Sufficient portfolio material as a mech eng?

Hello all,

I find myself in a dilemma in applying for internships this coming summer.

I currently have a 3rd year mechanical engineer standing and am studying this 4th year abroad in Spain, not studying mechanical engineering. I have 1 year remaining when I return. I have been told that ID studios do use mechanical engineers. I enjoy mechanical design, and I feel that the workplace and hopefully responsibilities would be more colorful than at a typical engineering firm.

I will be applying to ME internships at ID studios for this coming summer soon. I assume the portfolio material would be different than if I were applying for an ID position, is this true? My problem is that I am currently studying abroad in Spain, and I can’t photograph some of my work, leaving me with the photos I do have of my past work. I would asume that such photos of physical work would be ideal for portfolio material.

Here are ideas for my portfolio:
Photos of a gyro I machined for a manufacturing class. (I realize it’s not jaw dropping.)
I have participated in the automotive clubs at my school the past two years, helping build an off road buggy from near scratch. During this time I worked in the machine shop and modeled items. I would include a model & finite element analysis of a pedal box I designed, and photos of the vehicle.
Sketches and CAD models of recognizable design items (such as various chairs from past decades) to display my rough sketching and SolidWorks abilities.
Models and illustrations of “innovations” of mine.

I realize how late I am in this portfolio endeavor. I feel that as an ME, my portfolio would pale in comparison to the 3rd year portfolios I’ve seen here from ID students. However, as I’ve said, I’d be applying as an ME, not an ID.

My questions are:
As a 3rd year, do these portfolio ideas even have chance of being in contention against other ME’s, or do they simply need more weight/flavor? Is real physical work a must? If not, I may decide to spend this upcoming summer working on portfolio material.
Could any of you recommend me what abilities I should highlight in my portfolio as an ME?

I appreciate any help, and honesty in your replies.

EDIT: Moved.

I can’t really offer you much in the way of advice, but would stress some examples of your work would make feedback by others far easier. A picture is worth a thousand words!

As Sam pointed out, without pictures, it is more difficult to give advice.

That said, what you have described, especially the pedal box, would be fitting for an ME at an ID studio. We are in the new product development business. ME is a part of that business.

Where MEs tend to fall apart is that they get 1 idea and develop it to completion, whether it was a good idea or not. And they will do that for every idea, essentially wasting a lot of time. There is little in terms of coming up with multiple ideas, quickly killing the crappy ones and moving on to the good ideas.

So if you only show 1 idea for the pedal box and how you took it to the end without showing any other ideas, I would pass on you.

sam hagger,
Due to me being abroad at the moment, I don’t have everything quite assembled, but I am putting things in the works. I will be posting it as soon as I have something cohesive together.

I definitely see this happen amongst engineering students, I’ll admit myself even. I can already think of a few instances in my work where I’d want to keep this advice in mind. I will do my best to keep off the horse blinds.

I appreciate any further posts from you two or anyone else who could offer related advice, or information that you’d believe useful to me.