Both materials scientists and materials engineers share many things in common:
may perform very similar tasks in their work
work involves analyzing data
performing tests on materials
alter or create new materials
There are some differences between the materials scientists and material engineers such as the focus of their work and the environment in which they work.
For materials scientists, their focus may be more on research and testing. They may be developing new ways to combine materials to improve its function or for a new application. Therefor they tend to work in laboratories and offices.
Job responsibilities of a materials scientist include:
Identify products that need to be tested
Determine the best way to test products
Assess product safety
Oversee technicians and other staff involved in the research
Recommend ways to improve product materials
Operate laboratory equipment
Collaborate with other scientists
Discovery and Development
Lin Wang, material scientist and doctorial student, and his fellow researchers were inspired by nature and discovered an enhanced water-repellent surfaces on insects with an enhanced ability to repel droplets. They have developed a bio-inspired coating that could be applied to personal protective equipment (PPE) to better resist virus-laden particles, such as COVID-19, among other applications.
Materials engineers do research as well, but their focus is on products and are concerned with all aspects of production including costs, the production process, and production quality. They may also assess production costs, pricing, and create budgets, which is typically a duty outside the scope of materials scientists. Material engineers tend to work more in factories or industrial settings.
Job responsibilities of a materials engineer include:
Assess the manufacturing process
Identify areas for improvement in product manufacturing
Alter or create materials to use in production
Study faulty products to identify issues
Prepare written assessments of production costs and processes