Career outlook for design engineer
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would research and develop ideas for new products and the systems used to make them. You’d improve the performance and efficiency of existing products.
You will need to understand engineering and design principles. You’d use your knowledge of the qualities of materials and of methods of construction and manufacturing to create products that a company can sell and make a profit.
You could work in a wide range of industries, from electronics to synthetic textiles. For example, you might work on the redesign of a mobile phone or work out how to construct motorbike parts from carbon fibre materials. Your role could vary depending on the project.
You would research the product or process. You’d use mathematical modelling to work out whether new ideas and innovations would work and are affordable.
Then you’d turn the research ideas into technical plans for prototypes. You'd use computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-assisted engineering (CAE) software to create the design.
Next you’d use prototypes to test the design. You’d collect and analyse data from the tests and use the findings to make the design better. Then you’d re-test. You might go though this process several times before a product is ready for manufacture or installation.
Throughout the development process you’d write progress reports or do presentations for the project managers and clients.
You’d look at a range of features when developing ideas for a new product, such as:
- Usability and safety
- Strength and reliability
- Its 'look and feel’
- Efficiency and cost
- Maintenance and life span
You would also have to take into account the environmental impact of the product, how it would be manufactured and how to dispose of it safely when it’s no longer usable.
UK employment status
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- Working with technology
- Problem solving
- Working with numbers
- Attention to detail
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