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Materials Scientist I


Junior (entry-level) materials scientist.  Works under immediate supervision.  Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job.  Primary job functions do not typically require exercising independent judgment.  Does not modify existing procedures or develop novel procedures.  Has knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field.  Typically reports to a supervisor or manager.  Has no supervisory responsibility.

Researches and studies the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass.  Determines ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications.  Uses very advanced communication and organizational skills.

Examples of Work

Job functions are specific duties that would be included in the essential functions of the job description.  These functions are not all-inclusive nor do they cover the full extent of the duties performed.

  • Participate or assist in research on the structures and properties of materials, such as metals, alloys, polymers, and ceramics, to obtain information that could be used to develop new products or enhance existing ones
  • Contribute information for reports, manuscripts, proposals, and technical manuals for use by other scientists and requestors, such as sponsors and customers
  • Perform experiments and computer modeling using established procedures of processes to study the nature, structure, and physical and chemical properties of metals and their alloys, and their responses to applied forces
  • Perform laboratory experiments to confirm feasibility of processes and techniques used in the production of materials having special characteristics
  • Assist in determining ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications
  • Use established testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials
  • Assist in researching methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses
  • Test individual parts and products to ensure that manufacturer and governmental quality and safety standards are met
  • Assist in monitoring 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
  • Test material samples for tolerance under tension, compression, and shear to determine the cause of metal failures

Education and Experience

Bachelor’s degree in materials science or a closely related field; no experience required.

Licensure and Certification



This position does not typically include supervisory responsibility.

To see common career pathways for each position at the University of Florida please visit the Career Paths section of the UFHR website.