Materials Scientist III
Senior materials scientist. Works under minimal supervision. Relies on significant experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. Defines goals for a given research project in conjunction with faculty and/or other staff. A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected. Very familiar with a variety of the field’s concepts, practices, and procedures. Analyzes existing methodologies, formulates hypotheses, modifies existing procedures, and develops novel procedures. Performs a variety of complicated tasks. Typically reports to a supervisor or manager. May coordinate, supervise, manage, and/or train others. Spends less than 80% of work time on supervisory/managerial duties.
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.
- Conduct 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
- 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
- Devise new or modify existing testing methods to evaluate the effects of various conditions on particular materials
- Research methods of processing, forming, and firing materials to develop such products as ceramic dental fillings, unbreakable dinner plates, and telescope lenses
- 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
- Test material samples for tolerance under tension, compression, and shear to determine the cause of metal failures
- Visit suppliers of materials or users of products to gather specific information
Education and Experience
Doctoral degree in materials science or a closely related field and two years of experience in the field or in a related area; or master’s degree in materials science or a closely related field and five years of experience in the field or in a related area; or bachelor’s degree in materials science or a closely related field and seven years of experience in the field or in a related area.
Licensure and Certification
This position may include supervisory responsibility.
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