"Working as a design engineer, I can help others have better lives, not just me."
Before coming to school, I worked in many different industries: everything from IT to being copy repair guy; I even worked in a bakery. These jobs were helping me make a living, but I was working for my benefit. I was in the military for several years, which helped teach me discipline and service in a mostly safe environment. I went back to school after working and serving for over ten years, and that is when I found out what I knew I wanted to do: be a design engineer.
Why I Design
Working as a design engineer, I can help others have better lives, not just me. I started out as a computer science major, but felt that I was not developing my own talents. It was just too mundane. I switched over to mechanical engineering to create things, and have discovered that I feel more complete and satisfied when I am able to help others. I am interested in designing things for the developing world. With social media, everyone all over the world knows what the West has, and they all want it. As engineers, our job is to give them what they see, but in an economically and socially affordable way.
What I Do
Right now, my research focuses on “handling the complexity and uncertainty when designing for the developing world.” For a company, it is very hard to go into a new market, especially if you decide to start creating products for the developing world. Even if you are a successful company that has a lot of products on the US market, the developing world market is completely different. This is because the market requirements, customers, logistics, and manufacturing are all different. Different situations call for different approaches to achieve success. You can’t expect success in making a product for the developing world if you use the same techniques that you use in the developed world.
Pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from BYU
MS in Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Sweden
BS in Mechanical Engineering, University West, Trollhättan, Sweden
Worked in several product design and management positions around the world
*These are excerpts from an interview with Hans Ottosson, compiled by Justin Beard