Sensor engineers are professionals who create sensor devices to be used to detect temperatures, movements, and other physical properties. These individuals develop sensors for fields such as the healthcare, military, and industrial areas. An employer often looks for a sensor engineer who has earned a four-year bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering. In addition, companies prefer engineers who have experience in microelectronics and with quality management systems.
An important responsibility of a sensor engineer is to help to create sensor devices using computer-aided drafting programs. These professionals must create prototypes of sensors while taking into consideration various electrical and mechanical requirements. During the creation process, a sensor engineer tests the function of the sensor devices that he or she creates using software he or she develops as well. Following product quality audits, engineers make suggestions to improve the sensor devices’ performance.
Staying in constant contact with not only engineering team members, but also external individuals is a valuable aspect of the role of an engineer in the electronic device industry. These individuals must possess strong interpersonal communication and teamwork sills to work with processes and systems team members when moving sensors from the development stage to the manufacturing stage. In addition, a sensor engineer needs to continue to build relationships with industry partners and suppliers to get his or her company's products on the market. Having knowledge of quality management systems also helps sensor engineers to ensure that they are meeting the expectations of stakeholders such as external sensor device clients.
Engineers who create sensors must strive to make sure that the sensor development process is as efficient as possible using Six Sigma as well. Six Sigma is a methodology that companies use in an effort to create near-perfect products by getting rid of defects in the production process. A major duty of sensor engineers is to help to develop plans to improve the effectiveness of company sensor creation processes to save companies resources such as money and time.
Training production associates and other industry professionals is also critical in the sensor creator’s role. These leaders must keep employees up-to-date on current industry trends. In addition, they complete work consultations with other employees on a daily basis to make sure that work is completed according to standards with regard to safety, cost, and product delivery requirements, for example. Earning an engineering license if required in a sensor engineer’s area and completing continuing education requirements to maintain his or her license also is important for this type of professional to be qualified to train others in the field.