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The Design & Engineering of Devices Which Improve Life.

The Blog of Justin Ketterer.

I started this blog to document my professional interests, experiences, and work in the field of engineering design.  The majority of the posts on this blog will showcase valuable mechanisms–physical devices that improve the lives of people.  These are what I aim to create in my career as a design engineer.  I’ll also document activities relating to professional development; a few posts will be about my thoughts on design theory.  Please explore the subcategories in the header to delve into posts on these subjects.

But who am I?

Justin_KettererI am Justin Ketterer.  I am 28 years old and currently live in Everett, WA.  I graduated from Georgia Tech in August of 2009 with a master’s in mechanical engineering; I have a B.S. in the same field (Michigan State University, ’07).  My thesis was a study of fatigue crack initiation in carbon-fiber laminates and my specialization is mechanics of materials and fatigue.  I chose this discipline because a strong understanding of the strength and behavior of materials gives great insight into product design.

My resume.

My undergraduate design portfolio.

A paper on design ethics.

Professionally, I am continuing to develop my skills as a mechanical engineer by working in the engineering design process–from “specification-to-creation.”

My passion is engineered design. Too often I think “design” is believed to be some sort of mystical talent which unhinges the practitioner from the practical constraints which reality imposes on us while in other cases it just means “making a product look sexy.”  I believe that the engineering design process really is a process–there is a correct and productive way to come up with creative, useful solutions for problems that require equipment, and there are many more haphazard, unproductive ways to go about it.  I subscribe primarily to the engineering design process of Pahl & Beitz (which has been described as ‘the textbook of the German school of design’).  While I do have an eye for the aesthetic (portfolio illustrates examples of this), my career interests lie less in “the aesthetic design of form,” than in the area of “functional design of useful devices.”

Companies which do this kind of work will find me prompted–by my own love for the work–to be a very productive employee.  Projects which I enjoy working on include devices whose physical scale is on the order of a small vehicle or less, and whose electromechanical complexity can cover a wide spectrum.  Here are some example products which require the skills, training, and talents that I enjoy exercising:

  • Handheld devices of almost any sort.
  • Power tools
  • Kitchen and household appliances
  • Vending machines
  • Machine tools
  • C.A.M. Machinery

And of course, projects illustrating the work I enjoy doing are in my undergraduate design portfolio and are also illustrated in the valuable mechanisms category of blog posts on this website.

My overarching career goal is embodied by the design ethics essay mentioned earlier, but it could be summarized by: identifying and satisfying the needs of people through the creation of devices or equipment.

The day-to-day work which is my passion and which allows me to achieve that overarching goal: the nitty-gritty, nuts-and-bolts designing of these valuable mechanisms.

My broadly defined career goal was formed as a result of my interest in the philosophical subject of ethics.  My understanding of philosophy feeds directly into my abilities as a designer as well: through a strong understanding of epistemology, I am able to think clearly about design problems.  I consider myself to have a strong “knack” for developing feasible and valuable products.  Explicit understanding of the conceptual nature of thinking allows me to cut quickly to the crux of problems and enables me to rapidly, mentally iterate alternative ideas during conceptual development.  I am a strong visual thinker and can translate my thoughts into understandable drawings (portfolio again contains examples).

Please contact me if you have a need for someone who will be passionate about getting the work of engineering design done for you.  Contact information may be found in my resume, linked above, or email me at justin dot ketterer at gmail dot com.

Thanks for stopping by,

– Justin Ketterer

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Dan Rasure permalink
    May 10, 2010 2:21 am

    I saw your comment in regards to the Eaton hydraulic wind turbine. We build a hydraulic turbine and I was wondering if you had any interest in a design engineer position.


    • justinketterer permalink*
      May 10, 2010 4:15 am

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for reaching out, but I am now just about to start a new mechanical engineering position with an aerospace fixturing and automated assembly machine supplier in Seattle, WA. Stay in touch though, thanks!

  2. Daddy Pops permalink
    June 30, 2010 11:40 am


  3. Kevin Gang permalink
    October 25, 2010 6:02 am

    Hey, Justin

    I’m Kevin, Graphic Designer from Sounth Korea.
    I found your photo which is very interesting picture on the page “” , that is img_1158.jpg!
    So can I’d like to take purblishing magazine AD(only Korean domestic) that is my client’s order. He is a owner of metalwork company also he has the OMAX.
    So I had a good idea about new advertisement after your picture!
    Good Luck!
    Please give me an answer ASAP!

    • justinketterer permalink*
      October 25, 2010 10:36 am

      Yeah sure, go ahead! That (dog skeleton shaped) piece was something designed by the OMAX vendors who were setting up the machine… Something I think they used to convince prospective buyers of just how intricate the cuts could be made.

  4. John Hardy permalink
    March 23, 2011 6:14 pm

    I am writing a book on Electric Vehicles and including a chapter on alternatives such as Flywheel energy storage. I’d like to use your photo at to illustrate the principle. I would of course acknowledge the source.

    • justinketterer permalink*
      March 24, 2011 10:08 am


  5. John Hardy permalink
    March 24, 2011 5:24 pm

    Many thanks. I really like your blog BTW. There is a beauty in engineering

  6. November 18, 2012 5:01 am

    Justin, you could be interested in this kind of collaborative project…
    Have a look and you decide bor a bulletin, specify that we search especially mechanical skills.
    Thanks by advance
    Bernard FROMENT (France)


  1. Riveting « Valuable Mechanisms: The Design & Engineering Blog of Justin Ketterer

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