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Shouldn’t engineering and design be more interconnected?

Shouldn’t engineering and design be more interconnected?

gergek

I think that the distinction between design and engineering is not so pronounced in industry as it is in academia. I started college in materials engineering, switched to fine arts (sculpture, ceramics, printmaking) and got a BFA, and then a few years later went back and got a BS in mechanical engineering. School was tough because i wanted more synergy between art and engineering but they were both demanding programs without much academic overlap. Now that I have both degrees (and the skills & experience that go with them) I definitely use skills from both. I have a really design heavy role in med device R&D and it is awesome. Decent pay, great work/life balance, and lots of resources to make things and grow. The hands on skills I learned in art school are like cheat codes for R&D, but without the analytical engineering side I would have a much more difficult time dealing with complex design problems. Also, without the engineering degree I never would have gotten my foot in the door in the first place. I love the lab, the machine shop, designing in solidworks, but I also really love making a nice microsoft excel sheet to make data-informed decisions. I say go for both.


3th1c5

Sounds like you want industrial design? ​ These university courses, and engineering in general is driven by industry requirements. I'm a mechanical engineer who works in O&G and renewables. The industry is a bit antiquated but regardless, there is very little interest in the artistic side, because all we care about is safety and function. Artistic nuances are increased cost/schedule with no benefit. If i was designing an iphone, it would be somewhat different.


cssmythe3

I’m a Mech Eng who studied industrial design and I work with an industrial designer who studied some ME. It’s a great pairing and we do awesome stuff together. Long winded way of seconding ID.


framerotblues

Ergonomics is an element of safety (repetitive stresses damage the human musculoskeletal system) and that definitely fits into both the safety and artistic portions of a design, industrial or otherwise.


Certainly-Not-A-Bot

The vast majority of things in the petrochemical industry, where this guy works, are never even seen by humans, much less touched for ergonomics. If you're designing a distillation column for oil and all the piping systems for the refinery it's installed at, do you really need to care about either aesthetics or ergonomics?


the-wei

Absolutely ergonomics for some things. Anything that involves a technician performing a repetitive task should involve some amount of thought towards ergonomics to prevent workplace injuries.


-Mr_Bogus-

University degrees are very slowly evolving animals, but there is a good reason for the two degrees to be somewhat disconnected. For one, you only can pack so much in 4 years. In engineering it would be great to put creative design, business, fundamental science and math. But you cannot pack all in such a short amount of time. In professional life, and engineer most likely will be required to be accurate in their specifications, have rigurous and well supported data for its calculations and designs. When an engineers signs a design, they are responsible for that dressing to perform to the specifications that they are signing. A creative designer, is mostly focused in ahestetics and functionality, it cannot sign drawings for most applications (needs an engineer to sign for them) regardless of whether the designer has the knowledge or not, they need an engineering degree with a profesional certification. My recommendation would be to go with one or the other. You will be able to apply your creative in a technical field and by so, enrich your contribution. Likewise, you will be able to apply technical knowledge in creative design and, by so, equality enrich your work. In university, is not only what you do in the courses but also the opportunities to be involved in extracurricular activities that are more and more relevant. I those activities you have more freedom to tailor your experience to your interests.


YourBaldFather

In four years one can learn one or the other pretty well, or both just a little bit. In the field, people are rarely called upon to do both at the same time. More likely, teams consisting of subject matter experts work together. I'd rather work with one expert engineer and one expert designer over two people who are experts in neither.


Bionic_Pickle

I work in engineering development of consumer products. Growing up I was more into the arts though. As others here have said, it's more sepetated in academia. I deal with both at work. If you have interest in engineering, get an engineering degree. You can do just about anything with a mechanical engineering background. Get into product development early with an internship if you want to do more creative/artistic work.


recyclopath_

Agreed. You have so many choices and directions you can go into or even swap down the line with an engineering background. Engineers who do art have options. Art people who like engineering have less.


Bionic_Pickle

Those last two sentences sum it up very well. If you can handle the math and some stress, get the engineering degree. And remember that the school is nothing like the job. Too many people drop out because they don't like the course material.


beeppboppp

What industry are you in?


9087877

Also in product dev, most places I've worked have had industrial designers on staff and assigned to each project. I consider ID the origin of creativity but feeds engineering innovation.. Their role is very different than mine, but key in success of a product..


rcxdude

> I love science and technology, but also have a really creative side to me. discussion about design vs engineering aside (which is important and I think there's a lot of value in being able to combine the two), it's important to point out that STEM across the board can be an extremely creative process, in much the same way as art. Just because the constraints and goals are different doesn't mean there's no imagination or outside-the-box thinking involved (this will vary from place-to-place, certainly there's plenty of engineering jobs where those are not encouraged, but this is a fault, not the norm).


Major_Ziggy

100x this. I would argue that creativity/imagination/out-of-the-box thinking is critical to becoming a good engineer. In a nutshell, what an engineer or scientist does is solve problems that nobody has encountered before, that always requires creative thinking.


dread_pirate_humdaak

I prefer the acronym STEAM to STEM. But only people who’ve never been involved with science, technology, engineering or math think that those fields are inherently uncreative. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family made up of engineers, artists, and people who can do both.


usesbiggerwords

Every time I see that acronym, I throw up in my mouth a little. The arts should be taught on their own merits, not shoehorned into what are very analytical fields for the sake of.... What exactly?


Ferentzfever

Don't forget STEAMMMER: * Science * Technology * Engineering * Arts * Math * Medicine * Music * English * Recreation /s


l0gic_is_life

Yeah, I think I'll pass.


usesbiggerwords

We'll eventually come back around to a traditional classical education, and we will have come full circle. Everything old will be new again 🙄


l0gic_is_life

Every time I see that acronym, I throw up in my mouth a lot. Nothing against art students, but it just seems like organizations trying to be unnecessarily "inclusive" or whatever. Science tech eng and mathematics; all highly technical interconnected subjects....whereas the only argument for art is made in UX or frontend which can be completely irrelevant to concrete fundamentals....


dread_pirate_humdaak

... fighting the inherently broken idea that if you’re good at analytical things you must be necessarily bad at art comes to mind. Fighting the idea that art is somehow lesser than those analytical fields. Fighting the idea that art skool is a field that makes you qualified only for a job in the service industry, should have learned a valuable skill, artfag. That’s a good enough start. Like I said, having legs in both sides, bringing them together only synergizes what is possible beyond what siloing in a single field does. To put it concretely in terms of something like user interface design: you generally get ugly and functional or pretty and near useless. It takes a careful understanding of both function and aesthetics to get it right.


l0gic_is_life

This is true, and communication between both left-brain and right-brained thinkers (Yes i know its bullshit) is necessary; but thats what it is. Nurses are essential to the function of hospitals; but you do not conflate the concept of Nurse and Doctor just because they're both essential to the end product. They have different roles, and separation and communication is a part of that.


dread_pirate_humdaak

The most competent doctor I’ve ever had was a nurse practitioner.


l0gic_is_life

Well the most competent doctors I've had have all been doctors...not sure what point you're making there. Exceptions exist. Advancement within a field exists. Educational certification exists.. I'm not saying you can't pursue your dreams (whether it's art or engineering); I'm saying they're different, and are meant to be separate fields.


dread_pirate_humdaak

A nurse practitioner is not a doctor, but a nurse who can write prescriptions.


Certainly-Not-A-Bot

The point of the STEM acronym is to distinguish subjects that require specific technical and mathematical knowledge from those which don't. It's a way of classifying the different programs. Nobody said arts was less valuable or important than STEM. STEM fields are all fairly similar in terms of what types of knowledge they need, whereas arts courses are very different from that, so the inclusion of arts in STEM just makes it mean "any course you can take at university."


MarioFromTheBarrio

Become the best architect ever by actually giving a shit about engineering throughout the design process.


Mattie725

Maybe also the most loved one by engineers ;)


madticklez

It sounds to me like you are looking for Industrial Design (some call it Product Design)


snow_enthusiast

Honestly, there's so much theory to learn when obtaining a engineering degree (one that makes you eligible to be a P.Eng. in Canada) that you would have to sacrifice learning serious engineering principles at the cost of design courses. Students are free to take any extra design course they want in order to give them the skills they desire. That's how one makes themselves a more marketable engineer in training after graduating and a different way to stand out. As a municipal engineer, I wish they taught us more theory and we spent more time modeling for instance. Sure, another design course would have been great but it would need to be so non-specific to apply to the many careers engineers can take.


LateralThinkerer

Retired engineering prof here. Yes - engineering should be integrated with a lot of things but there are some major hurdles, not the least of which is that the faculty themselves are years out of date on a lot of topics (particularly things like CAD and graphics tools), and very deeply siloed into whatever their research specialization is. Design faculty on the other hand are more about the aesthetic/ergonomic elements than anything, no matter that what they've designed has to actually be constructed or manufactured. The evolution of CAD into CAE is sometimes used blindly by them as some sort of assurance of quality or safety. So your perceptions are correct, but what you're really trying to do is make a decision a little too early. I'd say get accepted into an engineering program and use your electives for design classes. If you find yourself drawn into the design side in a serious way, then you've got a start and enough engineering to understand where it all might go wrong, or it may be that you want to be a good engineer and scratch the itch for design with the electives. Now for the tough part: Either way, take a few business finance classes (even on a no-credit basis). You won't understand how valuable those are until you're presenting a project in front of some technically-challenged sorts whose background is in beer drinking and whose only concern is the bottom line and their next boat payment, yet somehow they're signing your paychecks. It'll save your butt.


gmclapp

I don't agree. The reason why is that the field of engineering, as with any other field is getting increasingly specialized as our knowledge base grows. The more general and inclusive you try to make a program, the more superficial the exposure to subject material must necessarily be to keep the program a manageable length (4-5years). So the question would become: "What should be removed from an engineering curriculum to make way for art/design elements?" The answer is very likely, for those of us trying to hire skilled engineers, "nothing." graduates already have barely passable technical knowledge.


kira913

I disagree, because I feel like a lot of the distance between design and engineering is that very technical knowledge you're talking about. You can draw pretty pictures all day long, but what good is that if it's not functional, not repeatable, not reliable? That's something I didnt get out of my classes that I wish I had. Or at least wish others have had, I have multiple problems at work right now stemming from design engineers not wrapping their minds around the leap from design to actuality


recyclopath_

I think it's mostly about the program and what kind of design-build opportunities and emphasis there is throughout.


gmclapp

I think the problem you're describing is designers not having engineering knowledge. I was saying engineering curriculum doesn't need aesthetics.


1wiseguy

I'm going to speak for engineers in general. We don't generally get into artistic design, unless we're making a coffee table at home. Somewhere in the company are people who design the rounded corners on our products, but we don't do that, apart from reviewing the manufacturing issues that may result. Those people picked up those skills somewhere. Maybe there are schools for that, or maybe they just figured it out. It doesn't really cross paths with engineering that much.


_tdem_

I don't think your point is very general at all. Very company and industry specific.


skyersjet

Most engineers are blind to aesthetics and most designers don't want the realities of physics to get in the way of their visions.


Inigo93

In 25+ years as an engineer, aesthetics have been a feature that "counts" exactly zero times. I'm sure some industries give a damn about artistic merit of the product (anything that is consumer related), but I've never run into such. The question isn't even asked. Put it this way: Nobody cares about feng shui when designing an oil refinery.


DarkLink1065

In transportation, aesthetics are a detail showing a decorative finish that gets slapped on the face of retaining walls and bridge columns, and some landscaping plans from a sub that shows what plants to place along the sidewalks and medians. Trying to introduce unnecessarily fancy geometry to roadways and bridges for the sake of looking extra pretty is very expensive and tends to detract from the function of the improvements, but we can at least make it look nicer than bare concrete and asphalt.


cestcommecalalalala

Right, the vast majority of engineering work is on parts that are never visible to the public. Even on consumer products, it’s all hidden into a cover.


DwightKashrut

I have absolutely been told to make certain choices for aesthetic reasons, even in an industry-facing company. Part of that comes from how things look at trade shows, which are big selling opportunities, and part from higher up people deciding something looks "kludgy" even if it works.


usesbiggerwords

True, but I guarantee well routed piping and electrical looks a lot better, and functions better, than a rat's nest.


framerotblues

But they do care about ergonomics when designing an interface between a human and a machine. I can crank out a square enclosure with 30mm operators on it in ten minutes. I wouldn't want to stand there holding it for an entire shift, though.


zillafreak

Ergonomics is not the same as artistic design. One is a science, the other is not. Ergonomics is how humans interact with an object, artistic is just how something looks. Two different subjects. There is actual OSHA guidelines for ergonomics, there is nothing about artistic design.


framerotblues

It's not black and white. If you choose a fillet radius on the edge of a solid object that is larger than the fillet radius that is necessary, congratulations, you've just taken artistic license. Don't worry, I won't tell your coworkers you're an artist.


zillafreak

That made zero since to the difference between ergonomics and artistic design. I will repeat it for you, ergonomics is not the same as artistic design. As for your example, if you pick one that is too large, guess what you are a terrible engineer, not an artist.


l0gic_is_life

Ah, the good ol' Astrology vs Astronomy debate..


zillafreak

You mean someone that studies space and things in it vs someone that writes shitty horoscopes and believes in tarot cards...... Yup, actual science vs pseudoscience aka fake.


l0gic_is_life

Thats the one!


greenbuggy

> Nobody cares about feng shui when designing an oil refinery. Hell, almost nobody cares about serviceability either and that pays far more dividends than feng shui does


Apocalypsox

Eh. Unsure. I run a side business in which I primarily sell custom art work. There are few areas of engineering where design is an "artistic" function. In my experience, engineering design is more about "The laws of physics, project scope and available off-the-shelf parts dictate the design looks like this" rather than being driven by appearance. There certainly are fields of engineering where appearance is important, but it's a relatively small percentage of total design work.


Earls_Basement_Lolis

As far as user-friendliness and ergonomics goes, Human Factors Engineering is a branch that's slowly developing as it's own type of engineering. Usually this type of work is done by design engineers or development engineers, but human factors engineers focus explicitly on the usability of instruments, tools, or everyday devices. I share some of your frustrations though in regards to this problem though. Far too many products are designed seemingly only to fit a function without the form ever being considered. I'm sort of guilty of that too to some extent in some of my own products, but it ultimately comes down to "what's good enough" vs. "what's perfect" a lot of the time. I wouldn't have hesitated to take a human factors class if one had existed at my university. I would have loved to take some architecture courses if only to expand my knowledge of building types, floor layouts, etc. Taking a real financial math course instead of the abbreviated finance/project management class I took would have helped me a lot more too. If you want to mix both, I would recommend taking engineering over design because that will be ultimately harder of a curriculum and it can/will inform how you design products in the future. Learning how to make a product look good while not making it function well is about as bad or worse than a terribly designed but otherwise functional product that never fails.


hey_dont_say_that

Coming from a chemical engineering perspective design is not important for chemical manufacturing or even chemical/pharmaceutical R&D. I would despise a required general design class that prevented me from taking pharmaceutical classes. Ultimately there isn’t a lot of time to take more engineering classes on top of everything else that is expected from students. I just want to draw a box for a reactor and then do math.


LadyLightTravel

Beauty is a good thing. You’ll find that companies that are focused on consumer products focus more on design and beauty. Think of the automotive industry, for example. But there **is** a down side. Beautiful designs cost time and money. Many times you’re trying to be first to market, so that part of the design process may interfere with your goals. There is also another problem - beautiful design costs money and drives up the cost of the product. You may be able to recoup that if the product is expensive (auto, home). You won’t be able to do that if the product is limited by budget. So for most engineers, it is time, budget, function over everything else. Because that’s how businesses think. And schools are going to focus on the things that get their students a job.


HobbitFoot

In theory, that is architecture. Engineers look down in architects.


Engineer_Noob

That's why ya got architecture engineers! They have studio and engineering classes.


obiwanterp

I don’t get why. I mean I’ve heard the stories of thing like “it looks great but you can’t build it” but at least it’s over nit-picky things like utility routes and not because it will collapse. I think Architecture or Architecture Engineering are the best avenues to pursue that sort of hybrid tech/art career. That and/or robotics, especially HMI-type robotics (bio-med and similar). You need to have a great focus on design to make a robot and human work together effectively.


HobbitFoot

Architects don't design the structural part for any decently complex building. Part of the problem for architects is that they need to be an artist, a project manager, proficient in some technical matters, and a few other cases. In the end, they usually lack some of the above skills. And as much as some complain about the pay for engineers, the pay and work-life balance for architects is far worse.


Kyle_Is_On_Reddit

Engineering Technology is a viable degree option for a successful career as a designer. I'm personally a controls engineer, but related to a Mechanical Engineering Technologist who is a designer for a well known industrial truck manufacturer. He's tasked with fabricating custom parts but having a mechanical knowledge is the only thing that allows him to design them. A little bit of calculation and design. Good luck in your endeavors. You wont figure it all out right now; all you can do is take a leap into life and make the best out of it. Taking an engineering degree into design seems to be easier than the other way around anyhow.


thats-not-right

The only time aesthetic comes into play is during product design for a consumer (i.e. a vape pen, a tablet, a controller, etc). Ergonomics and aesthetics vs manufacturability and materials are huge factors to consider when discussing mass production of a product. That said, I wanted to go into animation. I wound up getting my engineering degree. I use pretty much zero aesthetic design in my daily design work. We worry more about function, usability, adaptability, smart design structure, and standardization than really anything else. You can always learn how to draw on the side.


Sadmanray

Universities in my country have introduced pathways where you can double major in engineering and design. However, it often ends up gearing towards entrepreneurship via creating good products (i.e. going i depth into the design process) more than it does towards truly functional design. I'm not against that. But i get why some may prefer to stick to the design paradigms that are taught as part of their primary course.


Reggae4Triceratops

I mean the "engineers" at my workplace are called "designers" so... In some places they are?


Beemerado

Engineering is fine art. The trick is to find an employer that looks at it this way.


Explosive-Space-Mod

If you're wanting to do more "artistic" engineering work Mechanical or materials is what you want to get into on the engineering side. If you want more control over how something looks it may be beneficial for you to look into architecture more than engineering though. At least for structural, the architects control how things look and we just make sure that it can work and meet all of the design criteria. Lots of A&E firms out there and you would still get some science with architecture just not as in depth as any engineering major will get.


mhosi

I can answer this fairly specifically, as I am a mechanical engineer that works in product design. For the company I work for, the aestheic of the product is massively important and directly correlated to sales, albeit weighted less than price. This is exactly why we employ several skilled industrial designers to create the look and feel of the product. Engineering exists as a tool to be used to achieve that vision, and unfortunately, it would be incredibly rare to have an engineer skilled enough to design the look of a product, as well as seeing it through to manufacturing. While it may sound simple, both the design and engineering of a product are such massive undertakings that they need to be separated into different roles. It is not my job to decide how the product looks; marketing probes the market to find an opening and design tries to fill it. The only time my input changes the look of a product is if I come back with a hard NO, something cannot be made that both meets the aesthetic design and meets proper integrity testing. All of that being said, I do believe that some schools should have classes where engineers are paired with designers. Problem solving is the core of engineering, and building something to an aesthetic is a problem. Being given a design "look" and trying to figure out how to make it is a terrific engineering challenge.


SuddenBag

>I think graduates would benefit from a wide skill set with knowledge of design and engineering Graduates already have a fairly wide knowledge base, having touched on a wide array of topics within their discipline. What they really lack is depth. Introducing more width into engineering curriculums while inevitably sacrificing the already meager depth perhaps isn't the best idea. Aesthetics is important when you design something that directly faces the average consumer. Ergonomics is important whenever your design requires regular human interaction. You might think that these two categories encompass a lot of things, and you'd be right, but that's only a small fraction of what engineers have to deal with. Much more reasonable to include these topics as electives in a general engineering curriculum, which many schools already do.


fastdbs

That’s what industrial design (consumer products) and architecture (civil and construction) are for. UI and ergonomics are included in both of those career paths.


Skystrike7

I think you seem misguided on what an engineering degree is for. It's to teach you how to solve technical problems with known physics/math/technology, and is not a degree to teach you how to make specific consumer products. You are free to incorporate as much "artistic design" as you want in your work, provided it works - however, it is up to your employer if they care to have it.


recyclopath_

My philosophy is that you can always go from more technical to less technical but it's difficult to go from less technical to more technical. You can major in an engineering and minor in an art form. You can major in an engineering and get a grad degree in an art form. You can major in engineering and work in a design role. You can't really do that in the opposite direction though. ​ When making big decisions like majors and investments into education and training, I focus a lot on adaptability and flexibility. Having the technical background gives you the flexibility to work or continue education in design. Having an art background is more limiting in that capacity. ​ Also, as a relatively artistic mechanical engineer, I'm better at doing physical world projects because of the instincts I developed in practicing and learning engineering.


audaciousmonk

Yes they should. And when the marriage of the two works out, we get awesome products that are highly capable and pleasing to look at / use. But too often either aesthetics dominates function (Apple) or aesthetics is left by the wayside due to schedule / budget / outdated looks. The problem tends to be that you get swamped as an engineer (design, documentation, reviews, escalations, PRs, production, reviews, etc.). So companies that care about aesthetics are likely to hire a separate individual who can focus on that role. You’ll be more likely to see the role you want at a startup or small business. Particularly consumer facing products. Major in engineering discipline of choice, and then use your electives to take product design, arts, electronic arts courses.


Bryguy3k

The issue is that to become proficient in either of them is a full time job. An awareness is good - but you can’t just throw one or two courses in and call it good.


v_N_i_C_k

I'm in a Mechanical Eng. Technology major (4 yr) and I'd consider what we learn in CAD to be creative


half_a_lime

Iduno, I had like 7 design courses in my undergrad. They weren't too creative, but how creative do you want biological wastewater treatment systems design to get.


DNGTA

I ended up studying Engineering Tech and am now in an Engineering role (instinctively ducks). I'll admit this month is only my 8th anniversary of graduation so I haven't been out of school that long. All my career I've worked on vehicle parts in some form or another. Both consumer automotive and combat vehicles. In both cases there are areas where the aesthetic design matters. Anything the vehicle user can see or touch includes or should include some sort of aesthetic consideration. The thing is though that all of these vehicle parts do some sort of job. They are core structure, holding something to the structure, providing a service to the user, or otherwise have a driving force to be there. Now it is much easier to incorporate some aesthetic consideration into a mounting bracket once it's decidedly sufficient to hold whatever load it has and is manufacturable. It is on the other hand much more difficult to start with an aesthetic design divorced from the core design parameters and then try to make it do the job it was intended to. The process I have seen most often for absolutely everything that is not the outside body of consumer cars is function first. *Also of note it's Friday afternoon and you posted a question that engineers and designers have heard and will continue to discuss and fight over endlessly for centuries. You basically just yelled free candy in the middle of a kindergarten.*


internet_observer

You're thinking only about consumer products where design aesthetics are importnat. A very large percentage of products out there are not consumer products and are placed in areas where people don't see see them or see very little of them. Spending additional time on artistic elements of the items costs additional money that companies don't want to spend. Even on consumer products you have a lot of engineers working on stuff that is behind the scenes. Look at a car for example, you have some people working to balance the look of the interior and the exterior with function doing, but your engineers designing the engine, transmission, or suspension don't need to worry about it. There are careers for people who want to do both, but it is far from the majority of careers. A lot of engineering is designing things that are behind the scenes.


Kiff88

Mech designer here. And I can say it is an art to fulfill every aspects of function, environment, manufacturing, installation, maintenance & repair of the product.


Lewiii5

You're describing my degree - Product Design Engineering. For industrial products: The product must work, but if someone uses it, and someone needs to sell it, then make it not an eyesore. E.g. most industrial products are quite bland (googlr Rittal enclosure) but probably have a corporate design guide so they can be recognised in industry. For consumer products: the aesthetics is taken a lot more seriously (user experience design, industrial design) but then it also needs to do a fuction ( mech eng etc) imagine you were designing a new electric toothbrush, it needs an ergonomic handle and style, but also a mechanism and electronics to function.


Mecha-Dave

In a cross functional organization, those roles are fulfilled by other people. Your job is to specialize in the engineering of the product to meet the requirements set out by designers. It sounds like you want to be in Industrial Design or R&D.


bt12kramer

You should ask yourself do want to be an engineer. Engineers in our core are problem solvers, and very different than a design focused industry. If you have a knack for solving problems then I would highly suggest engineering. I have my Masters in ME and been working in industry for 3 years. My current job title is Design Engineer and it’s honestly a great mix. My role is to design custom manufacturing tools so I’m always able to utilize my creativity. I spend a lot of time brainstorming and it’s awesome when you think of a way to solve a problem that hasn’t been done before. Now engineering is broad, say I would’ve done the same degree and gotten a job as a production or manufacturing engineering I wouldn’t be able to utilize my creative side as much. But I really wouldn’t get too hung up on that now. Just know that whatever you do you aren’t bound by your degree. College preps you for your career but life is unpredictable, and an engineering degree will always show people you know your shit. If you are really interested in developing your design skills right now than you could always look into taking design courses as your electives. Best of luck to you, college is an awesome time of pure learning about both yourself and the world.


Mattie725

And that's why I became an Civil Engineer - Architect, which is a study at multiple universities in Belgium (and Europe). The idea is that you can design structures, from houses to bridges depending on your interests and master option, but you already have in mind what's actually possible and needed as load bearing construction etc. This way we try to avoid Engineers hating on Architects for drawing impossible things, and Architects from hating on Engineers for their annoying science that messes with their design (pretty bad argument, I know). Edit: just adding to my story. I'm now working at an Engineering firm at the infrastructure department. Out design and 'engineering'/calculating department are pretty separated so I try to be or become that middle man. Think both about design, loads, structures, construction phase...


Sybertron

I dont think so in the physical roles they perform. There's just too much in making and maintaining that sits outside of inital design and vision. HOWEVER, the two should absolutely be front and center for the #1 thing that doesn't happen in way too many engineering firms, sitting with the end customer/user and seeing them use the damn they they are working on. It SHOULD BE week 1 of training for every designer and engineer. Here is the product/concept, lets go see someone use it. But I can't tell you how much this doesnt frigging happen in most engineering offices. We get to our desk, knock out the boring as hell how not to stab yourself in the eye trainings, and then go off of a bunch of powerpoint slides, spreadsheets, and word of mouth how anything is used or built. Typically design firms do this much better with user ethnographies and studies. It's just incredible how often it's skipped over entirely for engineers when it's just so inherently needed.


m1720

Why is everyone arguing in this post omg