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The Role of the Design Engineer

Good design can be a catalyst for change. Lets learn more about how this can be achieved by the design engineer.
Let us reiterate that a good design can be a catalyst for change. Let us say that the development of a specific brand of national truck is successful. It can be the basis of a knowledge based economy for the nation as it enables development of expertise in the different branches of technology (or non technology) needed to make it a success. It will contribute to the economic development of the nation, not just through selling of the product, but for the ecosystem that it creates. There will be a whole manufacturing sector which supports the supply chain for the production of a truck, for every single part of the truck that is required for production.
It may also play a role in changing the transportation scenario for the country. It can support the logistics industry by making it more affordable, hence impacting the way goods are transported within the country. Perhaps a specific kind of truck will be instrumental in supporting the expansion of e-business during the time of the pandemic. The possibilities are endless. What I wish to illustrate here is that the success of the right product, to address the right NEED or problem statement of the user, can have a huge impact, beyond that of the product itself. Hence, there is a strong need for the designer to identify the right problem statement to solve, which we will see in subsequent sections.

First, let us take a look at the qualities that a good design engineer should have.

To summarise, a good design engineer should possess the following three qualities:

  1. The ability to reintegrate fragmented knowledge. This is the ability to bridge the different expertise to work together to find a solution.
  2. The ability to synthesise solutions. This is an extension of the above criteria, where an overall general understanding acts as the glue to find an viable and elegant solution to the problem.
  3. The ability to communicate clearly during the design process between the different team members of different backgrounds, expertise and values.

Hopefully, in this step I have adequately illustrated to you the importance of the designer, as the pivot to the whole design process.

He or she will have to bring together a diverse team of expertise to work on a project. If the project is selected well, the impact will have far reaching consequences for society.

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Ideation: The First Step in Engineering Design

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