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Engineering Mechanical or Materials for Automotive Research

  1. Jul 18, 2016 #1

    I am wondering if getting a mechanical or materials PhD will grant me more access to industrial automotive research opportunities. I understand the difference between materials and mechanical, but I am wondering if there's greater opportunity in materials research related to automotive than there is in mechanical. I am currently a materials undergrad and am wondering if I should change to mechanical.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2016 #2
    There is currently a lot of opportunity in materials. I cannot say that I have looked into it from the mechanical side but, I do know that industry, in general, is in demand for materials scientists. I am currently getting my M. S. in materials engineering and have already had recruiters calling me and asking if I am done with my degree yet. Unfortunately, I did not start in the materials field so the human resource people can't comprehend why they should hire someone to a position that they don't have a specific degree for. They are the equivalent of the gate keeper from Monty Python's Quest for the Holy grail.

    Currently, I work as an alloy chemist in a specialty steel mill. Some of the material that we produce is for the automotive industry. With companies trying to change the structural alloys used for production (such as the F-150s switch to aluminum), I can't help but think that there will continue to be opportunity for that in the future. I believe the latest job post I saw in the direction you are looking in was in Akron, OH.

    I would advise you to keep an eye on different job posting sites and see what kind of jobs are being posted in both of your fields of interest, and keep a close eye on their listed requirements. H. R. people have a hard time understanding that science interrelates, they will make sure a specific kind of education background is specified.
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