Careers and industries

Woman and man manufacturing worker in discussion writing on tablet computer

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

Our graduates are equipped to work in scientific research, materials processing, professional management, environmental impact assessment, commercialisation of materials technologies, and more. They are located all over the world, working in diverse fields directly associated with the core discipline of materials science and engineering. The following list provides examples of some of these jobs and their respective roles:

  • Sustainable processing engineers help to reduce our ever-growing pollution and carbon emissions problems by developing and modifying new materials that may replace non-biodegradable materials currently in use. Sustainable materials processing, particularly of our mineral resources, is vital to the long-term future of Australian and international industries.
  • Energy and electronics engineers investigate green energy materials and processes, an increasingly fundamental concern in our society of limited resources, as well as designing electronic devices that are becoming smaller as micro turns into nano turns into quantum electronics. Materials engineering plays a vital role in diverse developments across these fields.
  • Failure analysts and forensic scientists investigate and understand 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?
  • Materials data scientists apply advanced data analysis techniques to extract valuable insights from materials-related datasets, facilitating materials discovery and optimisation.
  • Composite technologists focus 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.
  • Biomaterials engineers design and develop materials that interact with biological systems, such as implants, prosthetics, and drug delivery systems, for improving and extending life.
  • Polymer scientists develop and synthesise new polymeric materials or improving existing ones for a diverse range of structural and functional applications.
  • Materials scientists are sought by companies that manufacture multiple materials and need broad expertise across all materials.
  • Physical metallurgists investigate the physical characteristics, properties, and processing of metals to develop new alloys, applications, and methods of commercially fabricating products from metals.
  • Additive manufacturing technologists utilise 3D printing technologies to create complex and customised objects using various materials, pushing the boundaries of design and manufacturing.
  • Ceramic engineers focus on the science and technology of creating high performance products from inorganic, non-metallic materials. Look out the window – much of what you see is ceramic: the window, bricks, concrete and tiles. Bioceramics (hip replacements), space shuttle tiles, glass used in optical fibre and computer chips are just a few of the functions of ceramics.

But there are no limits – Materials Science & Engineering 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

Alumni profiles

View our alumni profiles in the School of Materials Science & Engineering and see the career opportunities available from research and technology to engineering. Our graduates are changing the world for the better. Get to know them.

Industry partners

The School of Materials Science & Engineering collaborates with a range of partners within the materials industry to develop innovative advances in materials science solving real-world problems. View some of our of strategic partners.