Design Engineer jobs involve a heavy focus on the engineering design process. This crucial role tends to work with products and systems that involve adapting and using complex scientific and mathematical techniques.
Essentially, it’s the engineer’s job to turn ideas into reality. Of all the engineering niches that exist out there, this is one of the more creative ones and if you are going to be successful - you need to find a balance between that creativity and your engineering prowess.
A typical day in the life of a Design Engineer will involve a lot of study and research to develop ideas for new products, processes, or systems. You might also be tasked by your team to augment the efficiency of a certain process or optimise the performance of already-existing systems. Design Engineers work on pretty much every product you can think of, from the phone or laptop you might be working on as you read this, medical supplies, cars, or bathroom appliances. Essentially, they are one of the most pivotal positions in any project.
But even then, it’s not all about creating an aesthetically-pleasing product or one that is particularly easy or safe to use. Another responsibility of a design engineer is creating a cost-effective and efficient product.
On a day-to-day basis you could be expected to:
- Study a number of design briefs
- Conceptualise potential solutions to design issues that might arise
- Execute research and provide validation that designs you come up with will a) work as they should and b) be cost-effective
- You will need to assess how usable your product is plus the potential environmental impact/general user safety
- You will need to be confident in employing computer-aided-design or CAD or CAE programs to develop prototypes
- You will then need to compile and investigate data collected from testing those prototypes
- You will have to modify prototypes according to your data
- Finally, you will need to create regular reports which outline your progress for managers or clients
An experienced Design Engineer can rest in the knowledge that they are on a great career path. There are so many space jobs available for those with a solid knowledge in this area that you shouldn’t find it too hard to find something which suits your skills. You can evolve into other roles like projector manager or you could play an instrumental role in a new business development plan.
As we mentioned earlier, Design Engineers are employed in virtually all sectors. You could end up working in a large manufacturing company, a biomedical company, an everyday consumer goods company, or even NASA. A Design Engineer at NASA plays a pivotal role in successful missions giving you a level of job satisfaction that is literally out of this world. It can take years of intensive planning, designing, testing, retesting, and retesting some more to achieve the glamorous launches we’re so used to seeing on TV and that can not happen without you.
If you need help applying for Design Engineer jobs then take a look at our guide to creating a great CV.
There are so many routes that lead to this exciting career path. You can down the university route where it’s highly likely you will need a degree in one engineering discipline or another such as electronics engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial design, or straight-up product design engineering. The quickest route to becoming a Design Engineer for a great project would be to do an accredited MEng degree which goes on to a four-year training with an accredited employer.
Having relevant experience can be a very handy tool. A lot of employers offer sponsorship, vacation work, final-yeat project work, or industrial placements. Taking these offers can result in a) getting to know a lot of people and broadening your network and b) offer you great insight into the industry.
- Visual and spatial awareness
- Attention to detail
- Good maths and technology skills
- Market awareness
Good luck from all of us here at Space Individuals!