A materials scientist is a person who studies chemical properties and structures of different man-made materials and natural materials. Whether it’s glass, micro manufacturing of rubber, metals and ceramics or alloys, materials scientists learn all about these things, investigating and learning about them to gain new knowledge. They take this knowledge and they use it to figure out how to strengthen these materials, or combine them with other materials to create brand new ones.
Through this experimentation, materials scientists can work out how new materials can improve our lives on earth. These professionals have created so many of the things that we use in our day to day lives today. Think soaps, shoes, containers, packaging and more – and that’s the least of it. The main goal of a materials scientist is to study and understand materials to create something new. Not only that, but the materials that they newly create have to have improved characteristics.
How do they do it?
A materials scientist works to test certain materials and understand their effects in a range of conditions. They also plan experiments in a lab to explore the possibility of the techniques that can be used in the creation of new materials. They prepare reports with material test results for other scientists to peruse and discuss.
Research for a materials scientist looks like forming, processing and acquiring different materials for the development of other materials to form. This includes eating plates, tooth fillings and telescope lenses. They are responsible for the creation of these materials and they will study and report the effects of any applied forces on alloys and metals. They can also determine the tolerance and any causes of material failure under tension and during compression tests.
What do you need to do to be a materials scientist?
To be successful as a materials scientist, it’ll help to have a love of chemistry, biology and engineering. Any related field here will help you to get started, as this is a career – not just a job. It’ll help to be able to read reports and data, too, as well as having excellent communication skills that’ll ensure that you can communicate with scientists, lab personnel and company supervisors. These are all necessities if you are planning to become a materials scientist.
You must be able to be creative while analytically using mathematical formulas to solve problems. Not all solutions are immediately available for materials scientists, so patience and attention to detail is a must. A PhD is often a requirement depending on where you are working. If you want to work within materials science as a researcher, it’s a must. Some companies will choose to hire clients with adequate job and research experience, and others will happily hire those with a masters degree and work experience.
Some of the courses needed for a materials scientist include electric, magnetic and optical materials courses. These are just some of the things you will learn if you want to become a materials scientist.