12.30.2018

What is the difference between an Inventor, a Designer, and an Engineer

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As someone who not only does all three of these things, but also takes pride in each one;  I feel I am in a unique place to give an unbiased analysis of this topic.

Firstly all three are Makers and Creators.

An inventor makes a solution possible.  A designer makes a solution practical.  An engineer makes a solution prescribable.

An inventor discovers.  A designer designates.  An engineer dictates.

An inventor discovers that when you coil a wire and put electricity through it you get a magnetic field which can create movement.  A designer designates these coils into a cylinder creating an electric motor.  An engineer dictates electric motor specifications for a particular application.

An inventor discovers that when dissimilar metals are separated by an electrolyte and then the plates are connected with wire, the one of the metals dissolves and electricity flows from the dissolving plate to the other plate.  A designer makes a cell using this principal, selects the best materials for the anode and cathode and electrolyte and casing and determines the connections.  An engineer determines what specification is required for each aspect of the battery and does charecterization testing to verify compliance with required specifications.

And it comes full circle.  The engineer tells the designer what specifications need to be met and if designer can't accomodate that given the current technology, he goes to the inventor to come up with a new solution.

An inventor comes up with a new idea to solve a problem.  A designer fleshes out the idea and optimizes it.  An engineer charecterizes and tests it and has it be built.

One person could do one, two or all three of these things.

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