A materials engineer is a specialist in the design and use of materials in the industrial field. He offers his services and skills to public and private organizations working in construction or the industrial field. He can also work on behalf of a design office.
To do this, he may be required to design new materials, finalize existing ones or act as an advisor to project owners or technical engineers. Having studied all the elements and materials of a project, the materials engineer can make technical proposals adapted to the needs to optimize the cost and also the impact on the environment.
Working for a design office or an industrial company, the materials engineer is an essential player in product innovation. He essentially deals with the design and the choice to be made in the purchase of the materials to be used. Likewise, thanks to his expertise, he strives to reduce the costs as well as the impacts of manufacturing and the industrial process on the environment.
In the industrial manufacturing process, the materials engineer is a researcher, an experimenter, and an innovator.
Improves existing materials and also creates revolutionary materials.
Processes data obtained and interprets the results according to the objective of the research.
Responsible for the study of existing material and also the production of a new alloy
Responsible for the production of new tar for the roads, new alloy for a satellite, self-cleaning glass, revolutionary component for biotechnology
Ensure the interface between R&D departments and production departments
Supervise and coordinate projects, teams, and also departments
Carry out a materials testing program
Analyzes the needs of customers wishing to develop a product
Defines and implements indicators of cost, quality, deadlines adapted to the needs of the project
Ensures the follow-up of the project
Investigate the different properties of materials and also the conditions of their use by several processes
Analyzes and validates the choice of materials and technologies
Participate in process automation and define the equipment qualification plan
Tests materials by digital simulation
Evolves material and process specifications
Test and also verify the exact property of materials
Propose new manufacturing methods
Ensure compliance and optimal use of raw materials
He sees the maintenance of the equipment and assists the technicians who use it.
He also passes on his know-how to perfect his team while constantly updating his knowledge in a sector in perpetual evolution.
His position involves highlighting the results of the work he directs through publications, communication operations, and technical reports.
Know how to design theoretical models
Know how to use calculation and also modeling software
Demonstrate interpersonal skills
Learn how to express yourself with your team
In addition to a solid knowledge of chemistry and physics, the materials engineer must demonstrate an innovative spirit. He knows the economic and environmental constraints. Also, the work of team management, organization, budget management of the labor department, and the application of safety rules constitute his daily life. The materials engineer sometimes collaborates with other laboratories for joint research.
Education and Licensure
The profession of materials engineering is aimed at holders of a Master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering. However, a bachelor’s degree is the primary requirement for entry-level positions. The bachelor’s degree program usually takes four (4) years to complete. It is also essential to be a graduate of an ABET-accredited engineering program. Because this is a primary requirement of most employers. Licensure is not usually a requirement for entry-level positions. And compared to other engineering programs, licensure for materials engineers is rare. However, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021, state licensure requires:
A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
Relevant work experience typically at least four (4) years
A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam.
The average salary of a materials engineer is $95,640 per annum. However, this varies depending on your level of experience and also the industry. It can range from $57,970 to $154,340. Engineers in the research industry tend to earn higher than other industries. Some research or experiments involve on-call duties and long and staggered work schedules.
The materials engineer can progress to the position of quality manager. After a few years of experience, he can also become an expert/consultant in the materials process.