Suvrat Joshi : Design Engineer
A "design engineer" is quite a broad term that can refer to various disciplines of engineering. Here we're looking at the career of an electronic product design engineer who works on both the electronics and design elements of a product in an attempt to make it useful and flawless. Suvrat Joshi is one such professional, who shares with us further details of this job profile:
I am currently a senior design engineer and I have an experience of 9.5 years in the field of electronic product design.
My area of expertise is embedded product design which involves microcontroller based hardware design and firmware development.
While doing my engineering, my interest grew in working on different kinds of electronics design projects. I used to work on different electronics hobby projects which I came across some popular electronics magazines and on the internet. Reading articles about the latest trends in electronics and new types of useful gadgets getting developed all around the world also doubled my interest in this field. So I decided to jump into the electronics design field.
Product design is a field where the designer needs to think of each and every aspect. The different questions that a product designer should ask himself before releasing the product are - Does the product meet all the requirements? Has it been tested thoroughly? Is it safe to use? Is the product user-friendly? Is it suitable for mass production? Are the product specifications and usage instructions given in the user manual? So on and so forth.
Product design is a field where the designer needs to keep himself updated with the latest trends in that area and the technologies used in his field. He needs to think of innovative techniques to make a useful product for humans to simplify their tasks.
The Product Development Life Cycle (PDLC) covers almost all the tasks of a design engineer. The major components of PDLC are:
Requirements --> Design --> Develop --> Test --> Deploy and Maintenance.
The different tasks of a design engineer include but are not limited to:
- Understanding customer requirements and documenting them which could be used to define product specifications.
- Working on proof of concept which may be required sometimes to ensure that risks can be overcome by the decided strategies which could be extended and used in actual development of the product.
- Work on design i.e. deciding the architecture of the product, defining modules of the system and documenting it so that it can be used as the reference document in the development stage.
- Creating a working prototype, which is not a fully finished and tuned product but gives the feel and idea of the product and its features.
- Complete product development.
- Creating test plan and testing the product as per designed test steps.
- Releasing product and production support.
- Maintenance activities
Initially I worked in a consumer electronics based product company, where I learnt about all the stages of the product. I learnt that there are many other things involved in the making of a product other than my field (i.e. electronics) even when it is an “electronic product”. It can be the electronics inside, or can be the mechanical housing, or even the box used for packing or the cushioning material used to keep the product safe inside the box. These learning’s gave me good visibility about the product design and built the roots of the “design engineer” within me.
Later as I moved, I worked on actual product development, learnt different technologies, and converted the concepts into designing some useful and working things.
In a few years from now, I see myself mentoring a big design team and working with them to continue to design and create some great products. Also I would like to get attached to engineering colleges for sharing my knowledge and experience with the new generation “design engineers”.
I had taken a certificate course in embedded system design to get an opportunity to enter into this field. But this was just to get an opportunity. Success cannot be achieved with some course or certification. You need to be self-motivated and striving hard continuously to achieve your goals.
My knowledge, interest, positive attitude, hard work, analytical thinking, tackling problems in a systematic way are some of the answers to this question.
Understanding the exact requirements, finding the root cause of a problem before finding solutions, data analysis, imagining the conditions through which product would go, are some skills/ qualities that a design engineer must possess or try to build.
In each project, whenever my ideas about the product actually materialize, it's like winning a cricket world cup!
Design is a field where you face complications and difficulties daily and you need to be smart enough to tackle them, apply the engineering concepts and take decisions wisely considering the scenarios.
I think anyone who wants pursue his/her career in the field of design should be able to think logically and this skill can be developed by thinking on anything from all directions. Focus on your engineering studies as those are the concepts you need to use while actually developing the product.
It would be good to get some kind of training of the tools used in your design area. If it is electronics design, you can get to know about using some circuit simulation, schematic, layout design tools, compilers for microcontroller programming etc. If is mechanical design, you can get some trainings on CAD/ CAM tools. If you are from instrumentation, you can get training on PLC/ SCADA. Also I think some kind of industrial exposure during engineering education like in-plant training would be very useful.
While doing studies, try to discover your area of interest. Try putting maximum efforts to become a specialist in that area. Then success would automatically come closer.
Suvrat can also reached at his LinkedIn profile https://www.linkedin.com/pub/suvrat-joshi/b/b9a/9a2