Materials Engineers

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Materials engineers use their expertise to produce specifications for, design, process and apply materials effectively.

Materials engineers are specialists in the science and engineering of materials.

Job responsibilities vary according to the size and type of employer. However, duties typically include:

  • developing, modifying, testing and evaluating materials

  • providing technical advice about the suitability of materials

  • diagnosing faults

  • advising on, planning and organising inspections, maintenance and repairs

  • overseeing operational quality control processes

  • liaising with suppliers, customers and manufacturing/development staff

  • supervising engineering and technical staff

  • undertaking relevant research


Qualifications and training required


There are routes into this profession for both school leavers and university graduates. Graduates will need a degree in a relevant engineering or science-based subject, such as materials engineering, mining engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, or metallurgy.


Key skills for materials engineers


  • Sound scientific and technical knowledge

  • Analytical skills

  • Confidence

  • Leadership skills

  • Effective organisational skills

  • Communication and interpersonal skills

  • Commercial awareness

  • Teamworking skills


Typical employers of materials engineers


  • Metal/materials production, manufacturing and process companies

  • Research and development organisations

  • Utilities companies

  • Oil and gas companies

  • The Civil Service


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