What Will You Become?
Iowa Western Community College


With the training and experiences students receive from the Design Technology program, there are endless possibilities for careers. Students learn and train on the same software used by NASCAR racing teams, Fighter Jet design companies, Sports Equipment designers, and even the team that designed the Mars Rover.

Common titles for Design Technologist may include:

  • Electro-mechanical Designer
  • CAD Application Specialist
  • Mechanical Designer
  • Design Drafter
  • Product Designer
  • PLM Solutions Architect
  • Project Engineer
  • Tooling Designer 
  • Software Analyst
  • Production Line Analyst
  • Product Data Specialist
  • Product Specialist
  • Technical Designer
  • Draftsman

Areas and companies that Design Technologist may work:

Lockheed Martin

F35The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft is being built by a Lockheed Martin-led coalition of leading military aircraft manufacturers and suppliers around the world who must work as if they are one contiguous enterprise. The F-35 Program is designed to provide the United States’ Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy and Royal Air Force with an affordable and stealthy tactical aircraft for the 21st century.

Volvo Aero Corp.

F35Volvo Aero produces highly specialized components for aircraft and rocket engines. The company must respond quickly with competitively priced bids and develop new products within constantly shrinking lead times. Each of Volvo Aero’s products is subject to a great deal of analysis, both finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis, as well as rigorous physical testing.

JPL (Mars Rover)

F35The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is the lead United States center for robotic exploration of the solar system. Its history of space exploration and discovery spans more than 50 years, from the early Explorer 1 spacecraft to the latest Mars mission, which launched in November 2011 and is due to set down on Mars in August 2012.


F35Innovation in the auto industry increasingly involves software and electronics. The growing amount of software and electronics also brings with it the need to manage a product with a much shorter lifecycle.

GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co.

F35GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. (GM Daewoo) manufactures vehicles, engines and transmissions at four facilities in Korea as well as an assembly facility in Vietnam. GM Daewoo products are also assembled at GM facilities in China, Thailand, India, Colombia and Venezuela. GM Daewoo management identified product lifecycle management (PLM) technology as a way of meeting challenges.

Hendrick Motorsports

F35Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) isn’t your typical racing organization. Founded in 1984, Hendrick Motorsports fields four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. It also builds 600 engines a year, some for use by its own teams and some that are leased to others. In an industry where speed is of the essence, it is only natural to pursue a solution for an information management problem at a record-breaking pace.

Joe Gibbs Racing

F35With expert drivers like Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch – and fast Toyota Camrys, Joe Gibbs Racing has the makings for NASCAR success. But winning involves more than sending these cars out onto the track each weekend. Parts that have worn during the previous race must be replaced before the cars are shipped to the next event (Wednesday or Thursday depending on the location).


F35Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Ducati) was founded in 1926 to produce components for the emerging radio industry. After World War II, the company began manufacturing engines and small motorbikes, eventually becoming one of the most valuable and popular brands in the road and racing motorbike arena.


F35Since 1987, MET SpA (MET) has been an innovator in the production of helmets for road cycling and mountain biking. Based in Talamona, Italy, near Sondrio, the company is a global industry leader in its domain, serving markets across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Far East, Canada, United States and Central America. A privately-owned company, MET’s founders are still active in supervising the technical and sales operations of the company, including the new Bluegrass brand dedicated to the “Gravity” market segment.

Black Diamond Equipment Ltd.

F35Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., an employee-owned manufacturer of climbing and skiing equipment, operates on three continents and sells its products in more than 20 countries around the world. One of the company’s defining characteristics – and a key strategic asset – is the fact that its employees are passionate climbers and skiers themselves. They know what makes a great product versus merely a good one, and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Adams Golf

F35Adams Golf® designs, assembles, markets and distributes premium quality, technologically innovative golf clubs. All of the equipment at Adams Golf is designed and tested using a variety of sophisticated, state-of-the-art tools, such as 3D CAD and rendering, CAE, advanced mass property analysis and equipment durability testing. And it’s this high-quality craftsmanship, cutting-edge engineering and superior customer service that have made Adams Golf a true leader and innovator in the golf business.

Shiv Diamonds

F35Shiv Diamonds manufactures diamond-studded jewelry for international markets. Although the company’s history in diamond manufacturing dates back three decades, its move into diamond jewelry is a relatively recent development.

Manitowoc Cranes

F35In the design of its most recent heavy-lift model, Manitowoc Cranes had to make sure that upon completion it could get the huge crane where it was needed. Engineers at Manitowoc Cranes felt overly constrained by analysis software that was solely geometry based. However, when they switched to Femap™ software, they found that they could easily work on the details of a finite element model – nodes, elements, properties and loads – and when they needed it, Femap also met their toughest geometry and meshing requirements.


F35JCB, one of the world’s leading construction equipment manufacturers, has a long heritage of supplying innovative products. To power its construction vehicles, the company had traditionally relied on sourcing diesel engines manufactured by third party engine suppliers. However, in its ongoing quest to further increase customer satisfaction, the company made the decision to develop its own engines, exclusively designed to suit the specific requirements of its construction products.

Hyundai Heavy Industries

F35Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) operates a global business network in each of its six business divisions: Shipbuilding, Offshore & Engineering, Industrial Plant & Engineering, Engine & Machinery, Electro Electric Systems and Construction Equipment. Overall, HHI employs 26,000 people. The Construction Equipment Division, which began operations in 1985 and employs 1,200, has grown into a world-class construction equipment producer.

Terex Equipment Ltd.

F35Terex Equipment Ltd. is part of the global Terex Corporation, the third largest manufacturer of construction equipment in the world. Terex Equipment has three product lines: five models of a 6 x 6 articulated dump truck, five models of a rigid dump truck for general construction, quarrying and surface mining, and the well-known push-pull scraper. The company has 600 employees and manufactures 1,200 trucks a year.

Xerox Corporation

F35Xerox Corporation is the world’s leading document management technology and services company with the industry’s broadest product portfolio. Xerox offers digital color and black-and-white printing and publishing systems, digital presses and “book factories,” multifunction devices, laser and solid ink network printers, copiers and fax machines.

Design Automation Associates

F35Founded by three United Technologies engineers in 1995, Design Automation Associates Inc. (DAA) offers a variety of engineering consulting services, with a focus on helping companies automate their product development and configuration processes. The firm, which now has a staff of 20, serves a wide range of industries, including rotating equipment, electronics packaging, industrial machinery, aerospace, military and automotive.

LG Electronics Inc.

F35LG Electronics Inc. (LGE) has mapped out a clear plan for reaching its goal of “Global Top 3 by 2010.” The company’s strategy for gaining market share is two-fold: fast innovation and fast growth. This is supported by its core competencies of product leadership, market leadership and people leadership. The Telecommunication & Handset Company is one of three companies within LGE.

Mercury Marine

F35Marine industry leader Mercury Marine is the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational marine propulsion engines. A $1.5 billion division of Brunswick Corporation, Mercury provides engines, boats, services and parts for recreational, commercial and government marine applications.

John Shuttleworth Yacht Designs

F35For 30 years, sailing enthusiasts have been turning to John Shuttleworth Yacht Designs for the ultimate in performance, style and value within the multihull market. In the 1980s, the company’s design team developed the concept of “Integrated Structure,” which resulted in boats that were lighter, stiffer and stronger than any previous multihull designs.

Revolution Design

F35Located in Tasmania, Australia, Revolution Design provides its clients with innovative design services for all types of lightweight marine vehicles, as well as small to larger vessels, that use aluminum and steel in their construction. The company is especially well known for designing high-speed, lightweight catamarans.

Siemens Infrastructure Logistics

F35The Infrastructure Logistics division of Siemens AG is a leading supplier of postal service automation solutions. From high-speed, automated mail sorters to international mail networks, the division’s turnkey postal processing centers excel at getting any type of mail from sender to recipient quickly, reliably and economically. The Infrastructure Logistics office in Texas builds mail sorting equipment for the United States Postal Service.

MEAF Machines

F35Customized development is highly prevalent in machines for the plastics industry. As a result, every machine is actually a prototype which, naturally, still has to have the quality and price level of a mass-produced machine. This work requires a tight process, from development up to and including purchasing and assembly, during which all relevant data must be available at the right time.

Hermle-Leibinger Systemtechnik

F35Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG, whose headquarters are in Gosheim, is one of Germany’s leading manufacturers of milling machines and machining centers. More than 20,000 of the company’s machines are in operation worldwide, mainly in demanding sectors like tooling and mold making, medical technology, optics, aerospace and automotive.