Research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass. Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications. Includes glass scientists, ceramic scientists, metallurgical scientists, and polymer scientists.
Related Job Titles: Research Scientist; Materials Scientist; Technology Officer; Micro Electrical/Mechanical Systems Device Scientist (MEMS Device Scientist); Polymer Materials Consultant; Research and Development Scientist (R and D Scientist); Senior Materials Scientist; Staff Research Scientist; Staff Scientist; Vice President Research
Prepare reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers.
Perform experiments and computer modeling to study the nature, structure, and physical and chemical properties of metals and their alloys, and their responses to applied forces.
Plan laboratory experiments to confirm feasibility of processes and techniques used in the production of materials having special characteristics.
Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications.
Teach in colleges and universities.
Research methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses.
Devise testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials.
Confer with customers to determine how to tailor materials to their needs.
Recommend materials for reliable performance in various environments.
Test individual parts and products to ensure that manufacturer and governmental quality and safety standards are met.
Supervise and monitor production processes to ensure efficient use of equipment, timely changes to specifications, and project completion within time frame and budget.
Test metals to determine conformance to specifications of mechanical strength, strength-weight ratio, ductility, magnetic and electrical properties, and resistance to abrasion, corrosion, heat, and cold.