Design Engineer


    A career as a design engineer is all about transforming ideas into real products. It offers the chance to combine creativity with engineering expertise.

    As a design engineer you’re involved in the initial concept, design, development and management of projects in a range of sectors such as construction and the built environment, materials, software, components, machinery and vehicles.


    Types of design engineering

    You can usually specialize in one area of design engineering, such as:

    • chemical engineering
    • civil engineering
    • electrical engineering
    • electronic engineering
    • mechanical engineering
    • product/industrial design engineering
    • software engineering.


    Employers of Design Engineering

    Employers range from blue chip companies to SMEs, in both the private and public sector. Self-employment is possible when you are an experienced design engineer. However, some graduates do work freelance or set up their own business after graduation. This is more common in areas such as product and industrial design engineering.

    Employers include:

    • aerospace and automotive industries
    • computing and software development
    • construction and building services
    • design and engineering consultancies
    • energy utilities, including nuclear
    • government agencies, local authorities, hospitals and educational institutions
    • industrial and domestic product manufacturers and retailers
    • medical engineering
    • process industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and cosmetics
    • oil and gas industries, including petrochemical industries
    • transport and highways industries
    • water treatment services.



    • studying a design brief
    • thinking of possible design solutions
    • researching whether the design will work and be cost-effective
    • assessing the usability, environmental impact and safety of a design
    • using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-assisted engineering (CAE) software to create prototypes
    • collecting and analyzing data from tests on prototypes
    • modifying designs and retesting them
    • writing regular progress reports and presenting them to project managers and clients



    • subject specific technical knowledge and expertise
    • commercial awareness of your specialist area of engineering
    • an eye for detail and a methodical work process
    • IT and CAD knowledge
    • analytical and numeracy skills
    • creative problem solving ability
    • the ability to work in a team
    • effective communication to liaise with team members, clients, contractors and others involved in the design process
    • leadership and negotiation skills
    • written communication and the ability to write reports
    • time management, organization, and the ability to work to deadlines
    • a flexible approach to work and the ability to adapt to change
    • a driven, self-motivated attitude and the ability to use initiative.