Designer/Engineer Hybrid Portfolio

Hey Everyone,

I’m in my fourth year of mechanical engineering, looking for a second internship as a designer/engineer hybrid.

I would really appreciate some input, not only from practicing design/engineering hybrids, but also from the pure designers (since I’m still in engineering school, that’s the area I feel I really need to work on).

In addition to content input, comments on layout would be helpful as well. I feel like the homepage looks a bit cluttered right now.

I plan on taking a design degree after I’m finished this one, but in the meantime I’m too bogged down with necessary homework to be able to get a full project off that I’m completely satisfied with, so I’ve tried to highlight my individual skills instead, with a few supporting projects to give some process insight. I’m curious to hear opinions on this strategy as well, as I know process is very important in student portfolios.

Link here:


Mike Coyle

Hi Michael,
I also started out as an engineer and transitioned to industrial design (went to design school for 3 years)!

First impression is that the website/portfolio looks very engineering focused. If you’re looking for a position as a design engineer, I think it seems to be fairly appropriate. If you’re looking for an internship as an industrial designer, I would say that it wouldn’t be up to the level of industrial design students.

The layout is a bit confusing, like when I click on “Problem Solving” there is information on 2 unrelated projects running into each other. Have you seen the Design Portfolio Handbook? They have pointers on basic layout, as well as advice on how to present your work. But I like the idea of the page being divided into “Skills”, especially when you don’t have a full project as you said. I think it would be good to have a few full projects however. Definitely you have a good basis to build upon if you go to design school, and your CAD and engineering background will be a plus!

Now that I’ve come out of design school, I see now that the advice that everyone gave to engineers on this board was spot on – design school is really important to build the foundation, and especially to study a bachelor (I studied a 1 year program plus a 2 year masters, but I would recommend a full bachelors if you can do it).

I agree that it is a little confusing with a skills section that only shows parts of a project. Would it maybe be possible to either organize the projects under the main skill, or list the main skills used under the project link? Regarding the projects…

  • I feel that most of your projects feel a bit cut off. You aren’t showing the final outcome of either the front panel or the head strap, are you allowed to show that? If not, is there something else you can say or show?
  • The strap project - what was the aim of the project? Did you make any decisions or recommendations? Was this used by anyone, or what was the final outcome?
  • The rear panel organization project seems like it would benefit from a before and after comparison, as well as an overview of the problems with the initial design.
  • The table looking thing under aesthetic design - sorry, but it really quite weak. Have you got a photo of what they made? Does it look good? If not, maybe scrap it.
  • The ball launcher, you say that it’s currently in use. Could you make more of a project out of this? What decisions and considerations went into the design? Were there iterations, and what changed during those? Photo of it in use?

The PEOSC section, especially the branding, seems a bit stronger from a design POV, good work. It’s good to see a bit of iteration. Maybe bring that up a bit? Right now you get to it last, reading from top left.

hope that helped,

Hey bulletproof and Nik,

Thanks for the replies! I’m working on coming up with a solution for the issue with the skills pages. I definitely see where you’re coming from, and I’ll hopefully come up with something that will properly communicate what I want it to. Do you think that issue is a dealbreaker? I was planning on starting to send it out this week.

I’m glad to hear you think its appropriate for a design engineer position! I would really like to get more involved in the concept stage than I was at my last design engineer internship, which is why I’ve been really working on my sketching and concept generation recently.

When I started working on the site, the final image for the front perf panel wasn’t up publicly so I wasn’t allowed to show it, but I just checked and it was up! I completed the project to show the final product. Unfortunately the device that uses the strap is still in development so I can’t post any further progress on it but I did add a bit more information.

I don’t have access to the original picture for the rear panel either, so I put some extra information there as well.

Table looking thing is gone! Thanks for letting me know and stopping me from showing it :slight_smile: I know I still have a lot to learn on this end.

Ball launcher project added. I didn’t have it up before because I was using the project to learn to sketch. I had done the entire design over a weekend and didn’t feel like I had enough concepts. Reading your comments though, I realize I put a lot more into the project to support the sketches and can still show the rest. I also put up a video I took while testing it, and I’ll try and grab a picture of it in use as well, I only have a screenshot I took for the report right now.
I had actually done a presentation of it earlier based on the portfolio handbook (Ball Launcher) but I couldn’t do the rest of the site like that without full control over the files, so I had to scale it back a bit for the website so the presentation style would be similar.

PEOSC section moved up, I’m glad you like it! It’s actually my most recent project, so it’s nice to hear that I’m improving.

Thanks again!


Some awesome new projects nearing completion soon, and graduation in December, so I did a homepage redesign, and tweaked some colours, fonts, etc throughout.

When the projects are finished, I may have enough to eliminate the skills section for a more traditional design styled portfolio, but I think it needs to stay there for now. Plus, both engineers and designers are looking at the site and the engineers gravitate towards the skills section, looking at the site stats they’re often visited more than the projects.

Would love some thoughts!

Here is a suggestion for the Engineering section – if you are able, rework the drawings to eliminate some digits after the decimal place on some of the dimension. I am sure you are ware that if you have a critical dimension (like a shaft for a press fit) that really does need to be 5.002 +/- 0.001 that is fine, but to call out the width of the gear box to 19.000 would be wasteful if it can be 19.0 +/- 0.1

One other part about which I am uncertain is the molded housing.

If those two features are ribs, they will need some additional ribs or other features to connect with them or the mold will never fill.

Overall, my opinion is that you should have no problem getting interviews.

Thanks Sprockets! For the help here, and for a bunch of other info in other topics.

Updated the gearbox dimensions. Thanks for catching that, it did look pretty amateurish.

Those are ribs on the housing. I haven’t had any courses that have even touched design for injection molding yet, so all injection molding projects were done on my own time during my design focused internship, and I don’t really have the knowledge to fix the filling issue. Can you recommend any reading?

I love your attitude – if I had any power at all for hiring I would fly you in for an interview for sure. That said, I have no power to do so. Where are you looking for positions? I know you posted on this earlier, but perhaps you can give an update?

Your ribs could fill, it depends on how tall and thin they are – if they are much more than a few wall thickness in height then you could run into trouble. Basically it comes down to the ability of the material to flow through the mold. Long thin sections can be difficult to fill as the material flow is impeded by a combination of factors (material cooling, inadequate mold pressure, material viscosity). Fins are added to heat exchangers to increase their efficiency and tall thin ribs are pretty much fins that allow/force your molten material to cool, potentially in ways you do not want that lead to voids, warping, and internal stresses.

For plastics, there are lot of free resources online. One of my favorites is the Proto Labs cube. It is a free molded part that shows a lot good practices for injection molded parts. It is also great as a fast reference for different approaches to common features and for some simple textures.

Proto Labs also has a decent online resources section

Bayer Materials, DuPont, Sabic, and other material manufacturers provide fairly comprehensive design guides for free, as well. The Bayer guides are very good, here is a link to their resource center (you will need to register):

If you don’t want to register, you can find the guides hosted other places online. Here is the plastic part design guide that was uploaded by someone at RIT.

Wow, thanks! That’s really great to hear, especially since I didn’t mange to secure an internship in design for this semester (though I’ve catalogued the reasons and they’ll hopefully help for December).

I’m focusing my search on larger cities (primarily London, NY and SF). I get really restless without something to do in the evenings and after 4 years in Ottawa I’ve done pretty much everything at least once so I think it’s a natural next step. That said, if a great opportunity was to come about organically, location’s not a dealbreaker. If you did have the power to fly me down, I would definitely take you up on it regardless of location because it would be a great learning/mentorship opportunity (are you still in SLO?). The balance between location and position is a bit of an internal debate at the moment.

My plans have also changed a bit since I first started this thread, after learning more about where I fit into the landscape. My current plan, backup plan and backups to the backup are:

A. Full time job as a junior design engineer
B. Design engineering internship
C. Hang out in a design hub for a month or so to network myself into one of the above
D. Masters in ID in a design hub to help create networking opportunities and a platform to churn out some cool projects (may not even need to finish it)
E. Undergrad in ID in a design hub, for the same reasons (hopefully wouldn’t need to finish it)

Also, thanks for the resources! The Proto Labs Cube was what I used to help with that project, I didn’t realize you could get them shipped for free. The rest of the resources are great as well, I skimmed through the Bayer guide and it looks extremely helpful. I’ll hopefully be able to give everything a proper read-through soon.

for me your homepage looks great :slight_smile:

Ok! So I think flow issue was taken care of. You were right Sprockets, the ribs were way too tall to fill, so I just cut them to hold the bosses in place. I don’t think extra support for the casing was needed anyway. I’m hoping the corner views show them off a bit better too.

I’ve also added a new project: Michael Coyle - Gearbox
I had been putting it off for a while since it’s pretty numbers-heavy, and the report was 62 pages, so condensing it down was a bit daunting.
I figured I might as well put the numbers up. I don’t expect anyone to read them, but I think the headings are important to indicate that I understand different types of failure criteria, stress concentrations, bearing life, etc.

PS. Thanks simpak, I’m honoured that you registered just for that :wink: