A person recently recommended that I try to find out where some particular steel was made, when I realized that people don't really know what a materials scientist and engineer does. Without reading any description of what a materials science and engineering major supposedly does I am going to describe what I am trained to do, in order of what I feel makes me more marketable.
- Create and run complex computer heat treating simulations. I can of course do mechanical stress analysis simulations, in fact my first day using the simulation I did a stress analysis simulation. It took me more than a year to understand heat treating simulations enough to get a decent result.
- Understand and plan heat treating. This, like the simulations, is because it was directly related to my thesis. About 1/3 of the cost of most gears I believe is due directly to the heat treating. It is similar for other heat treated parts.
- Understand material failures. You might call some things weaknesses or imperfections but to people like me they are failures. I understand how that happens, even on an atomic level.
- On top of all of that I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering, if it flies, goes into space, flows, or involves a turbine I understand it.
- I feel that I present well. Both of my most recent interviews have involved myself giving a presentation. I was told this summer by distinguished University of Colorado at Boulder professor that I teach well.
I know I am not the best in the world at anything, except maybe my Abaqus Bottom-up Mesh Tutorial, but when I hear stories or see people who are clearly not great at what they do it makes me cringe. What is my problem?