What do materials engineers do after they have left university?

General: The job prospects in the materials field have been excellent, quite literally for decades now. The materials engineer earns rather well and in addition is able to easily migrate between different technology sectors. The students who graduated from our Institute for Materials, who today number almost 400, are very pleased that they opted for the study of materials. The number of women studying in our Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Institute for Materials has always been noticeably above average.

Fields of Activity: Materials engineers are much sought after in industry, at research institutes, at certification authorities, as expert witnesses, in technology transfer and in teaching. We give below a brief overview of some of the potential employers. This is by no means an exhaustive list, the possibilities are boundless.

Industry: In industry there are positions waiting for you at manufacturers of semi-finished products, such as Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, ThyssenKrupp, Alcan and Plansee. At these companies, semi-finished products are manufactured by means of melt metallurgy or powder metallurgy. They include steel (non alloyed and alloyed), metals (Al, Ti and Mg), refractory metals (Mo and W) and copper alloys. You could work at companies that make parts, components and systems (components: TRW, bearings: FAG, TK Rothe Erde, turbine blades: Doncasters, gears: GKN Sintermetals, turbines: Alsthom, Siemens, MTU engines: MAN, transmissions: Eickhoff, Bosch). Also automobile manufacturers (Opel, VW) and automotive suppliers (many of them SMEs) are well-known employers. It is also becoming increasingly attractive to work in the medical technology sector (e.g. medical implants: Cortronik, Admedes Schüssler, many SMEs). Many materials graduates are attracted to plant operators (power stations: RWE, chemical plants: BASF, Bayer, aircraft: Lufthansa).

Universities and research institutes:
The future looks bright for materials engineers who enjoy research. Those looking to launch a career in science can gain further qualifications at a university – our Institute for Materials would for example be an excellent choice. At our Institute for Materials, there are many excellent opportunities for obtaining a doctorate. PhD positions are funded by various bodies promoting research, the funding for our Chair comes primarily from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. Over 50% of the doctorates obtained by women at the Faculty of Materials were conferred for work completed at the Institute of Materials. You would be able to work at one of the German or international research institutes (HZ Berlin, FZ Jülich), or at a Max Planck Institute (MPIE Dusseldorf) or at Fraunhofer institutes (IWM Freiburg, IFAM Bremen/Dresden).

Certification Authorities: You could become involved with monitoring and approval inspections at the TÜV or at Germanischer Lloyd (the GL Group).

A Career as an Expert Witness:
There are a number of ways make a name for yourself as an expert witness, for example by working for insurance companies (Allianz) or for consulting and expert companies. A well-known employer in this sector is the Federal Institute for Materials Testing in Berlin (the German abbreviation is BAM).
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