Mech. Eng. w/ Sci. Tech. Comm.: What are my hopes?


I’m finishing up my final year as a Mechanical Engineering major at Michigan Technological University. I’m finding that I have little interest in doing process engineering work or building weapons, so I’m attempting to find companies that from what I’ve gathered do more Industrial Design work.

I’m also getting a second degree up here in Scientific and Technical Communications, basically a second degree in communications, writing, graphic design, speaking, etc. Because of it, I’ve had a decent amount of experience creating things graphically and design wise, and will have a good portfolio, but sadly it will mostly contain posters, cards, brochures, research papers, but little actual product design.

The closest I’ve had with experience with that is creating objects in Unigraphics, a 3D modeling program we have here, and doing Finite Element Analysis on a satellite program we’re running.

No, what are people’s thoughts on my finding my way into a design consultant/firm? I’ve seen various things saying that Mechanical Engineers work in this realm, but it always appears that you need years of experience first. I’m just starting off and I’m finding myself a bit lost. Generally the ME’s here end up working for big companies like Kimberly Clarke, Ford, the Department off Defense, or Raytheon.

Have people heard off companies that will hire ME’s right out of college, who wish to do more design, but are perfectly happy and enjoy doing the tensile tests, structural analysis, etc. that products also need?

Oh, and to make it more complicated, I really want to stay in either Chicago or Minneapolis…failing that, California or Massachusetts (go gay marriage…)

  • ME’s often go straight into business mgt, so it’s not like you have to work for one of the co’s you mentioned. You should have no problem working in any city you choose.
    If you want to get into ID just start looking - I’d stay with Chicago the most ID of your preferences - if you can’t directly get into a consultancy goto IDSA meetings, take a few classes network network network…