|Position Title||Design Engineer|
|Alternate Title(s)||Materials Engineer, Composite Engineer, Product Designer, Structural Engineer|
|Education & Training Level||Bachelor’s degree required, graduate degree preferred|
|Education & Training Level Description||Design engineers typically hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in electrical or mechanical engineering or a related discipline. Employers value practical experience, e.g., cooperative engineering programs, prior work experience, or internships. Design engineers often specialize in specific disciplines such as aerodynamics or electromechanical systems, so a master’s degree or Ph.D. in a specialized area will be advantageous.|
|Brief job description||Design engineers lead, perform, design and analyze wind turbine structures and components so that they efficiently generate the most power, are more reliable, withstand environmental stresses, have a lower cost, and reduced environmental impacts. They work on products throughout their entire life cycle, from conceptual design through design and development, testing, qualification, manufacturing, and installation and operation support.|
|Preferred Level of Education||Master’s degree|
|Preferred Level of Experience||See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.|
|Estimated/Expected Salary||See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.|
Design engineers lead, perform, design and analyze wind turbine structures and components so that they efficiently generate the most power, are more reliable, withstand environmental stresses, have a lower cost, and reduced environmental impacts. They work on products throughout their entire life cycle, from conceptual design through design and development, testing, qualification, manufacturing, and installation and operation support.
When developing concepts for wind turbines and turbine systems, design engineers are responsible for the design, development and testing in order to prove function and reliability. They use computer software to develop virtual models of their designs, and evaluate the design in terms of function, safety, and cost to their customer. Design engineers test their designs and perform analyses, ensuring the product meets or exceeds requirements for design verification.
Wind turbines consist of thousands of parts, and each part must be designed to exact specifications so that they maximize performance and can withstand the stresses involved in generating wind power. Design engineers in the wind industry are continually working to improve the design, cost, feasibility of production and reliability of turbine components, structures and systems. They address issues and provide innovative solutions to blade design and wind tunnel testing, generator design and power control, tower and structural issues, mechanical and aerodynamic noise, blade pitch control and offshore installation and operation.
In addition to the initial design and testing of a wind turbine component, structure or system, design engineers also work with manufacturing and supply chain teams to ensure that the production of these parts are feasible and cost effective. Wind turbine manufacturers produce their products for fulfillment across the globe. Products must meet quality requirements as well as adhere to production cost and schedule guidelines.
When there is an issue with a product, the design engineer conducts a root cause failure analysis of the product to determine the source of the failure. If the failure is determined to be a design related cause, the design engineer works with engineering, manufacturing and supply chain teams to resolve the issue and prevent recurrence in production. They incorporate these lessons learned as well as best practices and standardization into drawings, specifications, design practices and processes for the company and industry.
In summary, design engineers typically do the following:
Design Engineers use software such computer-aided design (CAD) or to computer-aided industrial design (CAID) to sketch ideas, make changes, develop models or create specific machine-readable instructions that tell other machines exactly how to build the product.
Bureau of Labor Statistics: