Alumni Profile: Tom Sinclair
As I finished high school, I was looking for a degree that used maths and science, Materials Science stood out to me on open day, so it developed from there.
It was a good experience. The group going through the course was relatively small compared to the other engineering disciplines, so there was a lot more opportunity to assist each other in studying.
I am working at Moly-Cop as a product metallurgist, we manufacture forged steel grinding media that is used in the comminution of ore.
I am part of the team that manages the chemical composition and heat treatment of the steel to manage its properties. The role is quite diverse including work in the lab, the factory and the office, working on R&D and standard production.
After graduating, how did your career path evolve?
At the end of my degree I took up a graduate position at then Arrium. This program rotated you through different business units over a three year period. My first placement was in Moly-Cop, but as it turned out I never ended up leaving as I spent my second rotation visiting some of our factories in the Americas over a three month period and was then offered a permanent job at the end of my stint.
Materials Science allows you to look at a broad range of different material types and understand their various attributes and how to engineer them. Choose this degree if you are interested in understanding the details of how the human environment was constructed around you, whether it be the bricks in the walls, the steel in the stadiums or the cutting edge of high performance materials. It can take you anywhere from researching new materials to quality control/process engineering in a variety of industries.
I rather enjoyed one of our first year subjects on engineering design. We were tasked to create an engine that runs on hot water using springs of a shape memory alloy. It required a fair amount of creative thinking and teamwork to come up with a design that worked. In the end though, each one of the groups came up with something different.