I work as a metallurgist and my main area of interest is ferrous metallurgy, which centers around the study and use of cast irons and steels. The main ingredient in these materials is iron, so that is where the word ferrous comes from. It's a great field to work in, very interesting and also with plenty of job opportunities. Some of the best known companies out there such as GE, Caterpillar, John Deere, Honda, even Apple employ metallurgists as many of the parts in their equipment or devices are made of steel. Our job is to make sure the parts have the properties such as strength and toughness to meet the challenges they will experience while in service. For example, an axle shaft for a truck must have a hard, wear resistant surface combined with a tough core so it won't break easily. A steel with a specific combination of additions of other elements such as manganese and carbon is first chosen as the raw material and then the part is produced in a way by heat treating to provide the final properties.