Who is a Research Engineer?
Research Engineers mostly gather information and data, and conduct tests in a laboratory environment, to determine what products are best suited for existing market conditions. Research engineers also help design new products and technologies that can better serve different industries. Typically, the duties of a research engineer depend on the field of engineering and the industry in which he or she serves.
Additionally, a research engineer may also work in the R&D department of an organization or industry, depending on the field of study.
What does a Research Engineer Do?
In general, research engineers work in a laboratory setting, where they analyze different processes by conducting experiments. Also, research engineers may perform a different set of tasks, depending on their specializations. In addition to this, they may also become consultants, suggesting improvements, and providing recommendations on a product or a set of products. Research engineers also write summaries of the tests they perform, as a way to present the performance of the products in the markets. They must also write manuals and guides for the products.
Who can be a Research Engineer?
Research engineers must hold at least a bachelor's degree in an engineering field. Bachelor's degree programs may take 4-5 years to complete. During the first two years of study, students typically take courses in advanced mathematics, physics and chemistry.
What are the Skills Required?
Research engineers may also prepare cost estimates for the project by analyzing the different cost parameters. Building prototypes, products, and systems used for testing also lie in their realm of work. So, to accomplish these tasks, research engineers require a host of skills, including:
- Sound Research Skills
- Analytical Skills
- Math Skills
- Problem Solving Skills
- Communication and Writing Skills
- Ability to work as a team
Top Colleges offering Courses on Engineering
Here are some top engineering colleges, universities, and institutions for engineering in the country:
- Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai
- Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai
- Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
- Anna University
- Vellore Institute of Technology
- National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli
- Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
- National Institute of Technology, Suratkal
- Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
- Indian Institute of Technology, Rourkela
Similarly, other colleges offering courses in various engineering disciplines include:
- College of Engineering, Pune
- SRM University, Haryana
- PSG College of Technology
- R M Institute of Science and Technology
- Manipal Institute of Technology
What is the Career Scope for Research Engineers?
Research Engineers usually begin their careers as assistants and move on to become research engineers and senior research engineers. For most of their jobs, research engineers work as senior research engineers in the R&D department of reputed companies or organizations. The career path of research engineers is as thus:
- Assistant Research Engineer
- Research Engineer
- Associate Research Engineer
- Senior Research Engineer
How much does a Research Engineer Make?
According to PayScale, a Research Engineer earns an average of INR 701,930/- per year. Research Engineers also get additional bonuses of INR 89,240/- per year.
Also, according to the website, ‘Glassdoor,’ Research Engineers can earn an average of INR 10,80,000/- per year. Glassdoor also suggests the highest salary for a Research Engineer is around INR 2,069,000/- a year.
What are the Books and Study Materials Available?
To secure a position as a Research Engineer in reputed organizations, you must first complete a bachelor’s degree in engineering. While there are several books and study materials you can refer depending on the field of study, here are some top books to refer to:
- Hand Book of Mechanical Engineering by Sadhu Singh
- Concrete Technology by MS Shetty
- Control System Design by BS Manke
- VLSI Design by Raj, A. Albert, and Latha T
- Digital Image Processing and Pattern Recognition by Pakhira
Who are the Major Recruiters?
Topline companies hire research engineers and associates for various projects. As such, some key organizations that hire research engineers include:
- DE Shaw
- Price water House Coopers
Research Engineers also move on to become process engineers, project engineers, and managers and senior managers as part of their career growth, depending on their domain. Also, Software Research Engineers, start as Software Engineers and go on to become either test engineers or process engineers before finally settling down to become managers and senior managers in their respective fields.