Project Description

Design Engineer

Who are they and what do they actually do? The details of Design Engineering

Photo credit – Forgemind Archimedia, CC

Design Engineers are the first step in any product development or structural engineering process. It is easy then to romanticise designers as those with creative powers and artistic genius that is not normally associated with the field of Engineering. Design Engineers are more than this as they combine their creative powers with engineering principles and an awareness of the realities of manufacturing.

What comes out as a result of this is an Engineer who has the ability to blend abstract concepts in their mind and then be able to turn it into a design that is not only practical and useful, but also economical to manufacture.

Cognitive processes and intelligence methods used: Design Engineers rely primarily on visual and kinaesthetic methods of processing to create their design concepts. A large degree of creativity is also needed to succeed as a designer.

Skills that are needed to begin in this career path: Modern Design Engineering is heavily based on 3D design software such as AutoCAD & SolidWorks. Basic proficiency in one or more of these software programs as well as the ability to create quick sketches by hand are required to be considered for a position in a design team.

Skills that are developed throughout this career path: After many years in a design position, both the design and Engineering skills together to create an intuitive feel for the design process. It’s this type of higher skill level that leads to breakthroughs in the field.

Individual or teamwork: Most designers work individually and collaborate within a small design team.

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