Careers and industries

Woman and man manufacturing worker in discussion writing on tablet computer

A single or combined degree in Materials Science & Engineering (MSE) can take you anywhere in almost any industry. 

Graduates of MSE at UNSW Sydney will be equipped to work in fundamental scientific research, manufacturing and materials processing, management, quality, safety, the environmental impact of materials and commercialisation of materials technologies.

Locally and around the world, MSE graduates have gone on to work in emerging fields of nanotechnology, biomedical materials, electronic materials and major established industries.

  • Sustainable processing engineers help to reduce our ever growing pollution problems by developing and modifying new materials which may replace non-biodegradable materials currently in use. Sustainable materials processing, particularly of our mineral resources, is vital to the long term future of Australia and international industry.
  • Energy and electronics engineers study green energy, an increasingly fundamental concern in our society of limited resources. Materials at UNSW is at the forefront of developing environmentally friendly and safe solar hydrogen generation systems. Electronics is becoming smaller as micro turns into nano turns into quantum electronics. Engineering chips, atom by atom, is intense materials engineering. Materials Engineering is playing a vital role in diverse developments across the fields of energy generation and electronics.
  • Failure analysts and forensic scientists look at why structures fail. What happened to the Challenger Space Shuttle? What causes a jumbo jet to crash or a pipe to fail? Is it the choice of materials, poor engineering or are there other external factors?
  • Composite technologists are focused on the materials of the future – lighter, stiffer, stronger, tougher materials for use in cars, sporting goods, aircraft, bridges and buildings. Composite Technologists develop better fibres, better matrices and better production methods, always with the goal of creating composites with unique properties for enhanced performance.
  • Materials scientists are sought by companies that manufacture multiple materials and need broad expertise across all materials.
  • Extractive metallurgists measure the mechanical and physical properties of alloyswork with gold, silver and other precious metals, transforming our natural resources to make them more pure and therefore more valuable.
  • Physical metallurgists investigate the physical characteristics, properties and processing of metals to develop new alloys, applications and methods of commercially fabricating products from metals.
  • Ceramic engineers focus on the science and technology of creating objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials. Look out the window – much of what you see is ceramic: the window, bricks, concrete and tiles. Ceramicists are required to design and manufacture materials for optimum performance.  Bioceramics (hip replacements), space shuttle tiles, ceramic engines that are more fuel efficient, glass used in optical fibre and computer chips are just a few of the functions of ceramics.

But there are no limits – MSE graduates have gone on to become CEOs, politicians, professors, physicians, lawyers, astronauts and more.

All UNSW Engineering undergraduate degree programs are fully accredited by Engineers Australia.

    • Accenture Consulting
    • Andersen Consulting
    • Anglo Coal Australia
    • Ansto
    • Aristocrat
    • AT Kearney Consulting
    • Austral Bricks
    • Beteng Foundry, Indonesia
    • BHP Billiton
    • BlueScope Steel
    • Boeing Research & Technology
    • Boral Bricks
    • Boston Consulting Group
    • Caroma Industries Ltd
    • CI Ceramics
    • Cochlear Ltd
    • Comalco Ltd
    • Deloitte Consulting Co
    • Dong Kuk Steel Korea
    • Earthtech
    • Engineering & Technical Research Services
    • Infracorr Consulting Ltd
    • Lendlease
    • Pyrotek
    • ResMed
    • Rio Tinto