A metallurgist works with metals and alloys in the development, production and manufacturing of metal items/structures that range from tiny precision-made components to huge heavy engineering parts. Metallurgists work with a wide range of products including non-ferrous metals, copper sheet/wire, precious metals, iron, steel, stainless steel, zinc, copper and aluminium alloys. They normally specialise in either physical, chemical or process metallurgy.
Ireland is a leading producer of zinc and lead concentrates in Europe. Typical employers are metal and materials producers, manufacturing and process companies, foundries, research and development organizations, specialist consultancies and utilities.
- Liaising with clients to determine and interpret design requirements.
- Providing technical advice about the suitability of metals for different purposes.
- Making recommendations and advising about product feasibility.
- Creating precise designs for components.
- Developing prototypes and innovative solutions to problems.
- Investigating corrosion and metal failure/fatigue.
- Liaising with and supervising engineering and technical staff.
- Ensuring adherence to manufacturing quality standards.
- Overseeing operational quality control processes.
- Using specialist computer applications.
- Carrying out laboratory based analysis of samples.
- Using both destructive and non-destructive techniques to test composition.
Travel: may be necessary to visit clients. Some positions may involve international travel.
Working hours: Metallurgists in the academic field can expect standard office hours. Industry positions feature shift work.
Location: factories, mining areas and academic organisations throughout Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.
A degree in metallurgy, materials science/technology or a similar engineering subject is usually necessary. Postgraduate qualifications such as the metallurgy course at the University of Ulster are beneficial to those without a relevant primary degree or candidates wishing to enter research.