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Question for design engineers

  1. Apr 10, 2015 #1
    I have been an electrical design engineer for 3 years now and although I like what I do, sometimes I feel like there's something lacking about the job.
    I mean that I hardly get my hands dirty by actually assemblying or giving maintenance to the equipment that I design. I know that there are people whose work is to do these tasks, but still...
    On the other hand I often have oportunities to see the test and commissioning of the equipment, which is cool.
    Does any design engineer here feel like less of an engineer because of this "problem"?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2015 #2


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    I can only describe my own experience. I was an EE in the early days of NASA and I designed, built, tested, and deployed digital logic circuit for both ground stations and on-board rocket telemetry. I would have felt VERY cheated had I not been able to do all of those things. When one-off items were used enough we did have them fabricated by contractors but I was fine w/ that since I had shepherded the prototypes all the way through, and most of the circuits were just one-off.

    It's unfortunate that you don't get to do more, but your company probably figures its more cost effective to have something of an "assembly line" process.
  4. Apr 10, 2015 #3

    jim hardy

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    The grass is always greener.......

    I was a "hands on" field engineer in a plant maintenance department.
    I often envied the design guys with their nice offices and weekends off.
    Many of them said they envied my "more interesting real world" work environment.

    I tried a stint at office work. The pressures are no less, just different.
    I went back to field work.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    interesting coincidence here - I just had a not unrelated conversation with pf'er dlgoff.....
    A young engineer might benefit greatly from a tour of duty in field service. Does your company have such a branch?
    Inquire of some really old, experienced guys where you work, and see what your boss thinks.

    old jim
  5. Apr 14, 2015 #4


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    Get a project as a hobby?
  6. Apr 17, 2015 #5
    I had a job for a long time where myself or a team would conceive of something, analyze and design it, have it fabricated (usually under our supervision and even participation), inspect the final product, have it shipped to our plants, then come out, install and start it up (followed by years of maintaining it). It is really helpful to have the full experience. In my view it would make you a better designer. It may not be the most efficient method for all companies. In our case we were experts in a specific area, and we did everything to support it.
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