Yvonne Ng of Engineers Playground, LLC and Troy Pongratz of Pongratz Engineering, LLC and founding partner of LAB651, are back to discuss their Dual Innovation Journey in juggling their innovative lifestyle and reality. Yvonne has a leg prosthesis. A real charmer to a product design mechanical engineer! Two entrepreneurial mechanical engineers share their perspectives.
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Yvonne holds a systems and controls engineering perspective. She can see the order in chaos as a systems analyst with a bank, for example. She works with humans to help reduce errors, make wise decisions, and help them do their jobs better. Learn how Yvonne sees order in chaos.
We discuss managing life with a leg prosthesis. She is so courageous.
Yvonne and Troy describe how they designed a swim leg. How many generations of swim legs have they created? How often does Yvonne get a new leg? What is the cost? We get into a practical approach they use to create a life that works.
Troy has a product design engineering perspective. He has an intricate understanding of the product design process using what he has created, a Fast-Iterative Technique, to prove assumptions or discard them, quickly. There are three steps in his technique.
When their son Ty was born four years ago they made a massive lifestyle shift. How many 4-year-olds do you know who are testing laws of physics like what materials are breakable and what are not? Yvonne’s advice to elementary education teachers and all parents is to give children things they can break. Let children interact with materials and figure more things out for themselves. Allow lots of science and play time to stimulate curiosity, persistence, and observation. In other words, less telling children what to do and how to do everything. Provide more opportunities, especially in science classes, to explore the world by allowing them to figure things out providing some structure and little guidance.
Listen in for other thought provoking perspectives of life as entrepreneurial mechanical engineers.
*This summer I am taking you on an inventor’s journey from idea conception and product design into the marketplace. We will follow one of Troy Pongratz’s clients, Greta Larson, inventor of The Drip Clip. Who are the connectors and coaches along her path on the journey to succeed? Learn new ways inventors are getting their products into the marketplace quickly. Stay tuned in.
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 Engineer’s 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 are too many?
- What is Troy’s Fast Iterative Technique in product design?
- What are the three things that make up the technique?
- What inspired you about Yvonne’s descriptions of living with a prosthetic leg?
- What are some things you discovered about scuba diving with a swim leg and sandy beaches?
- How many generations of a swim leg did Yvonne and Troy create?
- How come their swim leg is not sold in the open marketplace?
- What are the 5 things that stood out in this mentoring conversation for you?
Leave your answers and any comments at www.wementor.com/contact/. Get a free initial consultation by phone, Skype, or in-person!
Mentoring Conversation Resources
- Engineer’s Playground, LLC www.engineersplayground.com
- LAB 651 www.lab651.com
- Pongratz Engineering, LLC www.pongratzengineering.com
A Match Made in Prosthetic Leg Reality, Episode 82