OxForward: Alumni information and resources

The Department has been producing graduates in the fields of Metallurgy and Materials Science since the mid 1950s. During this time we have grown into a world-class institution for the training of materials scientists and engineers, and the department is at the forefront of research into the manufacture, structure, properties and applications of materials for the benefit of the UK and world community.

Since its inception, the Department of Metallurgy (as it then was) has seen over two thousand students and researchers pass through its doors. In 1996 an official Alumni Committee was formed in order to renew links with its Alumni and provide a mechanism for alumni to contact lost friends. In addition the Alumni Committee also provides a forum for linking some of the many institutions around the world that currently have Oxford Materials Alumni. We now have a database of contact details for more than 1000 Materials Alumni and we are keen to renew contact with 'lost' members.

As part the Department's commitment to fostering links with and between its alumni, the Department holds events and sends out mailshots informing Alumni of recent developments within the Department and in the field of Metallurgy and Materials Science.

Additionally, the University's Careers Service offers one-to-one careers advice appointments to recent alumni (those who completed their research/studies less than two years ago), and ALL alumni are always extremely welcome at any University careers fairs, workshops and other events.


Oxford Materials Alumni Group

Please join the Oxford Materials Alumni Group on LinkedIn to network, share information and experiences, ask questions and gain access to the latest information and developments from Oxford Materials.

If you are already a member of linkedin, then just join the Oxford Materials Alumni group now.
If you are not a member of linkedin see these instructions on how to start using Oxford Materials social media.


What can I do with my Materials Science qualification once I leave Oxford?

A Materials Science qualification will help you with many career paths; from remaining in academia to taking on a research and development role in industry, or using the analytical skills and attention to detail you developed during your studies to move direction into such careers as entrepreneurship, law, patent attorneyship, accountancy and teaching.  Have a look what some of our former students are doing now, and the different areas they are working in since leaving the department:


Dr Susan (Xiaoxin) Xia

(Senior Principal Engineer for the the Aerospace and Space Sector)

Head and shoulders of Dr Xia

As a Senior Principal Engineer at Northrop Grumann Corp Space Sector for Aerospace, Susan is responsible for the quality monitoring and control of electrical, electronic and mechanical products.

After she completed her undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, Susan joined the Materials department in 1986 to study for her DPhil, and fondly remembers her time with us. 

Susan says she still values not only the knowledge, but also the methodologies of thinking she learnt from the sciences here, and she sends her best wishes to all those whom she knew and met during her time at Oxford.


Rev Dr David McLachlan  

(Teaching at Spurgeons College, London)

head and shoulders of Rev Dr David McLachlan

David put the quality of thinking and learning he developed during his Materials Science degree to use when undertaking a career in theology and practising as a Baptist Minister, then as a Pastor, before taking the leap to teach Theology and Ministry Practice at Spurgeons College, London, to students training for Baptist ministry. 

The analytical basis David developed during his time with this department helped him to gain a Masters of Theology degree, and later a PhD in Theology with the University of Manchester which led to writing his first book 'Accessible Atonement'  which was published on 15 March 2021, and is based on the disability theology research he undertook for his doctorate. 

As you can see, a Materials Science degree is an excellent basis which can be used for whichever vocation and career you wish to follow.


Henry Dickinson

(Part Owner and Managing Director of successful engineering businesses)

head of henry dickinson

Expertise in metallurgy is a very commerical commodity, which can take you around the globe. 

Henry has led many successful business around the world with his specialist knowledge, from managing Zinc pressure diecasting for a company in Singapore to being the Chairman and owner of a highly successful engineering company which focused on pneumatic conveying and fabricators. 

Now the Managing Director of Kiverton Park Steel, which Henry acquired in 2016, President of the Aluminium Alloy Manufacturing and Recycling Association and an active Council Member of the Aluminium Federation, Henry's dynamic career is a perfect illustration of how a Materials Science degree can form the grounding for a highly productive career.


Ellie Howland

(Application Engineer at Zotefoams) 

ellie howland  head and shoulders

It was the wide range of specialities, encompassing aspects from Physics, Chemistry and Engineering, that drew Ellie to study Materials Science at Oxford as, in her own words, being an indecisive Sixth Form student.  

After three years studying a broad range of topics, Ellie specialised in polymer coatings in her final year, going forward to win the James S Walker Prize from the Institute of Materials, Mineral and Mining (IOM3) for her undergraduate thesis.

Ellie joined Zotefoams, a technical foam manufacturer, on a graduate scheme and now works as an Application Engineer at the same company.  The foams that Ellie works with are highly specialised and are used in a huge range of markets and applications, so knowledge of materials alongside the critical problem-solving skills developed during her Materials degree are extremely valuable in her new role.