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How Do I Become a Stress Engineer?

By M. Kayo
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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To become a stress engineer you need to have a college degree in engineering and an interest in stress analysis. An in-depth knowledge of engineering principles and design techniques related to failure analysis, materials science, structural design, and reliability may also be needed for this job. Requirements for this position include a college degree and several years experience in the field of structural or stress analysis. Careers in this field include positions in the aerospace, aviation, construction, and manufacturing industries. The qualifications and training necessary to become a stress engineer will likely vary slightly based on the type of industry and the individual requirements of employers.

For those aspiring to become a stress engineer, specific training and education may be required by most employers. A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or an engineering discipline related to the type of work in question is required. For example those wanting to work in the aerospace or aviation industries should concentrate on coursework, like aircraft stress analysis or aerospace design engineering, that are related to that field. General stress engineering courses might include those that cover external loads comprehension, load paths, and free body diagrams. Several years prior experience in a particular industry may also be preferred by some employers.

Those who want to become a stress engineer need the skills to solve challenging technical problems regarding the structural integrity of many different materials, parts, and structures. Looking for real-world, engineering solutions to maximize stress tolerance is one of the main functions of a stress engineer. A large number of stress engineers work in the aerospace and aircraft industries, but those who want to become a stress engineer may also find rewarding career opportunities in the automotive, nuclear power, petroleum, medical, and plastics manufacturing industries. Stress engineers typically work with and provide engineering support for plant engineers, facilities managers, project engineers, architects and land developers.

Stress engineers design, build, and analyze materials, parts, and structures to determine how strong they are. The primary responsibilities of the job include performing strength, stability, fatigue and failure analysis on various mechanical systems and parts. Stress engineers may also research finite elements, failure analysis, thermal effects on various materials, and fracture mechanics. Assigning other work to engineering personnel, coordinating their daily project tasks and reviewing their reports may be required of stress engineers in supervisory positions.

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Discussion Comments

By Feryll — On Apr 07, 2014

It goes without saying that math and science are very important to a stress engineer. So people who enjoy studying and learning in these areas is probably going to make a better engineer than someone who does not enjoy these subjects. However, there are also some personality traits that might benefit a stress engineer.

People who are capable of problem solving on their own and are able to discipline themselves can be good candidates for studying stress engineering. The ability to stay focused on small details for long periods is also important to a stress engineer.

By Drentel — On Apr 07, 2014

Landing a position as a stress engineer will result in a better than average salary, but this is understandable because stress engineers have a lot of responsibility. Stress engineers are responsible for making sure that the structures, machines and other products they are helping to develop are going to be able to withstand any amount of pressure they will experience.

Imagine the consequences if the materials used to construct a bridge turn out not to be strong enough and the bridge then is unable to support as much weight as it needs to support.

In addition to the responsibility for ensuring the safety of the products they help develop, stress engineers have to be ever aware of how much a mistake could cost their companies in terms of liability and in terms of having to scrap products once they have been designed and manufactured.

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