Alumni Profile: Tom Sinclair

7 June 2018


What did you study?
I studied a Bachelor of Material Science and Engineering, majoring in process metallurgy.
Why did you choose to do a Materials Science degree?

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.
What was your experience being a Materials Science student?

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.
Where are you working now and what is your role?

I am working at Moly-Cop as a product metallurgist, we manufacture forged steel grinding media that is used in the comminution of ore.
What does your current role involve?

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.

Do you have any advice for school leavers considering studying Materials Science at UNSW Sydney?

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.
Please share any fond memories you have of your time studying Materials Science at UNSW Sydney.

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.