I chose the Engineering Design and Innovation (EDI) program because I wanted to know more about what went into designing a product or system than just the mechanics. Then I wanted to see how learning about people's interactions and motives could strengthen the final design. The program had the feel of being more real-world oriented and I felt I would learn tools that would help me progress in my career.
What was your favorite design course at Northwestern?
I loved the Human-Centered Design studio courses because we got to work as teams on real projects with real clients. You get to learn not only how to design a product, but also how to work effectively in a team.
What are you doing now?
I’m working as a process improvement engineer for Dyson. On paper it's a lot of reliability work, but in practice it's a lot of fun.
The U.S. engineering team for Dyson is very small, and in an engineering-based company that means we get interesting projects in need of an engineer. One day I might be taking apart a vacuum (or 20) to diagnose it, and the next I might be helping design a demonstration for a TV shopping network. And some days I work on spreadsheets, but it's all part of the job.
I think EDI helped me get here by teaching me to be more of an "everything" engineer as opposed to focusing too much on one discipline. I may have specialized in one thing while I was an undergraduate, but I know there really isn’t anything I can’t learn, only things I haven’t learned yet. EDI gave me that.
MS, Engineering Design & Innovation, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL