Material Engineers are involved in the development, processing and testing of the materials used to create a range of products from computer chips and television screens to golf clubs and snow skis. Material Engineers work with metals, ceramics, plastics, semiconductors and composites to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical and chemical requirements. This position is also involved in selecting materials for new applications.

Duties of a Material Engineer

  • 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 arising during the manufacturing process or with the finished product, such as those caused by daily wear and tear or a 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.

The Salary for a materials engineer ranges from £20,000 to £26,000.
With experience, this rises to between £27,000 and £50,000.
A Senior Engineer with chartered status can earn you a salary of up to £60,000.

Material Engineers have developed the ability to create and then study materials at an atomic level, using advanced processes to replicate the characteristics of materials and their components with computers. Most Material Engineers specialise in a particular material. For example, metallurgical engineers specialise in metals such as steel and ceramic engineers develop ceramic materials and the processes for making ceramic materials into useful products such as glassware or fibre optic communication lines.

Contact the Engineering Division Team

Email the Engineering Division at

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