About This Career
Evaluates materials and develops machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develops new uses for known materials. Includes those engineers working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials. Includes metallurgists and metallurgical engineers, ceramic engineers, and welding engineers.
This career is part of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster Engineering and Technology pathway.
A person in this career:
- Analyzes product failure data and laboratory test results to determine causes of problems and develop solutions.
- Designs and directs the testing or control of processing procedures.
- Monitors material performance, and evaluates its deterioration.
- Conducts or supervises tests on raw materials or finished products to ensure their quality.
- Evaluates technical specifications and economic factors relating to process or product design objectives.
- Modifies properties of metal alloys, using thermal and mechanical treatments.
- Guides technical staff in developing materials for specific uses in projected products or devices.
- Determines appropriate methods for fabricating and joining materials.
- Reviews new product plans, and makes recommendations for material selection, based on design objectives such as strength, weight, heat resistance, electrical conductivity, and cost.
- Supervises the work of technologists, technicians, and other engineers and scientists.