usage
- Material testing and evaluation
- Developing prototypes
- Providing assistance to the production team throughout the scale-up phase
- Quality assurance testing
- Advising management on material appropriateness, feasibility, profitability, and environmental effect
- Evaluating a material’s economic feasibility for commercial manufacture
What are the requirements for getting a job?
A degree in material engineering, technology, or science can help you get a position as a material science engineer. However, due to the flexibility of work, a graduate degree in any of the following areas can lead to employment:
- Applied chemistry
- Chemical engineering
- Mining engineering/Mineral science
- Polymer science
- Structural engineering
A material science engineer works with a wide range of materials, including glass, ceramics, rubber, plastics, chemicals, polymers, minerals, and textiles. As a result, a qualification in any of these disciplines is also an excellent method to get work. A degree in material science engineering may always be pursued as a step forward in one’s profession.
Are there any special skills applicable for this role?
A material science engineer is always part of a team and is generally involved in the creation of new materials or the improvement of current ones. The following abilities are useful in this role:
Good communication skills are required because the job entails presenting findings, designs, requirements, processes, and so on to many sorts of audiences.
Ability to apply scientific thinking to industrial circumstances – This is crucial since mass manufacture of materials differs greatly from lab size operations and presents several obstacles.
Commercial awareness – As one advances in their career, this ability becomes increasingly crucial. To be lucrative and successful, each new material or product must provide benefits to users, either in terms of cost or distinctive characteristics. A material science engineer must be able to assess the commercial potential of any new material under consideration.
Analytical and problem-solving abilities are required. Computer proficiency is required as well.
It is also critical for material science engineers to be aware of and comprehend the many rules and legislation that regulate the usage of materials in a certain sector, such as medical, aerospace, and so on.
What are the salary range and career prospects?
The compensation provided in this career varies depending on the industry in which one works. An entry-level to mid-level employment pays between £20,000 to £40,000 per year. For more senior roles, salaries might reach £60,000. The telecommunications, aerospace, and power industries are well-known for paying higher wages.
Though material science engineers work standard shifts, working extra to meet project deadlines is typical. Full-time work is generally done in a laboratory or on the factory floor. Travel is determined by the type of the tasks in which one is involved. Opportunities for part-time or self-employment are scarce in the early stages of one’s career. However, after spending a significant number of years in a certain area, one might establish a consultation company.
As with any job, advancement is determined by performance, experience, and abilities. Because of the variety of career opportunities accessible in this sector, with expertise, one can specialize in a specific discipline, such as plastic engineering, ceramics engineering, semiconductor processing, metallurgical engineering, biomedical or tissue engineering.