Product Engineering – Skills, Challenges & Opportunities

Career in Product Engineering

Do you wish to choose a career that demands a blend of technical skills, analytical thinking and a dollop of creativity? If yes, then Product Engineering might just be what you are looking for.

Product engineering is the process of ideating, designing and developing a product with the intent to sell or generate revenue. The role demands combining technical acumen with ‘out of the box’ thinking to implement innovative solutions.

Skills & Challenges:

A product engineer is involved in the entire lifecycle of product development – from planning, designing, and selection of materials, prototyping, testing and manufacturing. A product engineer has to design & build the product in a cost effective manner without compromising on the quality.

The role of a Product Engineer may often stretch beyond the technical and analytical skills. One has to understand the market trends and demands to be able to predict the market needs to conceive an appropriate product design.

Before a product is launched an engineer also needs to ensure that there is proper technical documentation for the same. The product engineer needs to conceptualize a product which will be in sync with the market demand. He will have to work within the constraints of budget, time and scope. After conceptualizing the product, one needs to play a key role in product qualification which involves testing and providing evaluation reports based on customer requirements.

A critical aspect of product designing is to check the functional feasibility of the product which calls upon the task of prototype testing. The functionality of a product can sometimes get hidden behind its operating complexity. Thus, it is essential to keep in mid the user interface and intuitiveness of the product.

After finalizing the product design, the engineer is also responsible in supporting/driving the manufacturing strategy. Sometimes an engineer might even have to help with the branding & packaging (as required).

Once the product is launched in the market, providing support to the customers and getting involved in customer engagement activities is equally important. Engaging in customer activities will ensure that the product does not become obsolete as this the best way to understand customer concerns and requirements from the product. This will help one to enhance the product continuously. Thus, it goes without saying that product engineer always acts as a liaison between the R&D team and the customers. This role requires the individual to work between various organizations and play a key role in shaping and directing product growth and development.

Opportunities:

This role is creative and dynamic and there are abundant opportunities for a product engineer in today’s market. An engineering degree or a degree in science field like physics or mathematics is essential if you wish to pursue product engineering.

Within the Electronics System Design & Manufacturing (ESDM) sector, the role of a product engineer is highly relevant in companies offering custom system design, components for telecom & networking companies, and consumer electronics.