What is the work of Instrument Material Engineer ?
Materials engineers are specialists in the science and engineering of materials.
Job responsibilities vary according to the size and type of employer. However, duties typically include:
- developing, modifying, testing and evaluating materials
- providing technical advice about the suitability of materials
- diagnosing faults
- advising on, planning and organising inspections, maintenance and repairs
- overseeing operational quality control processes
- liaising with suppliers, customers and manufacturing/development staff
- supervising engineering and technical staff
- undertaking relevant research
Typical employers of materials engineers
- metal/materials production, manufacturing and process companies
- research and development organisations
- utilities companies
- oil and gas companies
- the Civil Service.
Jobs are advertised online, by careers services and recruitment agencies, in newspapers and in relevant publications including TARGETjobs Engineering , Welding and Cutting , The Engineer , Engineering, Engineering News and their respective websites.
Key skills for materials engineers
- sound scientific and technical knowledge
- analytical skills
- leadership skills
- effective organisational skills
- communication and interpersonal skills
- commercial awareness
- attention to detail
- teamworking skills.
Instrumentation and Material engineering are relevant to each other.
For every sensor, manufacturer has to ensure the material being used should withstand the process media, chemically, physically (strength, temperature, erosion etc). One can never select proper instrumentation without understanding properties of ‘wet parts’ - parts that are in contact with process media (fluid,gas, liquid, solids - even molten metal).
In fact, Instrument engineer shall know something about mechanical engineering to specify control/safety valves - pressure rating, temperature, flange details and gasket types. Even gland packings.
These are few examples. In practice, one finds many more. Many instruments, especially control valves and level gauges fail due to wrong material selection.
Instrumentation engineering deals with measurement and control, which is applicable in process industries, biomedical,space research etc.,
Whereas, Material engineering deals with understanding of various properties of metals, ceramics,plastics etc which is applicable in selection, inspection and maintenance of materials in process industries and R&D etc.