Getting into Product design with a degree in Mechanical eng.

Hi all,
At present I am Looking for my first job as a graduate engineer… I dont want to go into Building Industrial services or HVAC but It seems like thats only available. I want to get into product design and development. I did my thesis with Hewlitt Packard and It was ok, It was a design evaluation of a product that was in circulation but there were problems with it. In the long and the short of It I got a grade of 63% for the project thesis, but I only got a pass honours degree as I had to repeat some exams ( irish system now calls a degree and hons. degree and diploma a degree).
I am trying very hard to get into a company where there is a good deal of design elemnet as I love to design build and test and do FEA.
I am wondering if anyone would have any words of wisdom.
I am considering doing a Taught Masters as In the Eng degree were were taught the technical but not the aesthtics of design … If it needs to be a box leave be a box.
The first question is do I need a portfolio and experience to get into a good college ?
The second Is it possible to get into design as just a Mechanical Eng.?
Your Thoughts Please!!

I know 2 people that entered a company as mech. engineers and left as senior designers. They got into a company when it was just doing high quality but ugly designed stuff. Its all about small steps, I dont think you can make the jump from engineering to design in one step, or more like no one is going to give you that oppertunity. My opinion just get engineering position at some medical, valve, or machine type place and slowly tweak the designs. thats how most companys transition from simple manufacturing to having an inhouse design staff

I graduated from mech eng in NUI Galway in 2003 and I am currently waiting for my interview results from IDE at the RCA: which is a industrial design course for engineers in London.

I needed a good portfolio to be considered, so I quit my shite job and went to an art class for a few months, one of the best things I ever did!

In Ireland NCAD’s industrial design course would love an engineer on their course and I am almost guaranteed a place in 3rd year (or perhaps a masters-which would entitle you to funding) I dont know how much portfolio they want but the closing date for application there is the end of april so you might get something together.

Good Luck, Ben

Ps: Entry level engineering jobs in Ireland with an element of design is highly unlikely, I worked nightshifts in a factory for over a year!

ireland has almost no design heritage, only R and D at a medical device company would come close, I tried that too. Better of with biomedical degree for that. Ben

If you want experience, take anything! but you will probably be stuck with pure engineering

If you want to design, get work or a course in another country. Ben

We offer training to ID’ers and ME’ers alike. Our course is a three week product design workshop that gives a cap and real world projects which enable you to get a job. We have offices in London and Chicago and elsewhere. We have a huge resource for HR folks and truly empower Design Engine Education participants to get employed. One of our most recent ID’ers from Purdue got hired at ION Design this week.

They were impressed with his ability to prove form in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire. He is a strong designer too but that damd software got him the job over the others.

We teach Alias Studio - Rhino - Pro/E - Solidworks and Maya We have a three week workshop that is free if you qualify for the federal grant and it aint to hard to qualify especially if you dont have a job already.

Bart Brejcha

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my bachelor’s is in ME from Florida A&M University and I’m getting close to graduation at the Univ. of Cincinnati with a Master’s in ID. you can definitely change over from ME to ID if you’re dedicated to learn the drawing, aesthetic, experience, content side of design. i feel like you’re more marketable that way. in many cases, unless you can really hold your own on the drawing/design end of things, a lot of places will probably try to pigeonhole you into the CAD monkey portion of the development process because you have an appreciation for what the designer gave you to build in CAD. However, if you don’t want your life to be CAD only, then I would focus on how well you know how to think, research, and analyze b/c of your eng’g degree. but you almost can’t be a true ID w/o knowing that side of things. i recommend gettting some sort of portfolio together and finding a school that will accept you to study for some sort of degree in ID. even if it’s only for a year or two, it’s better than no formal training at all. i can’t explain the volume of insight that the other grads at UC as well as the undergrads and professorship have helped me out as far as gaining insight, skill and getting my bearings in the world of design.