Design engineers can specialize in different areas, such as electrical, mechanical, architectural, and civil engineering. In other words, these experts often assist with tasks like computer design, product manufacturing, machine part development, and even public bridge designs. This is a very broad industry, and many prototypes are developed by design engineering professionals. In order to acquire a better knowledge of this field, take a look at the helpful terms and definitions found below.
Chemical Engineer – A branch or specialty field of engineering that involves plant and machinery operations. Chemical engineers are often involved with designing and constructing machinery, as well as handling industrial chemical processes.
Prototype – This is the first or preliminary model of something. It can be a concept machine, computer, mechanical device, toy, or type of software. Once the prototype is examined and tested, flaws are addressed and removed before mass production begins.
Structural Engineer – These are experts who analyze, research, plan, and design structural systems and structural components for machines and other systems. These professionals help ensure the safety of systems that are used in commercial companies and residential homes.
Civil Engineer – Unlike electrical and mechanical engineers, civil experts deal primarily with public dams, roads, bridges, and other structures. These engineering professionals help design and maintain these large structures.
Industrial Design – This is a combination of applied science and applied art. It is focused on the ergonomics, aesthetics, and actual usability of products, machines, and various devices. Industrial design specialists are responsible for trying to improve computers, electronics, and countless other products.
Design engineers work in all areas of engineering. They work in civil, electrical, chemical, mechanical, and structural engineering. Thus, they work in the construction industry as well as in various industrial sectors. They also design machines of all kinds. Civil engineers concern themselves with designing infrastructure.
Engineers are hired to design all kinds of things, although design engineer firms specialize in a specific area of engineering. Design engineers may be hired on an ongoing basis or consult on a specific project or product.
In modern engineering, design is part of systems engineering, wherein a product, machine or building is seen as a whole. Systems engineers bring together everyone involved in a project to ensure the customer gets exactly what they want.
Design engineers, these days, also need to worry about environmental concerns. This is especially important in civil engineering, where entire projects may be focused on reducing the environmental impact of a town or a factory.
They use specialized computer software that can even direct the construction of prototypes. Computer aided design, however, is a relatively recent concept. Many older engineers still rely on paper, and despite the dominance of computers, old fashioned drawing boards are found in many offices.
Design engineers work with those who are actually going to build the product, and create highly technical plans and blueprints. They do their best to find any problems before the first prototype is made and certainly before a product goes on sale or a building is constructed.
Design engineering is, thus, an important part of the modern industrial process. Computer aided design and even computer aided manufacturing have changed the process, but not affected the importance of the trained engineer.