Career as a Metallurgist


Summary

Metallurgy is the study of metals (ferrous and non-ferrous), their structure, composition and properties. They investigate alloys of various metals. Metallurgists usually specialise in a specific area of metallurgy, each covering one of the three phases of the metallurgical lifecycle, chemical metallurgy, physical/structural metallurgy and process metallurgy.

Chemical Metallurgists study the origins of a metal, the chemical composition of different ores and different methods for extraction. Physical/structural metallurgists are concerned with metal structures and properties, such as conductivity, reactions to variable changes in pressure, temperature and other controllable conditions. Process metallurgists employ a combination of chemical and physical metallurgy principles in the adaptation, shaping and joining of metals and metal alloys for commercial and industrial purposes.

The primary objective of Metallurgy is to produce metals and products from alloys, which are structurally strong, yet flexible. It is also vital for preventing corrosion, fatigue and breakdowns in metal products, which can be caused by exposure to adverse climates and inhospitable environments. Furthermore, metallurgists might be involved in the creation of new materials, e.g. a combination of metal, alloys, plastics and other substances.

The duties of Metallurgist includes to designs and initiates processes for the manufacturing of metals from ores and for the operation of the related production equipment. Performs analysis and tests to aid in the development of new and improved metals and alloys as well as their applications to various products.

Work Environment

Working conditions for Metallurgical Engineers vary with their jobs. Most engineers spend some time in offices and laboratories where they work with other engineers and metallurgical technicians. They also do some of their work alone. Some metallurgical engineers meet with supervisors at mines and plants. In some areas engineers have to wear protective glasses and clothing. Personnel employed in industrial and manufacturing plant facilities may be required to work on a shift basis, whereas people working in academic research environments are more likely to have a regular schedule.

Entry Level Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Physics, Chemistry, Metallurgy, Materials Science, Structural Engineering or Chemical Engineering.
  • Master’s in M.SC, MEng or PhD.

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