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Metallurgist

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.

Job description

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.

Work activties

  • 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.

Work conditions

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.

Entry requirements

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.