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Materials Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)

Materials engineers make new materials and improve existing materials by making them more functional, sustainable and affordable.

Materials – metals, alloys, ceramics, polymers and composites – give manufactured products their functional and aesthetic qualities.

Materials engineers improve the way we do things. They apply their knowledge of the behaviour of materials to improve both the processing and the properties of a particular product.

You'll work across a broad range of industries on everything from your phone screen and running shoes to aircraft wings and artificial skin, and help to improve the performance of machines and structures.

Depending on your specialisation, career paths can include design, operation, management, research and consulting in the automobile, whitegoods, steel, aluminium and polymer industries.

Graduate in demand – UQ is the only university in Queensland to offer this highly specialised major.


To study this major, you'll have to choose an engineering specialisation first. The materials engineering major is available in the following specialisations:

Chemical engineering

Chemical engineers with a major in materials engineering develop strategies for effective reuse and recycling of products as we work towards a circular economy. You will learn how to design, select, and process materials to make valuable products.

Your studies will explore a wide range of applications, from biomaterials and nanomaterials to 3D printing at scale.

See the chemical engineering specialisation

Mechanical engineering

Materials engineers with a major in materials engineering assess mechanical processes and find ways to make them more efficient, safer, and deliver better quality. This means they directly affect almost every major mechanical industry in the world, from water supply and oil and gas through to pharmaceuticals and food manufacturing.

You will learn how to select, process and develop materials to design and make products, explore the impacts of temperature during processing, as well as the relationships between microstructures, mechanical properties, manufacturing and service performance.

Mechanical and materials engineers are employed by private companies such as AlumniTech, TechExpo and Integra LifeSciences Corp.

See the mechanical engineering specialisation


1 in Queensland for chemical engineering

QS World University Rankings 2021

1 in Queensland for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering

QS World University Rankings 2021

Career possibilities

Our programs prepare you for your first job and beyond. Here are some of the careers you could be on your way to:

  • Materials engineer
  • Materials and processing engineer
  • Laboratory supervisor
  • Chemical engineer
  • Metallurgist
  • Materials scientist
  • Mechanical engineer

Mid-career salary

Materials Engineer


How you'll learn

Your learning experiences are designed to best suit the learning outcomes of the courses you choose.

  • Lectures
  • Tutorials
  • Work placements
  • Overseas study
  • Laboratory work
  • Fieldwork
  • Workshops

What you'll study

At UQ, subjects are called 'courses'. Here's a sample of the courses you could study:

  • Statics and Materials
  • Structures and Materials
  • Biomaterials: Materials in Medicine
  • Nanomaterials

See all courses

Read program rules (PDF)

In Semester 2, 2021, we'll be teaching on campus, with online options for students who can't attend in person. Course delivery modes may change in future semesters.

Keep up to date

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