As I complete each milestone of my final semester of college, I often find ask myself what I’m working towards. What am I aspiring to do? Why have I gone through the rigors of engineering school; pulling all-nighters to turn in a seemingly insignificant homework assignment on time and stressing over minute details within complicated assemblies? I am inspired by the built world that surrounds us. Inspired by the innate beauty embodied within the mechanical products that we use every day. Products that are incredibly complex, yet so elegant in their operation that it almost becomes an extension of the person who uses it. As I begin the transition into my professional career, I have realized I want to work within product design. The product design industry focuses not only on the engineering, but also on the people it affects.
I think the best example of this inspiration on a macro level is some old school engineering within a sailboat, such as the J-Class yacht below. These boats move with such grace, yet have immense power. From a distance they seem to calmly slice through the waves. However, when you get on deck you realize that this is far from reality. You will hear the crew shouting, the wind howling through the lines, ratcheting blocks, waves crashing, and the boat creaking under the stress. So much organized chaos happening, yet they are known for their grace.
When I say I’m inspired by the built world that surrounds us, I truly mean world. I have been fortunate enough to live and work abroad as a ski instructor. Skiing has afforded me opportunities that I would have never imagined and is truly a lifelong passion of mine. Beyond skiing, I am an avid mountain biker, and sailor. I think it is important to have passions beyond engineering as it allows you to diversify yourself and become more rounded as an individual. My dream job would be to work within an industry I am personally invested in, specifically skiing. This job would allow me to travel the world introducing people to the products that could change their perspective on life, as it has for me.
However, as I dive deeper into my true aspirations I have realized it has a bigger scope. I know I want to be a product design engineer, ideally within the ski industry, but what I truly want, at the most fundamental level, is to develop products that people are passionate about. Ultimately, I want my grandkids to be able to say, “My grandad designed that.”