A Research Engineer works in all kinds of industries ranging from chemical engineering to mechanical and even medical engineering. But what do they actually do?
Well ultimately, a Research Engineer plays a big role in the development of new products and new tech. When they are not doing that, they will take good luck at technical processes and systems and make them better by implementing innovative new technologies.
Research engineers execute their duties analytically and theoretically. You can be working on anything really - e.g. You might be working on analyzing technical systems, doing experiments or instigating studies that benefit the project you’re working on.
More than that, they research the topic very deeply and put together any relevant data before analysing and evaluating it. When they have a collection of findings, they will be tasked to come up with a clear presentation or lectures or even publish scientific papers!
The above is a solid description of what a general Research Engineer is but when it comes to everyday tasks, it heavily depends on which industry you are working in. If, for example, you find yourself in chemical engineering then you will be working closely with chemicals, reactions, and various other kinds of substances that are relevant to the end product.
If you end up finding a space job as a Research Engineer then you can bet on working on a very wide variety of projects from chemicals, robotics or artificial intelligence. Most likely, however, you’ll be working hard on researching cognitive systems and innovative control technologies.
Everyday Research Engineer duties:
- Support and lead teams of engineers, technicians and scientists
- Ensure coordination and communication stays clear between other teams and departments
- Execute cutting-edge research
- Build system prototypes and test them for stability
- Announce and publish findings at different meetings and conferences
- Put together budget reports
If you are to follow the path of becoming a Research Engineer, you will need a great passion for learning new things. You must be a curious person who is interested in everything and happy to think outside of the box. You must enjoy that kind of unconventional way of thinking and brainstorming must come naturally to you. Above all, being able to think ahead will treat you very well on this career path.
The ability to work in a team is vital because oftentimes you will not be responsible for all parts of the project such as calculations - other people will be instrumental in your ability to do your job properly and you need to be able to communicate diplomatically.
If you haven’t already, it’s probably a good idea to think about adding computer science skills to your armoury. CAE knowledge is a pre-requisite for many Research Engineer jobs, especially when it comes to the world of machine simulation and processes. In this case, you’re usually not just using the already-existing systems but you will have to program new features that benefit what you are doing.
Most employers will request at least a bachelors degree in one of the engineering fields. Depending on which area you would like to work in after you complete your studies - you should niche down and gear your studies to that specialisation. For example, picking more field-specific modules in a university like civil engineering, molecular engineering or biological engineering.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that many employers prefer candidates with a masters degree or a PhD in the respective field. Furthermore, you may be asked to submit some form of thesis, project or prototype to validate your expertise.
- Analytical skills: You need the ability to process and solve complicated problems
- Mathematics: Good maths skills are necessary for any engineering job
- Comms. and writing skills: You will be expected to present a lot of information and convince other people about your theories. That being said, you need to be a top-notch communicator
- Teamwork: Most complex issues are solved quicker when you put together a bunch of clever heads. The ability to work in a team is a must
If al that sounds like you and you are looking for a job that is quite literally out of this world then find your Research Engineer job in space with us. Good luck!