Profession materials engineer

Materials engineers research and design new or improved materials for a diverse number of applications. They analyse the composition of materials, conduct experiments, and develop new materials for industry-specific use that can range from rubber, to textiles, glass, metals, and chemicals. They advise companies in damage assessments, quality assurance of materials, and recycling of materials.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Investigative / Realistic

Knowledge

  • Composite materials

    The properties of different materials developped in a laboratory, their usage per type of products, and how to create them.

  • Engineering principles

    The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.

  • Engineering processes

    The systematic approach to the development and maintenance of engineering systems.

  • Material mechanics

    The behaviour of solid objects when subjected to stresses and strains, and the methods to calculate these stresses and strains.

  • Chemistry

    The composition, structure, and properties of substances and the processes and transformations that they undergo; the uses of different chemicals and their interactions, production techniques, risk factors, and disposal methods.

  • Analytical chemistry

    Instruments and methods used to separate, identify and quanitfy matter - the chemical components of natural and artificial materials and solutions.

  • Materials science

    Field of science and engineering that researches new materials on the basis of their structure, properties, synthesis, and performance for a variety of purposes, including increasing fire resistance of construction materials.

  • Thermoplastic materials

    Types of materials of which the physical state changes when exposed to heat, as well as the specific manner in which the materials react to heat exposure.

Skills

  • Apply health and safety standards

    Adhere to standards of hygiene and safety established by respective authorities.

  • Work with chemicals

    Handle chemicals and select specific ones for certain processes. Be aware of the reactions which arise from combining them.

  • Create solutions to problems

    Solve problems which arise in planning, prioritising, organising, directing/facilitating action and evaluating performance. Use systematic processes of collecting, analysing, and synthesising information to evaluate current practice and generate new understandings about practice.

  • Develop material testing procedures

    Develop testing protocols in collaboration with engineers and scientists to enable a variety of analyses such as environmental, chemical, physical, thermal, structural, resistance or surface analyses on a wide range of materials such as metals, ceramics or plastics.

  • Analyse production processes for improvement

    Analyse production processes leading toward improvement. Analyse in order to reduce production losses and overall manufacturing costs.

  • Approve engineering design

    Give consent to the finished engineering design to go over to the actual manufacturing and assembly of the product.

  • Test materials

    Test the composition, characteristics, and use of materials in order to create new products and applications. Test them under normal and extraordinary conditions.

  • Assess environmental impact

    Monitor environmental impacts and carry out assessments in order to identify and to reduce the organisation's environmental risks while taking costs into account.

  • Adjust engineering designs

    Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.

  • Integrate new products in manufacturing

    Assist with the integration of new systems, products, methods, and components in the production line. Ensure that production workers are properly trained and follow the new requirements.

  • Perform chemical experiments

    Perform chemical experiments with the aim of testing various products and substances in order to draw conclusions in terms of product viability and replicability.

  • Perform scientific research

    Gain, correct or improve knowledge about phenomena by using scientific methods and techniques, based on empirical or measurable observations.

  • Test chemical samples

    Perform the testing procedures on the already prepared chemical samples, by using the necessary equipment and materials. Chemical sample testing involves operations such as pipetting or diluting schemes.

  • Forecast organisational risks

    Analyse the operations and actions of a company in order to assess their repercussions, possible risks for the company, and to develop suitable strategies to address these.

Optional knowledge and skills

textile materials assess the feasibility of implementing developments mechanics define quality standards perform laboratory tests types of plastic pollution legislation semiconductors advise on pollution prevention advise on waste management procedures quality standards design prototypes electricity develop chemical products basic chemicals types of metal laboratory techniques