As a Principal Account Manager at JAM, I spend a lot of time in the mechanical and electrical engineering niche, which has led to me having a detailed understanding of what makes for a great mechanical design engineer. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming that being a successful mechanical design engineer is all about industry experience and training, but there is actually a lot more that goes into the perfect candidate. It takes a range of people to create a successful manufacturing team, and diversity really is key. Below, I have detailed some of the skills that I always look out for.
What I Look For in a Mechanical Design Engineer
Creative and Analytical Thinking - For a mechanical design engineers to be successful, they need to be able to think creatively and analytically. Their work needs to be based on imagination, combined with logic, and they need to be able to push the boundaries. This often means using a variety of strategies and embracing science, with the aim of creating items that tick every box, whilst also being able to be manufactured.
Communication and Teamwork - A lot of business innovation is driven by mechanical design engineers, but their success relies on working alongside other talented individuals. A mechanical design engineer needs to be able to work with other engineers, as well as the wider workforce. Though they need to take initiative at times, they also need to listen to the input of others.
Engineering and Design Abilities - It will come as no surprise to find out that a good mechanical design engineer needs mechanical engineering skills, such as someone who has a degree in mechanical engineering. However, I don’t rule everyone else out, as candidates who have developed skills by experience can also be worth considering. A mechanical design engineer needs to be comfortable designing with computers, including creating and simulating via 3D CAD.
Attention to Detail - A good mechanical design engineer needs to have the skills to analyse each aspect of a manufacturing technique, determining its suitability for the task. Additionally, mechanical design engineers need to pay close attention to every nuance in the manufacturing process. Instead of rushing into proposing solutions, engineers must adopt a methodical and deliberate approach.
Problem Solving Skills - Mechanical design engineers are always on the hunt for new and improved products, but innovation is often held back by problems. This is why problem-solving skills are so important. A mechanical design engineer can’t shy away from challenges or hurdles. Instead, they need to take control of the situation, consider the problem they are faced with and come up with a viable solution.
As you can see, being a great mechanical design engineer requires more than engineering experience, skill and abilities. There are also various soft skills that make a candidate someone who is worth considering. Problem solving, attention to detail and communication are the difference between a good engineer, and a great engineer.
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