What role would a Design Engineer hold in mining?

Design Engineers combine their knowledge of design, engineering and manufacturing processes to create functional products.

Design Engineers research and develop ideas for new products and are involved in designing the systems used to make them. Design Engineers are also involved in overseeing and improving the performance and efficiency of products that are already in existence.

The day to day duties of a Design Engineer in mining

  • The Design Engineer will create the initial blueprints for mining related structures, systems, equipment and machines
  • Design Engineers will typically use extremely advanced computer technology and applications
  • Communicate and work with other Engineers to coordinate design plans
  • With the help of engineering technicians design and fabricate models of structures equipment and machines
  • Testing, which would involve collecting and analysing data from tests on prototypes
  • Modifying designs and retesting where necessary
  • Writing or presenting regular progress reports
  • Meeting with members of various other departments to review prototypes and discuss design modifications and whether the product will meet the desired requirements
  • When designing a new idea pay attention to safety and usability
  • When designing a new idea pay attention to the efficiency and costs involved
  • When designing new ideas would need to pay attention to maintenance and lifespan
  • Take into consideration the environmental impact that the new product would have
  • Also take into consideration how the product could be safely disposed of once its working life is over

Working conditions of Design Engineer

  • Design Engineers would spent a lot of time in front of a computer, or working in a design and drawing office
  • Design Engineers may also be required to spend some time on site. Depending on the type of mine, Design Engineers may spend some time in the open above ground, or underground where it can be cramped and hot
  • Production sites can be remotely located and can be hot and noisy, and Engineers may be required to wear protective glasses and clothing
  • Design Engineers may be required from time to time to travel to and stay away from home for extended periods. They may be required to live on site away from home, or to work on a fly in fly out basis. FIFO commonly involves flying in for a certain period of time whilst the Design would be on site, and then flying home for periods when they are off work
  • Design Engineers may get to see the world as if working for large international companies, their job will often involve international travel

Educational requirements of a Design Engineer

  • Students interested in entering Design Engineering programs should take courses in mathematics, science and computing in high school
  • A four to five year Bachelor’s Degree in civil, mechanical,, electrical engineering or related would be required
  • Relevant subjects include engineering product design, industrial design and computer aided design engineering
  • Should you be interested in a Research or Academic position, it will require a doctorate or master’s degree
  • Many of the more senior positions also require an advanced degree
  • Design Engineers will generally have to have a strong background in maths and science and computing
  • Specialized onsite training is required

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