#018 – Product Design Engineer – Michael Beadle

Published On February 28, 2016 | Hardware Engineer, Mech Eng

Michael Beadle is a Product Designer at GoPro. He has worked as a supply base engineer for Apple, contributing to devices like the Apple watch. Mike has considerable experience in lean manufacturing and as a Computer Numerical Control (CNC) operator. In 2012, he spent half a year with the Flight of the Century team, which holds 5 Guinness world records for manned electric aircraft.

Mike is a graduate of Mechanical engineering from California State University Long Beach.

Connect with Michael Beadle via Linkedin.

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Discussion timestamps:

02:52 – Where Mike is from, and what he studied in college.
04:06 – What interested Mike in engineering. Early experience with welding and metal fabrication.
05:05 – Going back to college for engineering.
06:03 – Talk about the Formulas SAE team at California State University-Long Beach.
07:52 – Working as a CNC programmer and operator. Designing for manufacture.
10:10 – Lean manufacturing at Boeing. Making tools to make the job easier.
11:53 – What is takt time?
12:46 – Talk about Flight of the Century. Building a high-performance electric aircraft.
15:58 – How Mike got to know Chip Yates and how he landed a spot with the team.
17:38 – Working at Honeywell. Turning tribal knowledge into documentation.
19:05 – Implementing material management tracking and statistically based buying. Just in time purchasing.
20:43 – The importance of applying statistics in product manufacturing.
22:24 – What makes Apple products so appealing? It’s all in the details.
23:36 – Apple products that Mike has worked on.
25:00 – What does a supply base engineer do?
26:48 – Advice when working overseas.
27:34 – Working at GoPro as a sustaining engineer and as a product designer.
29:54 – Where does Mike find inspiration? Digging deep with the “why”.
31:12 – Trends in manufacturing and skills for the future.
32:04 – Talk about additive manufacturing.
32:56 – Teamwork and leadership advice.
34:01 – Technologies that excite Mike.
35:05 – Advice for young engineers.

Episode related content:

Manufacturing the Steel Apple Watch casing:

Overview of the GoPro Hero4 Session:

Chip Yates talks about the Flight of the Century on the TEDX stage:


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Episode leading image via Apple Youtube video.

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