Design engineers research and develop concepts for new products, production processes and manufacturing systems. They also modify existing products and systems to improve performance and efficiency.
Design engineers work in a variety of fields including mechanical, electrical, electronic, automotive, biomedical and civil engineering. Projects can differ in scale from redesigning a mobile handset to utilise new telecommunications technologies through to the design of a new range of vehicle models.
When working on a design, engineers take into account aspects such as functionality, strength, safety, reliability, aesthetics, efficiency, costs and the environmental impact of finished products and also the production processes used to make those products. Typical tasks include:
Research – working in a research environment, using mathematical modelling to carry out feasibility studies for new developments or innovations.
Design - using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-assisted engineering (CAE) software to turn research ideas into technical plans and specifications for new product and system prototypes.
Testing - putting prototypes through testing programmes; collecting and analysing test data using computer models; modifying prototypes and re-testing - this process can go through several stages before a product is ready for manufacture or installation.
Design engineers work closely with other engineering professionals and technicians. They also write regular progress reports for project managers and clients.
Design engineers usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.
Much of the work is computer-based, working in a design or drawing office. Some travel to clients' sites may be involved, so a driving licence is helpful.
To be a design engineer, you should:
Opportunities for design engineers exist in many industries including construction, construction engineering, building services, electronics, shipbuilding, aerospace, power generation, railways, electronics, and vehicle and consumer goods manufacture.
Promotion would normally be to project manager, strategic planner or consultant design engineer.
If you would like to know anything about Design Engineer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.