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Mechanical Engineer

In a nutshell:

IDEO Chicago is in search of a Senior Mechanical Engineer who will connect with the needs of users, imagine possibilities where others see barriers, and create innovative outcomes for clients.

Why is this role important for IDEO's work?

Mechanical Engineers make a significant impact at IDEO by applying their creative problem solving skills and ability to understand and dissect complex technical, business, and organizational systems—then design new products, strategies, services, and systems. Their ability to use their technical knowledge to envision what is possible today and in the future helps make the impossible feasible and turn ideas into reality.

Once you are here you might:

  • Work with a multi-disciplinary team to build interactive digital/physical prototypes for user testing
  • Use technical awareness and trends to help identify divergent future contexts and express a compelling story that envisions ways products, services, and systems could work
  • Stretch your skills by analyzing non-technical systems and breaking down a problem into challenges for a team to tackle
  • Lead teammates and client leaders through making complex decisions at the intersection of desirability, viability, and feasibility
  • Revise a product portfolio and strategy to create user and business value through the use of connectivity and AI
  • Translate user insights from field research into design concepts that are both human-centered and technically feasible
  • Help clients humanize amazing technology and bring products to market through close collaboration with manufacturing partners

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process and your career.

As a Mechanical Engineer in Chicago, we provide you the opportunity to:

  • Collaborate with people from different backgrounds such as interaction designers, business designers, communications designers, data scientists, and design researchers
  • Become part of a culture that lets you both learn and teach while working with people outside of your immediate area of expertise
  • Be challenged to think holistically about challenges and apply an engineering mindset to unexpected types of problems
  • Continue to grow your technical skills as an engineer, working with cutting edge technology
  • Develop your creative leadership skills, unlocking the potential of teammates and clients alike

Some previous projects to check out:

Beyond Cars Design Better Mobility

Designing the First All-in-One, Wearable Breast Pump

How We Can Use AI to Make Things Better for Humans

How to Motivate a Team to Pull Off the Impossible 

Relevant experience and mindset: 

  • 4-6 years of experience in product development
  • Experience creating prototypes at varying levels of fidelity: from rough breadboards to fully functional models
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of mechanisms, materials, and manufacturing processes
  • Experience leading others in a collaborative environment
  • Experience in electronics and/or programming a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Graduate Degree preferred


If you could redesign a tool you use: what would it be, why should it be redesigned, how might you make it better? Bonus points if you include sketches. 

Application requirements and instructions:

To apply, please submit your resume, cover letter, answer to our pop-quiz question and portfolio. Your portfolio can include work and/or personal projects, but should clearly communicate your design process.

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.