I’m Jacob Ritchie – a young, enthusiastic designer and engineer-in-training, currently finishing my first year of studies in the University of Toronto’s Engineering Science program. I enjoy learning new things I am always seeking opportunities and challenges that allow me to develop new skills.
This site is a map of my experiences as a designer and my personal design process. In it, I showcase the development of my current design philosophy in three different ways – through my own personal model of the design process, critical reflections on my design experiences and an overview of the design tools and technical skills I’ve developed through my coursework.
My education thus far has provided me with several opportunities to refine and focus my design skills through hands-on design experiences. In a year of engineering, I’ve gained experience in many aspects of the design process, from rigorous problem definition and stakeholder interaction in my RFP for improving firefighter safety to the application of civil engineering fundamentals to construct a functional matboard bridge that supported the weight of a football player. I’ve also gained technical skills in programming, engineering estimation and prototyping which have provided important perspective on how to apply “hard” skills to engineering design.
My interest in engineering is driven first and foremost by my interest in creating new things. I chose to enter this field because I wanted to be on the forefront of technological progress and to help develop devices with the potential to change the way we live our lives. I feel that what I’ve accomplished over the past year, namely the development of a robust set of design skills and improved technical knowledge, has been my first step towards achieving this goal.
– Jacob Ritchie, April 2013
If you’re a prospective employer and have a limited time to view the highlights of my portfolio, I recommend first reading my resume, then visiting the design tools and design experiences pages for an overview of my current skills. Finally, looking at the design goals page for an idea of my future goals. If you wish to get in touch, my contact information is accessible here. You may also find the “What is Praxis?” page helpful if you are not familiar with the Engineering Science curriculum
If you’re a member of the Praxis II teaching team, I recommend starting with the model of my design process, followed by the pages on my design experiences and design tools, since these provide specific examples of how I’ve implemented my design process throughout the year, and are most useful to an evaluator when interpreted in that context. You can then visit my design goals page for an overview of my goals for future development.