Chemical and Materials: Where will it take you??

Where does chemical and materials engineering lead to?? I’m sure this is a question you will ask for every one of the specialisations. So I’ve searched through the corners of the internet and dug out all everything you need to know about where chemical and materials engineering leads you to. But first, let’s clear up a common misconception: chemical engineering is NOT the same as chemistry! Anyways, now, let’s get into the exciting world of possibilities that these fields offer!

First of, just from the name, you can become a chemical engineer or opt to be a materials engineer. Pretty straightforward, right? But what do these titles really mean?

Chemical Engineering!

Many like to call this “socially acceptable paramania.” Each time I go to a CHEMMAT industry talk (pro tip: go to any industry talks and make connections!), I always leave surprised at the versatility this specialisaiton has! Chemical engineers are the creative minds behind designing, evolving, and overseeing the machinery and procedures used in the production of chemicals and various products. Here are some of manyy career paths you can go into:

  • Process Engineer: Thisnk industrial magician. You’ll optimise production processes, ensuring efficiency and safety in industries like pharmaceuticals, dairy, brewery and really anything that needs a processing plant (which is like every product ever produced!!)
  • Research Scientist: Imagine cooking up new materials, chemicals, and gadgets in a lab. Your experiments might just be the next big thing!
  • Environmental Engineer: If saving the planet is your jam, you can jump into environmental engineering, finding ways to make industries greener with waste management, pollution control and more!

Materials Engineering!

Materials engineering (aka a glorified blacksmith) is not something alot of universities in NZ have. I’m telling u, they’re missing out. Materials engineering has to be one of my favourite topics in engineering and science. Now, when I first started CHEMMAT 121, I thought it was so complicated and boring and just too specific?? Like why do we need to know so much about steel?? But as the days turned into weeks, and the weeks into months, the world of materials science gradually weaved its intricate threads together. It’s just so incredible knowing that humans for centuries have found ways to manipulate the properties of metals and other materials. Who would’ve thought that metals could possess such versatility and depth? So who’s with me to becoming a blacksmith they always dreamt of?? I’m joking but here are some career options Materials science/ engineering can get you to:

  • Materials Scientist: Dive deep into the atomic world. Uncover new materials with fantastical properties like super strength or flexibility.
  • Metallurgical Engineer: Ever thought about the metals in cars, planes, and bikes? As a metallurgical engineer, you’ll be the genius behind the extraction, processing and application of metals in many industries.
  • Nanotechnologist: Work with nano-sized materials and create mind-blowing gadgets for everything from phones to flying cars. Seriously! You can use nanomaterials to create cutting-edge products and technologies in electronics, medicine, energy storage and more!

Career Sectors!

New Zealand alone has a variety of industries you can apply your Chemical and Materials degree into! Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Renewable Energy: Ever heard of wind farms? This is where we develop renewable energy sources, improve energy efficiency, and work on sustainable practices.
  • Wine and Food Production: Yep, even your favorite glass of Sauvignon Blanc gets a touch of processing magic.
  • High-Tech Manufacturing: Innovate in 3D printing, additive manufacturing, and precision engineering.
  • Biotech and Pharmaceuticals: If you are a biology or chemistry fanatic or want to contribute to pharmaceutical manufacturing, bioprocessing to cure diseases and develop groundbreaking drugs, this might be for you!

That is obviously not all the industries u can get into. Automotive and Aerospace, Environmental protection and Sustainability and many many more career sectors are available worldwide!

Alrighty, aspiring engineers, you’re armed with the knowledge. Chemical and materials engineering aren’t just careers; they’re adventures waiting to happen. Imagine contributing to companies like Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Fonterra, and Rocket Lab. From brewing beer to building spaceships, you’ll be at the forefront of innovation. In the world of chemical and materials engineering, possibilities are abundant and diverse. Whether you lean towards chemical engineering to revolutionising industrial processes or find your passion in materials engineering to design innovative materials, these disciplines serve as the backbone of modern technology, innovation, and sustainable development for the world!

That’s all for today folks!! Thank you for letting me ramble on. I hope I am able to give you at least a smidge of insight into what Chemical and Materials engineering will look like. Feel free to comment any questions. See yall in a fortnight!!

byee, Hirushi 🙂

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