Chemical and Materials Engineering

Careers in Materials Engineering

Student and teacher in a pipe lab
Student in the lab

A materials engineer will have a broad array of opportunities open up to them in either industry or research. The knowledge gained in undergraduate training can be applied to many areas. Recent graduates from our department have worked with an incredibly wide range of products and processes, including fuel cells, molecular sieves, polymers for gene therapy, fiber optic electronics, welding of pipeline steels, wear-resistant coatings, microelectromechanical systems fabrication, oil sands processing, and solar energy.

Trained materials engineers could find themselves doing any of the following:

  • forensic engineering, the "CSI" of materials that fail and cause damage to people or property
  • designing a mini mill that recycles old cars into new steel
  • fabrication and testing prototypes of new consumer products
  • developing lighter, stronger metal alloys for use in bridges and sky-scrapers
  • engineering nanoparticles to deliver healing proteins to broken bones
  • developing microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), for example the accelerometers found in the Apple iPhone and the Nintendo Wii that sense orientation, vibration and shock
  • Since the skills of a materials engineer are transferable to many different fields, they find themselves in demand from a wide range of employers regardless of the economic climate.

Materials Engineer - Profiles of Scientists and Engineers