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What are the main work and responsibilities of a Material Science Engineer?

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RE: What are the main work and responsibilities of a Material Science Engineer?

Preeti Taneja
Preeti Taneja
Verified Career Expert
Head Guidance & Counselling at Project Wisdom, CSR initiative of Canam Consultants Limited, Chandigarh
  • Chandigarh

Materials engineers are responsible for the research, specification, design and development of materials to advance technologies of many kinds. Their expertise lies in understanding the properties and behaviours of different substances, from raw materials to finished products. The field is also referred to as materials science or materials technology.

They work with many different materials, including:

  • ceramics;
  • chemicals;
  • composites;
  • glass;
  • industrial minerals;
  • metals;
  • plastics;
  • polymers;
  • rubber;
  • textiles.

Their work involves :-

  • selecting the best combination of materials for specific purposes;
  • testing materials to assess how resistant they are to heat, corrosion or chemical attack;
  • analysing data using computer modelling software;
  • assessing materials for specific qualities (such as electrical conductivity, durability, renewability);
  • developing prototypes;
  • considering the implications for waste and other environmental pollution issues of any product or process;
  • advising on the adaptability of a plant to new processes and materials;
  • working to solve problems that may arise either during the manufacturing process or with the finished product (e.g. problems caused by daily wear and tear or change of environment);
  • supervising quality control throughout the construction and production process;
  • monitoring plant conditions and material reactions during use;
  • helping to ensure that products comply with national and international legal and quality standards;
  • advising on inspection, maintenance and repair procedures;
  • liaising with colleagues in manufacturing, technical and scientific support, purchasing, and marketing;
  • supervising the work of materials engineering technicians and other staff;
  • considering the costs implications of materials used and alternatives, in terms of both time and money;
  • taking account of energy usage in manufacturing and in-service energy saving, e.g. in transport and construction applications.

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