Design engineering is a very exciting profession, with many opportunities for creativity. Regardless of whether you are a mechanical or an automotive engineer, it can be a starting point for you to diverge into other fields because of the many opportunities it opens up.
So, without further ado, let's dive right into the realm of design engineering and how you can enter this career.
Design engineering is essentially a methodical procedure of bringing to life an idea or a concept of a product.
Every product starts with a hypothesis. The hypothesis then evolves into an idea. This process is known as ideation. The idea is then gradually transformed into multiple prototypes and iterated until the architecture of the final product is as intended.
As a design engineer, you will be required to ideate and design components or fixtures of a product. For example, you may be involved in the designing process of the chassis of a car, the swing arm of a bike, or the fairings for a rocket that carries satellites into outer space.
In much simpler words, design engineering transforms your imagination as an engineer into reality in the form of a finished product.
The profession of a design engineer is versatile: compared to other sub-fields of engineering, it is not limited or restricted to people of a particular niche.
So, it really does not matter much which engineering background you are from; you can always find your path into the world of designing. You can be successful in this field by developing relevant skills and learning industrial design software.
Let's take a look at some prerequisites of becoming a design engineer. This will help you decide if this is the right profession for you.
Design engineering is a profession where creativity meets engineering and functionality. Every product should not only be 100% functional but also be aesthetically pleasing.
Design always starts at the drawing board. Hence, you should be adept at drawing and sketching 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional objects. This skill can be easily gained through repetitive practice.
As a design engineer, you are likely to face technical issues when creating or testing a product. In some cases, your conceptual design may be highly functional and efficient, but you may have to make modifications in a way that saves your company's time and money.
In the face of these roadblocks, design engineers must rely on open-ended problem-solving. You must have a sharp mind that can quickly tune into looking at problems from various perspectives.
An exploratory mindset is a great thing to have if you choose design engineering as a career path. To arrive at solutions for real-world problems, you need to think not only in one direction but also laterally. You should be open to criticisms and explore options that may even be unconventional and counter-intuitive.
As mentioned before, placement for design engineers is open to almost everyone. With enough persistence and dedication, you can kickstart a career in this field. Here is a roadmap to get you started:
The core strength of design engineers lies in their ability to work with 3D software. Being proficient in Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is essential for a sterling career as a design engineer.
The type of software you use to model your design will vary according to the company you work for. For example, SolidWorks is a popular solid modeling tool, whereas Catia or NX-CAD is widely used for sheet metal and surface designs.
Getting certified provides you with an edge over other aspirants looking to become design engineers. This also helps you stand apart from the crowd in the eyes of the employer. To succeed in this profession, learn everything from ideation to plastic design and mold design, including Body in White (BiW) design.
Once you are well-versed with all concepts of design engineering, it is time for you to start applying for jobs. Do not expect to get hired in the first try. Although design engineering a refined niche, it is also very competitive. Hence, apply to as many design engineering jobs as you can and stay optimistic.
Take advantage of any opportunities for walk-in interviews. It is a great way to quickly get in touch with the employer and maximize your chances of getting hired.
Maintaining a large and good network is recommended at every point in your career. LinkedIn is a great platform for you to start professionally connecting with people in the same field. A good network also eases the process of securing your job placement.
Here are three expectations that every good design engineer must meet:
Design engineers must try to incorporate client or company requirements in their designs while also keeping an eye out for labor and material costs. These challenges require not just mathematical or logical problem-solving skills but also coming up with creative solutions.
Design engineer candidates must be passionate about design, functionality, and design software. You must have a natural sense of curiosity to examine the way things are built and pay attention to the significant but often overlooked aspects of design.
Design engineers are expected to be socially active and often work in teams. Since design engineering calls for solving real-world problems, it pays to look at the problem from the eyes of multiple people. Different perspectives are achieved only through meeting people and getting to know them.
One way to meet new people and gain deeper insight is to attend the design events happening around you. Look up the internet and stay up to date on surrounding events.
Growth for design engineers is immense from both a career as well as a personality standpoint. Design engineering exposes you to a great variety of fields and sculpts you professionally due to its nature of working hand-in-hand with multiple divisions of a company. Here are some of them:
A design may be aesthetically pleasing and functional, but it must also be compatible with your company's manufacturing equipment. A design that can only be additively manufactured will pose a limitation if all you have access to are CNC machines.
Once you understand the process of manufacturing, you can work in accordance with the limitations and availability of resources while also thinking outside the box.
The ability of a product to tolerate real-world stress-strain scenarios relies on the material you choose for your design. Working knowledge of material sciences can help you identify the thickness and durability of various building elements. With this knowledge, you can improve the quality, usability, and aesthetic appeal of your design.
It's necessary to familiarize yourself with marketing techniques so that you can help your company sell and price your designs in a way that generates maximum revenue. You might be required to work hand-in-hand with the marketing team to make the product more appealing to the general public based on the available analytics.
So, is design engineering as a career worth it? The answer is a definitive yes!
With the number of startups increasing by every passing day, your opportunity to start a career in design engineering also increases. Furthermore, with India expected to witness a manufacturing boom in the future, career growth for design engineers looks greatly optimistic!
Skill-Lync offers curated engineering design courses that will elevate your skills to an expert level in an unprecedented amount of time. Learn more about our Design Engineer Master's Certification Program by clicking here.
Master's Certification in BIW Fixture & Plastic Design
This course deals with the suspension analysis of a half car model, also with the fundamentals of suspension modelling. You will learn advanced multibody dynamic concepts such as; wheel travel simulation, steering wheel simulation, and others.
The Master's in Computational Design and Pre-processing is a 6 month long, intensive program. The program comprises of 5 courses that train you on all the essential engineering concepts and tools that are essential to get into top OEMs as a Design Engineer.
The Master's in Computational Design and Pre-processing is a 6 month long, intensive program. The program comprises of 7 courses that train you on all the essential engineering concepts and tools that are essential to get into top OEMs as a Design Engineer.
Master's Certification in BIW Fixture & Plastic Design
Employability focussed program on Hybrid Electric Vehicle Design, Development and Analysis for Mechanical and Automotive Engineers. This program is primarily designed for job seekers but professionals switching from Mechanical to EV domain can also immensely benefit from this program.
Master's certification Program in Chip Design
This course introduces the student to the basic concepts of FEA. The tool that will be used is Solidworks. The student will be provided with the necessary technical support to complete the course.
A comprehensive course on Automotive BIW using NX-CAD Software. This course is highly suited for beginners
A comprehensive course on your area of interest using practical and real-world examples. This course is highly suited for beginners
This 12 month program offers courses which will help you to become an expert in ETABS and SAFE which are prominent analysis softwares in the civil domain
A course which takes a student through the initial ideation phase for the design of a passenger car, in this case, an SUV using Autodesk ALIAS
In this project you will be working on advanced surface modelling tools in Solidworks. Also you will be exposed to various modelling workbenches such as Advanced solid editing tools, advanced direct editing tools, Combined editing tools for surfaces and solids, Advanced surfacing module. Also you will understand the basic way to setup blueprints and will be understanding the difference between Assemblies and sub-assemblies.
In this project, you will be designing and developing an automotive roof with all its components. By doing draft analysis you will check the manufacturability of the part and with that feedback change the model design accordingly. This projects also require you do perform two sets of calculations depending on the region and weather conditions, and finally study the curvature of the roof and its strength with respect to its components.
This project involves the design parameters of the RUECKWANDTUER tailgate inner panel, hinge, gas-stay, wiper-motor, and latch mountings. A case study about the effects of converting an inner panel from Aluminium casting to steel deep drawing part, on the basis of vicarious tests and analysis on the part.
In this project, you will design Switch Bezel and other Plastic Automotive Interior Trims using Catia v5. Along with that, you will get an introduction to Design Overview in the Automotive Industry, Plastic In Automotive Industry, and Injection molding. You will be also learning Catia software(Sketcher, Part, Generative Shape Design and Drafting Workbench) from scratch.
In this project, you will learn how to model a Sunseeker Predator Yacht in SOLIDWORKS. Here you will learn Part, Surface and Assembly workbenches of Solidworks from scratch. At the end of this project you will gain hands-on experience in modeling a complex design like that of the Sunseeker Predator Yacht and will get an overall idea on how the Computer Aided Design software works.
This project aims at Designing a Functional part of an automobile which is the Butterfly valve. The function of the valve is to regulate the fuel-air mixture flow to the engine for combustion, The various parts of the butterfly valves are Body, Retained, Disc, Shaft Etc. In this project, we will model these parts using NX cad and for these individual parts application of Geometric Dimension and Tolerance is Given so that the part is ready for Manufacturing. and all these are assembled together to make a Butterfly Valve assembly and while assembling we will also give the Assembly tolerance to this part
This project explores various concepts of Plastic product design like the creation of ribs, bosses, dog-house, etc. And also showcases various lighting concepts and regulations to be aware of while designing and development of a lighting component of a vehicle.
In this project you will be learning how to model Chopper Bike assembly. The introduction to solidworks GUI will be covered here. Also you will understand about some advanced modelling features in Solid modelling module of Solidworks. At end of the project work you will be having hands on representing your models with photo-realistic views.
In this project, you will learn how to model a Boeing 747-8 in SOLIDWORKS. Here you will learn part, surface and assembly workbenches of Solidworks from scratch. At the end of this project you will gain hands-on experience in modeling a complex design like that of the Boeing 747-8 and will get an overall idea on how the design software works.