Materials Engineer

Materials engineers are on the cutting edge of technology in virtually every field. They develop the materials with outstanding combinations of mechanical, chemical, and electrical properties that make other advances possible. Metals, plastics, ceramics, super- and semi-conductors are just of the few material that these engineers continue to develop and enhance.

Education

Materials engineers need a four-year college degree. In many cases, the better research positions require at least a master's or doctoral degree. Most have materials science and engineering degrees, but some have degrees in chemical or even biomedical engineering.

Lifestyle

Most materials engineers work in research and development labs in industry or at universities. While the environment and hours that they work can vary substantially with their industry and job, most material engineers work regular hours.

Salary

The average annual salary for an entry-level materials engineer $60,368.*

Examples

  • Invent clothing that repels mosquitoes
  • Enhance the handling ability of skis and snowboards with more flexible materials
  • Develop nano-sized polymers to help repair shattered bones
  • Help burn victims heal faster with artificial skin grafts 
  • Create stretchable material for clothing that returns to its original shape
*Source: Salary.com 2013
  • Annabel Chen Posted on September 11, 2013 by Annabel Chen
    Shine Bright Like a Morpho
    Engineers look to butterfly wings to inspire the fabric of the future.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: September 11, 2013

    Latest Update: September 11, 2013

  • Annabel Chen Posted on August 26, 2013 by Annabel Chen
    Sharks Take a Bite Out of Disease
    The ocean's top predators teach engineers a few things about controlling bacteria.
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    Resource Added: August 26, 2013

    Latest Update: September 11, 2013

  • Answered by Minna Krejci
  • Kate Gramling Posted on October 16, 2012 by Kate Gramling
    Computer or Temporary tattoo
    Engineers working in an area of “biointegrated technology” have created electronic sensors so small and light that you can wear them like temporary tattoos.
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    Resource Added: October 16, 2012

    Latest Update: October 17, 2012

  • Julia  Weertman Posted on July 26, 2012 by Julia Weertman
    Julia Weertman
    When I was in junior high school I was enthralled with airplanes. Airplanes were more exotic back then than the buses of the sky that they are now. I chose to study science and math to become an aeronautical engineer. Somewhere, along about my junior year, I decided I preferred physics and did my undergrad and grad studies in that area.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Linda  Schadler Posted on July 26, 2012 by Linda Schadler
    Linda Schadler
    My short term goal right now is to raise the funding for a new research center at Rensselaer. My long term goal is to maintain a balance of work and family and to have lots of fun along the way.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Katherine  Faber Posted on July 26, 2012 by Katherine Faber
    Katherine Faber
    My long term goals are to continue to do high quality research on ceramic materials with my students, continue to be a part of the education process of the talented young people that attend Northwestern University, and to always be open to new challenges.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Julia  Phillips Posted on July 26, 2012 by Julia Phillips
    Julia Phillips
    The road began with a childhood fascination with the stars which turned to a career ambition with the help of an elementary school teacher.  My parents’ encouragement meant that by the time I got to college, science was the only thing I considered as a major.  Over time I learned that it was more satisfying to address problems that lots of people care about.  As a result, I have spent most of my career at the interface between science and engineering.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Ursula  Gibson Posted on July 26, 2012 by Ursula Gibson
    Ursula Gibson
    Short-term goals include a modest expansion of my research program, and long-term goals include writing a book.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Maeling Tapp Posted on July 26, 2012 by Maeling Tapp
    Maeling Tapp


    My short term goals are to graduate from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Materials Engineering and a minor in Spanish. This goal will actually become reality next May! After graduation, I would also like to study abroad in Argentina to help improve my spanish skills. Some of my long term goals are to obtain a Ph.D. in Materials Engineering and also to become fluent in Spanish. I also hope one day to be involved in influential research dealing with polymeric materials and biomaterials.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Elizabeth Horne Posted on July 26, 2012 by Elizabeth Horne
    Elizabeth Horne
    I became interested in materials engineering because I wanted an opportunity to work with different types of plastic materials. I love the idea of discovering new material applications that can ‘wow’ consumers.  I want them to say, ‘I can’t believe it’s plastic!
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Mona M. Vernon Posted on July 26, 2012 by Mona M. Vernon
    Mona Masghati
    Materials engineering is important to me because I can make an impact in many different industries, such as aerospace and medicine. For example, I worked on new material for airplanes and also on materials for a hip-replacement implant while I was in graduate school.
    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 9, 2012

  • Kim K. de Groh Posted on July 26, 2012 by Kim K. de Groh
    Kim de Groh
    My short term goals include:

    • Writing an article entitled “Review of Materials Spaceflight Experiments” for the Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering

    • Writing a handbook for spacecraft designers, to be entitled the “Handbook of Atomic Oxygen”  

    • Conducting post-flight analyses of my MISSE experiments, presenting the results at conferences and documenting the data in conference papers and journal articles

    • Continue to work with students from Hathaway Brown and other schools


    My long term goals include:

    • Continue to develop and fly space flight experiments, providing important and unique environmental durability data to the space community and directly impacting the space program

    • Have a positive impact on other peoples lives

    Full Post

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: August 2, 2012

  • Nandika  D'Souza Posted on July 26, 2012 by Nandika D'Souza
    Nandika D'Souza

    Resource Added: July 26, 2012

    Latest Update: March 20, 2014

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Latest Question

Finding a job after an international PhD

by Kunfrom University of Utah, SLC

Hi, I am an international PhD student in University of Utah. This is my first year here. And I am making a career towards Materials Engineer. However, I've heard it hard for international student to find a engineering job here, especially for a ...

Read the answer