Engineering Competition

When I finished reading this article, “BYD throws 5,000 low-cost engineers at auto battery packs,” I wasn’t too surprised to hear that a gigantic Chinese manufacturing company was working on new battery technology. After spending a total of about 6 months in Chinese factories over the past 3 years, I wasn’t surprised to hear that they are planning to sell said batteries to competing auto companies. I also wasn’t surprised to hear that their engineers get paid about 15% of what most entry to mid-level American engineers make. See, I’ve been pondering this situation for a long time. If you’re an American or European engineer you should worried about how you can compete with someone of the same skill level making almost a tenth of what you make. What is so special about your skill set that makes you worth ten times the money? There are CEO’s all over the country that aren’t convinced. The design and manufacturing climate is changing. How are high-paid design and research engineers going to justify their value? I have some ideas and I’m curious to hear yours.

Author: admin


2 thoughts on “Engineering Competition”

  1. When engineering becomes a commodity, it is design that differentiates. We may lose on batteries, but we will win on consumer products.

    We have a customer, Senz Umbrellas, who came up with an umbrella that doesn’t invert in the wind. One of their distributors told them that they were the only company in the western world designing umbrellas; all of the others are designed at the factories in China.

    Senz has sold over 100,000 units at about $50 each. The price is an order of magnitude higher, but it can justify more expensive designers.

    I have one of their umbrellas. It’s awesome.

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Blake – one of our writers has just been talking to the senz guys (there’s an article in the next issue) and its incredibly that a bit of clever thinking, some design thought and they’re managed to pull it off. And according to Stephen (who wrote the story), these umbrellas are pretty much windproof as they claim.. even if he does look like darth vader with a big heed.

    Al Dean

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