Materials Science and Engineering Career


What is Materials Science and Engineering? What are the job opportunities for students?

What is Materials Science and Engineering? What are the job opportunities for students?

EEverything we use is made of one material. The paper (or screen) you are reading this article on, your clothes and electrical devices, the building you are in, and even you are made from different types of materials. We live in a “material world”.

Many of us take materials for granted, but each has been developed and selected to provide the best performance and cost for the job for which it is used. Since the Stone Age, mankind has developed materials through the various ages to where we are now in the Molecular Age. Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) is where challenges are solved through the creation of new and better materials.

The subject is an interdisciplinary engineering discipline that uses scientific principles from physics, chemistry, and biology to understand, design, discover, and develop new and better materials. Incredibly fast-developing and always on the cutting edge of technology, it’s ideal for anyone with scientific curiosity, a love of problem solving and a love of interdisciplinary work.

There are many challenges to solve. Better battery materials are needed for next-generation energy storage, improved lightweight composites for more efficient transportation, and new electrical and optical materials to further develop digital technologies. Making materials sustainable is also a priority. Globally, governments are recognizing that advances in materials are needed to meet energy, climate and environmental goals. Research is ongoing on removing rare earths and toxic elements from current materials, developing building materials that generate less carbon dioxide, improving drug and drug delivery, materials for managing nuclear waste, manufacturing alternatives to plastics and more. We can also take inspiration from Nature, which offers a rich selection of durable, high-performance materials to try and copy. Like the stronger-than-steel silk that spiders weave into hard, durable materials such as abalone shells.

what it is about

A student will learn how different classes of materials – including ceramics, composites, metals, nanomaterials, and polymers – behave. This includes understanding the unique properties of each class and the basic scientific reasons for their occurrence. Processing is also a big part of the topic; learn, for example, the advantages and challenges of using additive manufacturing (eg 3D printing) compared to a typical sintering or casting method. A basic concept is how to characterize materials. By linking the structure, properties, processing and performance of the material, one learns to obtain the properties and performance necessary for the applications required at the largest scales. This could involve experimental or modeling work and working with atoms all the way to aircraft.

Since the links between MSE courses, professional bodies and industry are strong, check to see if the course is accredited by bodies such as the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3). This means that he is professionally recognized. Once you have gained the relevant experience, the professional registration process as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) or Chartered Engineer (CEng) is possible. Many courses also have direct links to local and international manufacturers, which is very important. As such, MSE graduates are in high demand and are a crucial part of engineering teams. That’s why they find employment in a wide range of industries, including electrical and telecommunications, aerospace, construction, biomedical, energy, healthcare, automotive, and sustainability. An MSE student can work anywhere from small and medium-sized businesses to start-ups and large corporations. Like other science and engineering disciplines, the transferable skills and problem solving that are integral to the course enable students to branch out into or adopt careers in banking, management and education. more by continuing in academia.

The author is a lecturer in materials science at the University of Sheffield, UK.


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