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Design Prototyper

As a Design Prototyper, you use the physical and digital as your creative design medium, with a deep empathy for the end user's needs. You have an interest in the whole design process—from research to building prototypes to MVPs. You lead the team through an iterative prototyping process, building in order to learn and understand what is desirable and feasible. Your methods will inspire teams to be creative with possible solutions and enable the team to test with real users.

As a Design Prototyper, you will . . .
  • Build a platform of software and hardware tools to facilitate the rapid prototyping of defined user experiences.
  • Maintain high standards of software quality within the team by following good practices and habits.
  • Learn and build upon an internal software development framework.
  • Fabricate physical concepts that approximate the target user experience.
  • Collaborate with other developers to plan, design, develop, test, and maintain embedded applications.
  • Collaborate with internal cross-functional teams and suppliers to design, develop, document, and maintain software / hardware deliverables for various projects.
  • Manage individual workload and deliver to established project milestones.
Basic Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in computer science, software engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, or industrial design.
  • 2+ years of experience designing and developing hardware / software prototypes to support product development projects.
  • 2+ years experience using human centered design, design thinking principles or methods in a formal, in-person setting.
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Self-starter and independent thinker - passionate about uncovering problems and initiating projects to solve known / anticipated problems.
  • Ability to establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with internal cross-functional team members and external business partners.
  • Experience working on projects that involve the implementation of various sensor types (to measure force, position, acceleration, and/or light) and data acquisition hardware (e.g., National Instruments, PEAK System).
  • Experience working on single-board microcontroller / computers (e.g., Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBoard, etc.) for the rapid development of digital devices and designing / developing custom circuits.
  • Experience developing software in C++, C#, Python, and/or JavaScript.
  • Experience developing on Windows and Android.
  • Experience developing in Unity.
  • Experience with various fabrication tools and techniques (e.g., 3D printing, CNC, laser cutting, milling, etc.)
  • Successful candidate should be able to demonstrate outstanding interpersonal and communication skills.


A bit about us
We’re in the midst of the biggest change the automotive industry has ever seen.

Just as cars changed the world over the last century - creating the driver, highways, gas stations, and malls - self-driving cars, electric powertrains, and connected vehicles will radically reshape how we live, work, and play, our cities and society themselves, in the next hundred years.

At D–Ford, you’ll be at the heart of creating that future. You’ll be at the cutting edge of Ford’s most strategically critical work, designing people and society’s needs into the heart of our next generation of products, services and experiences.

You’ll also be designing at scale. Every day, Ford’s vehicles and services support millions of people around the world. So, at D–Ford, we’re not just inventing the future, we’re operationalizing it, to help all those people move through their lives, better.

We drive human progress through empathy, creativity and design.

Our values are our guiding light, and the conscience for our work, and our people. We’re looking for people who share this way of being - you don’t need to be convinced of it, you just get it:
We are curious about the world, designing systems and connections that enable people to move more freely.
We are inspired by the people around us, bringing their unique stories to the forefront of our designs.
We provoke new ways of thinking about tomorrow’s toughest design challenges, while grounded in what’s possible.
We build in the open, rigorously testing, iterating and evolving our ideas with others.
We radically collaborate across teams, geographies, and philosophies, uncovering new insights to tomorrow’s problems.
Our strength comes from bringing our whole selves to the community—from introspective to playful or quirky. What will you bring?


We don’t hire “Design Thinkers.” We hire T-people. You:
+     Have deep expertise in a craft
+     Are comfortable working in relatively flat and dynamic teams
+     Are passionate to work on ambiguous and complex future challenges
+     Have a collaborative and empathetic mindset to solve problems with teams across Ford

Alongside everyone’s role as a designer of world class design content, you will also be expected to contribute to a range of communities to maintain our creative culture. We call these Community Hats.
They can range from stewarding the lab, leading a workshop, mentoring others, contributing to publications, hosting a tour with executives, bringing your maker skills to build prototypes, or leading your craft in a global community of like-minded designers.
These global communities will ensure that we stay connected across the organization, and constantly push the impact of what we do. They can act as additional areas of responsibility, helping to push careers in different directions.
We have four global labs: Palo Alto, Detroit, London and soon, Shanghai.

You’ll be part of a growing organization in the heart of Ford’s Product Development Center to drive innovation from the inside out.


The distance between imagination and … creation. It can be measured in years of innovation, or in moments of brilliance. When you join the Ford team discover all the benefits, rewards and development opportunities you’d expect from a diverse global leader. You’ll become part of a team that is already leading the way, with ingenious solutions and attainable products – and it is always ready to go further.

Candidates for positions with Ford Motor Company must be legally authorized to work in the United States on a permanent basis. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Ford Motor Company is an equal opportunity employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or protected veteran status.