How to build a career as a “Design Engineer” ?

Revolution in technology in most recent decades has created a great impact on the thinking and innovation and also the way of learning the things. With this change process as a mechanical graduate, I was always curious about how the career as a design engineer is? And I moreover believe that you have the same notion in the mind on the subject of a career as a design engineer.

One can discover the lot amazing things while understanding this career which I personally found in trying to figure out the things about this career. It may be from the learning process to the salary packages bring out the amazement. On the other side this article aims to bring out the layout of a design engineer.

You might have noticed the past things are not similar to the present and the future things will not be like things at present. In short, there are some people who are constantly in the business of making the things better than before they are called as the Design engineers.

Lemme make you understand how to build a career as a design engineer by simply answering the following question.

1. Who is a design Engineer?
In order to build a career as a design engineer firstly, we need to know who is a design engineer. Simply by altering the existing ones, one can create new and better components. A design engineer uses the complex scientific and mathematical techniques to improve and create the product and system based on the client’s requirement. Design engineer creates things from electronic devices (Refrigerators, vacuum cleaner washing machine etc), structural (modern buildings, bridges etc) to mechanical components (screw, machines tools etc). The Design engineer is involved in the concept building, designing by converting the concepts into the real models by using the different software packages (CAD, CAM, SOLIDWORKS, and FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS ETC), developing and managing of projects across various areas such as construction, materials, software, components, machinery, and vehicles. The various engineering disciplines like civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical, aerospace, nuclear, manufacturing, systems, and structural are comprised of a design engineer.

If you are in school and wants to become a good design engineer start building your skills which are mentioned in this article like sketching and mathematical skill and get into the good design learning institute here or abroad.

If you are already in any discipline related to design engineering involve yourself in learning the basic design principle and tools. It is equally important to get in the institutes which offer best design engineering learning (IIT-Bombay, Delhi, Madras Kanpur, National Institute of Design (NID) and some non-IIT’s colleges also.

2. How to know it is the right choice?
Are you a creative person, can sketch the things better and have strong mathematics skills with great mind's eye than this field may be a right choice for you.

3. What educational qualifications he/she should have to be a design engineer?
A basic applicable engineering degree in civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and/ or structural engineering next to the knowledge of CAD software.

4. What is the best bit of this career?
To get the most out of any career, you have to truly enjoy what you do.

  • You will get pleasure from understanding how things actually work.
  • You will enjoy unification imagination, creativity, and realistic skills.
  • You will enjoy solving problems.
  • Giving life to the conceptual things making it tangible products for which there is demand in the market.
  • You will be Imagining differently, and be able to see the things differently which others may not see, implementing fresh and crazy ideas.
  • Keeping self -upgraded to sustain the competition
  • Willing to learn from things that went wrong in order to make the design better
  • Able to explain your product clearly and speak passionately about it.

5. What is the most challenging about this career?
Design the components as per the client requirements based on the inputs received from their end at optimal cost. Based on the daily work each challenge breaks down a complex concept into a hands-on design challenge that explores that concept through the process of building a working model.

6. What does it takes to be a design engineer?
To implement your theories, you need to learn CAD and CAE software like nxcad, CATIA,creo etc and ansys , hypermesh, resp. There are certain things you have to do before you become a successful one - Meticulous subject knowledge,Develop an interest in CAD and simulation tools ,Start to work on your personal development.

Also Refer to Question 8

7. What is the role of the design engineer?
Day-to-day duties would depend on the project, but could include:

Use of specialized software to create models and drawings of products.
Research new materials and methods of development.
Organize and maintain existing engineering records.
Construct prototypes and confirm designs with design/purchasing team.
Perform physical testing on engineering prototypes.
Ensure components and assemblies adhere to applicable industry and business standards.

8. What are the skills required to be a design engineer?
  • As a design engineer, you will need to have:
  • A sound knowledge of various computer- assisted design (CAD) software.
  • An excellent grasp of engineering and design principles.
  • Give emphasis on learning few tools related to CAD, like CATIA V5, Solidworks, Pro - E, Unigraphics, etc.
  • Knowledge of the qualities of metals and other materials.
  • Excellent understanding of manufacturing processes and construction methods
  • An awareness of the environmental impact of design ideas
  • The ability to think outside the box 
  • Attention to detail 
  • The ability to work in a team as well as being able to work independently.

9. How to get the work experience in design engineering?
Work experience is a key for developing one’s career. One can certainly pick up appropriate design engineering skills through apprenticeships and vocational qualifications too. Most students enroll themselves in placement and consultancy offices and get hands-on training on the projects. Later based on the expertise they would be given a chance for an interview.

You need not be with MNCs and big companies with big packages at the start of your career. If you manage to get one, it's good, but don't be discouraged if you don't get placed in MNC or any reputed company. Most of the times, starting with small firms give you the independence and authority to think and innovate in your own way. Your ideas are always welcomed in such firms. But you must start to work and then only you'll start to be familiar with the real life engineering problems, which will be having very less inputs and assumptions than your bookish problems.

If you’re not yet in the field try designing a personal project in your spare time, like a piece of furniture, a gadget, or a tool. This will give you experience solving a real design problem.

10. What are the other disciplines related to design engineering?
Other disciplines include aerospace, automotive, computing and software development, construction and building services, design and engineering consultancies, energy utilities, medical devices, hospitals and educational institutions, industrial and domestic product manufacturers and retailers, process industries, oil and gas industries, including petrochemical industries, transport and highways industries, water treatment services and many more.

11. What are the job opportunities in design engineering?
Job opportunities for design engineers are widespread and may include:

  • Building services companies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Construction companies
  • Consumer goods design/manufacturing companies
  • Engineering firms
  • Private and public research organizations
  • Self-employed (as freelancers, contractors, or business owners)
  • Transportation manufacturers, including shipbuilding, aerospace, railways and motor vehicles

12. What software’s does a design engineer should know?
Based on the up-to-the-minute trends in the companies one may necessitate the knowledge of the following software:-
AutoCAD, Catia, Pro-E/ Creo, Unigraphics, Solid Edge, Solid Works, ANSYS, STAAD Pro, etc...

13. How to acquire the basic design knowledge and skills?
Students are advised to whet their skills in drawing, in particular, understanding the variety of views of presenting them and paying attention to every detail in creating the components.

14. How hard it is to get a job in this career?
A job in this career requires a strong foundation of the basic relevant engineering discipline along with hands-on experience in the software’s as required across different organization/ companies. Most companies expect students to be market ready upon completion of their degree so as to be hired and placed directly into designing the products.

15. What advice would you like to give for the one who wants to get into this career?
Get the relevant qualifications and carry out the different projects to expand your skills related to design. Design engineering being a nodal profession, you are expected to be the best as the career sounds and build up the confidence. Due to industrial revolutions like 4.0, the process has become more complex and things relatively simpler perhaps there is a need for innovative ideas and advanced technical skills to be in the competition. The design skills (from software’s too mathematical) are required in industries the four corners of the earth, from Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Manufacturing to Media and Entertainment. If you’re interested in being part of this innovation, becoming a design engineer may be the ideal career path for you.

“The life of a designer is a life of fight. Fight against the
Ugliness. Just like a doctor fight against the disease. For us,
 the visual disease is what we have around, and what
 we try to do is cure it somehow with design.”
                                                                                                                     __Massimo Vignelli

Author Of These Article  :-  Mohammed Mansoor Ali Kishwa 
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