Going from engineering to design

Hello everyone,

My name is Rafa, I am from Spain, and I, please, need advice from you.

I currently work in an engineering company in Spain as the aircraft interiors engineering manager and I look for a carrer change to the industrial design field.

The reasons are to have little more freedom and use my creative side a higher percentage of my working time.

My ultimate goal is to have my own design firm, probably dedicated to transportation design but open to any industrial product which I can use my experties with.

Seeing, reading and listening what people like you do, I know that I am still “raw” and that is why I would be grateful if you could answer two questions:

Do you think that someone with 8 years experience in an aeronautical engineering company (from CATIA designer to design and engineering manager in 1 aircraft interior project) can jump to a carrer in industrial design?

Should I start with an University degree in industrial design? My background is BSc aerospace engineering and MSc aerospace vehicle design.

Thank you very much for reading this topic.


with 8 years, I think it’s a waste of time to get an ID degree at this point.

Just work your industry contacts, ask questions, watch, learn, and work as you go. There are a lot of designers in the field and holding senior designer and manager positions without degrees. It all depends on the person and the situation.

good luck amigo

Thank you for your advice, I just needed a little push.


This thread may have some insight for you.

I myself went from Civil Engineering (degree’d) to designing all types of lighting fixtures (sorta degree’d - Interior Arch specialty in Lighting Design). Coming from the engineering, I was very clear as to what I specifically wanted to get into and be doing. I got there (here) with some luck; just my experience. In my opinion, you have a much more difficult task/desire in that you want to be designing whatever product. But if this is really and absolutely what you want to do, then go after it with everything you got. Doing something that you absolutely love is NOT underrated.

Oh, and Fernando Alonso for WDC!!! …and what do you think of the A380?

Thank you, I saw that thread just after I wrote the message. It a very good discussion.
You are right in saying that is not easy to design any product without the right background. It takes a lot of time (years) to be knowlegeable about something.
The good think is that there are always spin offs. For example, now that you mention 2005 F1 world champion (Fernando Alonso), the car he drives has some things in comon with aircraft.

A380 flies, did you see it? It is very exiting times for the aerospace industry with the two giants fighting to get the greatest number of aircraft in the air. I can’t wait to see the Boeing 787.