In Summary - Transport Design Engineer
Transport Design Engineers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Transport Design Engineer
Transport designers are commissioned to undertake the feasibility, layout, styling, interior and production design of high speed trains, metros, light rail systems, people movers, buses, ferries and other commercial vehicles.
On large projects many designers work together, and each concentrates on a particular aspect of the design. For example, in aircraft design, the landing gear or the fuselage. Smaller projects may be completed by individual designers or small design teams.
Research is an important part of a designer's work. They try to find answers to questions such as:
Who is going to use the vehicle, vessel or craft?
What materials are needed for production?
How much it will cost to produce?
Designers work with marketing managers, design engineers and ergonomists, in order to gather all the relevant information. In some cases, designers may get to travel, both in Ireland and abroad to study similar projects and consult with other transport design specialists. However, opportunities such as these depend largely on financial resources.
When they have finished their research they turn their rough sketches into detailed drawings, increasingly using a computer-aided design (CAD) system. These can then be used to construct a prototype vehicle, vessel or craft, which is tested and supervised by the designer. Using these test results, designers refine their original work and produce working drawings. Production staff use the working drawings to manufacture and assemble relevant parts and sections.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Prepare sketches of ideas, detailed drawings, illustrations, artwork, or blueprints, using drafting instruments, paints and brushes, or computer-aided design equipment.
- Confer with engineering, marketing, production, or sales departments, or with customers, to establish and evaluate design concepts for manufactured products.
- Modify and refine designs, using working models, to conform with customer specifications, production limitations, or changes in design trends.
- Direct and coordinate the fabrication of models or samples and the drafting of working drawings and specification sheets from sketches.
- Evaluate feasibility of design ideas, based on factors such as appearance, safety, function, serviceability, budget, production costs/methods, and market characteristics.
- Present designs and reports to customers or design committees for approval, and discuss need for modification.
- Investigate product characteristics such as the product's safety and handling qualities, its market appeal, how efficiently it can be produced, and ways of distributing, using and maintaining it.
- Develop manufacturing procedures and monitor the manufacture of their designs in a factory to improve operations and product quality.
- Research production specifications, costs, production materials and manufacturing methods, and provide cost estimates and itemized production requirements.
- Participate in new product planning or market research, including studying the potential need for new products.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Interests - Transport Design Engineer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and are drawn to commerce, trade and making deals. Some pursue sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or in management roles in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
As a transport designer, you need creative design skills, and a knowledge of technical and manufacturing processes; the vehicles, vessels or craft you will design need to look good and work efficiently. In some cases it is more important that certain types of transport work properly, rather than look attractive (fork-lift trucks for example).
In contrast, car designers need to pay as much attention to the look of a car as they do its performance. You should possess good problem solving skills, a good technical aptitude and good communication skills.
Entry Requirements - Transport Design Engineer
Pay & Salary - Transport Design Engineer
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 35k - 65k
Last Updated: February, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.