In studying materials, there are elements of physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry, all taught in a cohesive, and self-contained way within the course. This makes for a varied and stimulating experience, giving you the tools to make a real difference in industry and research. Some of the themes prominent at the moment are biomaterials, nanomaterials, advanced manufacturing, smart materials, composites, energy generation and storage, green and sustainable materials.
The ability to create new materials and to make existing materials perform better is the key to many advances in areas of science and engineering, be it in industry or research organisations. There are smaller numbers of materials graduates than other disciplines which, combined with a strong need from industry and research for these people, means that most of our students get good jobs in their final year. Some of the companies that have employed our graduates are Airbus, Arthur Andersen, Alcoa, BASF, Bluescope Steel, BHP Biliton, CSIRO, Dow, DSTO, Esso, Exxon Mobil, Ford, Holden, Huntsman Chemical, Kraft, Moldflow, Maunsell, Melbourne Water, Nissan, Orica, Olex Cables, Qenos, Telstra, Smith and Nephew, Toyota and Webforge, to name a few.
We often read in the newspaper about the skills shortage in technological-based companies world-wide. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the Materials Engineering or Materials Science course you will acquire a range of scientific and technical skills and knowledge, in addition to other generic skills such as management, presentation skills, occupational health and safety. The kind of jobs our graduates obtain range from plant managers, to research scientists, to CEOs, to consultants, to patent attorneys to business development managers.
This combination of strengths means you are being taught by leaders in the areas of research and industry engagement, and their courses are modern, relevant and related to the real world. It is possible in Final Year projects or Honours, to work with companies on projects that are key to that industry. The strong Departmental research profile means that it is also often possible to get a scholarship (both for local or international students) in an interesting and relevant area of materials research if you perform well.
Our numbers and facilities allow us to hold many of our practical classes in the research laboratories, where you get to use real research equipment. This makes for an interesting experience and greater understanding of the area. Smaller numbers also means you get to know your teachers.
Materials science and materials engineering is a key aspect of most companies the world over. In the race to make things stronger, cheaper, lighter, more functional and more sustainable, the manipulation of materials, their properties and processes is key. This means graduates in this area can work, or do research in most countries of the world, and many of our alumni have done just that.