Design Engineering
Showcase 2020


Design Strategy
Dr Nicolas Rojas
Design Strategist

For the past six months I have been working at VALHALLA®, a strategic design and open-innovation consultancy. I applied to VALHALLA® because of its unique open-innovation methodology: I wanted to work in a dynamic environment with both startups and big organisations and learn to leverage their talent. I aimed at understanding the role of a consultant and gaining the strategic perspective that is so necessary to make innovation tangible.

As a strategic designer, I contributed to designing our main client’s innovation program and developed a product for VALHALLA® to gain competitive advantage and offer a new service to our clients.

VALHALLA®'s Design Process.

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

My first project was supporting the development of the innovation program of our main client, which aimed at identifying, testing and developing technologies and business models that could add competitive value to their company.

I was involved in the design of the innovation program and the implementation of the projects thereof. I, designed the sensing system to test the solutions’ performance and defined the process to be followed to validate them. I then implemented three pilots, following the defined process.

Designing the sensing system.
Implementing projects.
Example of a startup's solution incorporated in our client's company.

My second project implied independently identifying an opportunity for Valhalla through a partnership with a platform that could help us reach our digital goals.

I worked closely with their CTO and CEO to customise their tool to match our needs and developed the product’s integration with our clients and the startups in our ecosystem.

Development of VALHALLA®'s new platform.

Role and Contributions

My main role at Valhalla as a Design Strategist was to support the innovation program of our main client.

Thanks to the latter, we helped them solve their needs, become an early adopter and gain a strategic focus. By systematising the process and the acquisition of data, we minimised risks and ensured success when incorporating new solutions in their company.

Moreover, a significant part of my work implied managing projects.

The three identified and implemented pilots enabled our client to penetrate new markets, improve their brand’s image, increase sales, and avoid a future investment failure by realising a solution was not suitable for their brand.

Finally, I worked in the product development of our new platform, a self-initiated project.

The app enabled us to digitalise our ecosystem, discover new quality filtered startups, and share, evaluate and analyse them, to find the best match for each project.

With the new app, we are:

  • Introducing a disruptive tailor-made product in our client’s design process,
  • Having the first digital open-innovation ecosystem in Spain
  • Reducing our operational expenses by 7h/week.


I have been surrounded by inspiring professionals who have involved me in the whole design process and in a variety of stimulating projects. This has been essential to define my professional path, and doing so has been the greatest outcome of my placement. Look for a company that will invest in your professional growth.

Before finding Valhalla I hadn’t considered open-innovation as a possible career path, while now I know how related it is to Design Engineering. Explore a wide range of companies, be open-minded, innovation can happen anywhere.

Take initiative and look beyond what is expected from you, an intern can have a great impact, thrive to do so!

My advice.


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