My name is Aidan Malone, and I’m currently enrolled in Engineering Science at the University of Toronto. The purpose of this design portfolio is to highlight my design achievements, ongoing projects, and to showcase my development as an engineering designer.
Looking back, it’s surprising how much my outlook has changed in one school year. Over the past two semesters, I’ve acquired so much knowledge, but more importantly I’ve learned to apply it and analyze the world around me. I no longer just see structures, products, or software, I see design priorities, trade-offs, stakeholders, and most importantly ways of improving each design. Engineering design is a way of seeing the world, and once you’ve experienced it you can’t go back.
This transformation has been paralleled by my growth as an engineering designer through my experiences inside and outside the classroom. In Praxis I, for example, I learned how to properly approach and analyze a problem taking into consideration both my design beliefs and the needs of the stakeholders, and then develop a concept that addresses these requirements. This provided me with an example to develop my personal engineering design process, and test it on projects such as the design critique or the kickstarter package, and later in Praxis II, where my team designed a system to improve the quality of ice in curling clubs. This development was mirrored in structures class and computer science, in which I was given the opportunity to apply my engineering design process to a variety of engineering problems ranging from the design of pedestrian truss bridge to the design of a hash table. What time I had outside of the classroom I invested in expanding my knowledge of programming and software design, representing the University of Toronto at the Yale Hackathon, and self-studying genetic algorithms, both of which have improved substantially my abilities as a designer.
Along the way I’ve learned a lot about myself, from how I work in teams to my strengths and weaknesses as a designer. The most important lesson I’ve learned in this respect is to take a step back and analyze the question before tackling the problem, and acknowledging this has allowed me to improve the quality of my work, which I encourage you to explore.
Thanks for reading,
Engineering Science Class of 2017