Alumni Profile

Issue Month: 

  • May

Issue Year: 


Tony Wells: Materials Failure Analyst


Why did you choose to do a Materials Science degree?

It looked to be an interesting, hands-on technical career in a growing industry

What was your experience being a Materials Science student?

I enjoyed the learning experience as it went from basics (physics, chemistry, mathematics) to specifics e.g. mineralogy, primary & secondary metallurgy

Where are you working now and what is your role?

As a materials failure analyst, I act in a forensic role finding the cause(s) of transport failures (aeronautical, marine & rail) with regard to the safety problem(s) behind their occurrence

What does your current role involve?

Attending on-site accident examinations around Australia to lab examinations/analysis to report writing and leading investigations.  From an aeronautical perspective, our work is as shown on the TV show Air Crash Investigations

After graduating, how did your career path evolve?

After completing my major in Metallurgy I began as a trainee metallurgist in the automotive industry covering mostly heat treatment process control, chemical analyses and failure investigations.  Moved to the aerospace industry with new materials and processes e.g. composites, adhesives, resins. With that wealth of experience, I joined the Bureau.

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

Enjoy and make use of the wide variety of knowledge that is implanted in a questioning mind.