How many tries does it take to create a workable prototype? What does a turtle have to do with whether you should hire an engineer consultant when designing a new product? Yvonne Ng of Engineers Playground, LLC and Troy Pongratz of Pongratz Engineering, LLC and LAB651, are married entrepreneurial, mechanical engineers. They join me in the studio to share who they are and their insights into the field of engineering (electrical, mechanical, and computer science) and product design. Download this episode. (click or tap to download)
This summer I am taking you on an inventor’s journey from idea conception and product design into the marketplace. Who are the connectors along the path and how do they help their peers on the journey to succeed? We will follow one of Troy Pongratz’s clients. Find out which one after listening to both of their podcast mentoring conversations!
Yvonne Ng, MSME. Yvonne is the founder and chief consultant of Engineers Playground. She is an engineering education specialist, consultant, and author who combines practical insights with creative approaches to training teachers and students and developing STEM curricula. In 2011, Yvonne founded Engineers Playground LLC to help make engineering accessible to a wider audience by nurturing and developing the lively curiosity and hands-on abilities that make children natural engineers. Her goal is to help inspire future generations of engineers and scientists, particularly at a time when STEM skills are in high demand.
Troy Pongratz. Troy leads the product design team at Lab 651 and owns Pongratz Engineering, LLC. He has been involved in product design for over 20 years in industries such as medical, consumer, and industrial products. His work has yielded multiple patents. An experienced consultant with both large and small companies, Troy brings a team approach to designing products and integrating new products in multiple disciplines. Troy and his team consider it their personal responsibility to support a product design from beginning to end to ensure its success in the marketplace.
- Answer the following questions after listening:
- How many prototypes, roughly, does it take to produce a viable product?
- How does precision play a part?
- If you own a service oriented business, how many service scenarios have you gone through before rolling out a new service?
- What does a turtle have to do with whether you should hire an engineering consultant when designing a new product?
- Yvonne and Troy are both mechanical engineers. How are their skillsets different?
- What did you learn about how engineers approach the world?
- Before becoming an engineer, what other field did Yvonne explore? How did she choose mechanical engineering?
- What did Yvonne’s father think about her decision to become a mechanical engineer?
- What was Troy’s first interest? Who, in high school, suggested he become an engineer?
- How has Troy brought back one of his high school passions?
Mentoring Conversation Resources
- Engineer’s Playground, LLC engineersplayground.com
- LAB 651 lab651.com
- Pongratz Engineering, LLC pongratzengineering.com
Product Design Perspectives from Two Engineers, Episode 76