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James Saragosa, BEng Scty '13, MASc '15

Materials Engineering & Society, Materials Engineering | Hard metals and soft skills

James Saragosa is bringing his research skills to bear on materials engineering challenges in the pipeline industry.

Working as a research assistant for scientists at CanmetMATERIALS who specialize in steel design, Saragosa is involved in structuring and conducting experiments into the tailoring of steel for specific applications. The job also involves analyzing data and summarizing the results into client reports and presentations.

“I got a taste for research during my co-op placement and decided I enjoyed the technical challenges and variety associated with it,” explains Saragosa, who earned his degree in Materials Engineering & Society in 2013 and completed his master’s degree in Materials Science in 2015.

The position has strengthened his technical skills and allowed him to be involved in updating manufacturing standards for pipeline components. But it has also developed his report writing, communication, and other soft skills, he says.

 “Working with multidisciplinary teams has really developed my people skills, particularly around getting difficult tasks completed. I’ve learned to work effectively with people who are specialists in their fields, and how to get relevant information from them that I need for my role on the team.”

A 16-month co-op term with Canmet as an undergraduate gave him a good picture of what was involved in working in materials research, says Saragosa.

“The downside is that I didn't get to see other parts of the materials field,” he says. “I don't regret that decision but it is something to consider when taking on university work opportunities.”

After nearly five years working in the research field, Saragosa is heading toward the end of his contract and seeking new opportunities.

“I’ve really enjoyed what I have done and learned, and I’ll certainly miss it,” he says.