Tearing things apart is a good thing. Seeing how the bits and pieces fit together helps you to understand how they work.
The Engineering Box challenges you to take apart a Dyson machine and learn more about the design process. The question is: can you put it back together?
Find out how Dyson engineers – Mike, Sioned and Tom – found their niche in engineering. From tinkering as children to studying at university.
Engineering is one of the most useful and exciting careers. Engineers are people who think creatively to solve real world problems.
It’s never too early or too late to think of becoming an engineer. If you’ve got the curiosity and perseverance you’re nearly there. But here’s a few tips to get you started.
Engineers don’t spend all their time doing calculations. But they do rely on math and science principles. Calculating angles and learning the laws of physics might not always be the most exciting class – but product design can bring theories to life. When designing Dyson machines engineers use concepts like the Pythagorean theorem and Archimedes’ principle.
Whether in school or out, engineering clubs challenge you to take your skills one step further. They also give you a chance to meet other students who have the bug for engineering. A lot of engineering clubs have mentors – professional engineers that take time out of the workday to help build everything from battery powered cars to robots.
Every Dyson engineer carries a notebook, full of past ideas and blank space for more. Take a blank notebook and start filling it with ideas. Write every idea down – nothing is too crazy. And don’t forget to sign and date each page – so everyone knows who the idea belongs to.
If something stops working, don’t toss it in the bin. Pull it apart to discover how it works. You might even find a way to fix it. Before they were building vacuums and fans, many Dyson engineers got a kick out of dissecting remote controls, old radios and bikes.
Whether it’s making cardboard prototypes or gluing together a model, building things hones practical skills – creativity, dexterity, resourcefulness. All will come in handy as an engineer.
Engineers rely on sketching to communicate complex ideas. These sketches are rough and ready and drawn very quickly. Practice drawing 3D shapes, shading and even life forms. It will help you feel more comfortable with drawing as a communication tool. Annotating sketches can help bring them to life.
Nothing replaces real life experience – so find a mentor. It can be a family friend, a teacher or even your parents. A mentor can give you insight into daily life as an engineer and the path they took to get there.
Engineering is a very broad term. So decide what type of engineer you’d like to be before you choose a university. Some programs can be very math heavy, while others rely more on art. You should find the program that fits your needs and talents.