Materials engineers investigate the properties of metals, ceramics, polymers, plastics and other materials, and develop and assess their commercial and engineering applications.
To become a materials engineer you usually have to complete a degree in engineering at university with a major in materials engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, chemistry and physics are normally required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in engineering with a major in materials engineering. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information. For full details, refer to the entries on the website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au or university handbooks.
Materials engineers may perform the following tasks:
They often work closely with other professionals, pooling expertise on particular projects. They may work in production plants, offices and outdoors when involved in construction projects.
Materials engineers find employment in industrial or government research organisations and in government agencies such as those associated with power generation, communication, defence, construction and transport. A wide range of manufacturing industries also employ materials engineers, including those concerned with the processing of minerals, plastics, rubbers, ceramics, paper, electronic devices and packaging. There are also opportunities for experienced materials engineers to become self-employed consultants.