What is Materials Engineering
Materials Engineering is dedicated to the creation and refinement of useful materials from raw resources for specific applications. A material is defined as any substance that can be used to make something, from iron to sand. A Materials Engineer will be able to characterise a material’s properties so that they can be selected for the most suitable application.
The two purposes of this discipline are the extraction and processing of raw materials and selection for an appropriate application. Materials Engineers get to play with testing equipment and experiments to identify suitable materials for an application. While all disciplines of Engineering has a Materials Engineering component during their coursework, Materials Engineering also deals with materials on a more fundamental level. It is a discipline that may interest those fascinated with destroying objects and then analysing why or how they broke.
Almost all disciplines and industries require the use of a Materials Engineer at some stage. A Materials Engineer may contract their services to companies that require a unique material to satisfy a particular requirement (such as waterproof aluminium for a marine application). Materials Engineers spend the majority of their time in a lab with occasional site visits if they work in certain industries (construction for example).