Manny Pelaez' prototype of mechanics gloves

First prototype of glove created

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Pacific Alum, Manny Pelaez ME ‘08 in China

story by Elizabeth AvelarSep 10, 2012

Pacific Alum Manny Pelaez's, ME '08 talent and dedication have led him to be employed by Safety-INXS, a safety company in Shanghai, China. Pelaez designs mechanic's gloves that include aesthetic, material, pattern, logos, catalog layout, and packaging layout. The journey has been an impressive one. Pelaez's dream began with hopes to be a Transportation Designer. He attended San Joaquin Delta College and transferred to the University of the Pacific as a mechanical engineering student. During his time at Pacific, Pelaez excelled in his studies and always incorporated his creativity into his designs. His senior project group, the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) won first place not only due to its functionality but also to the aesthetics of the vehicle, "Looked good and it worked," he prides. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2008, Pelaez worked for Poly Processing Co. doing rotational modeling. He continued to incorporate his creativity in the work place. "I found myself designing many tools that increased efficiency, but I also found myself trying to make them look good in addition to that. I explained everything through sketches-similar to how an industrial engineer communicates their designs." Pelaez's dedication and gift did not go unnoticed, as the company, enjoyed his work because they were able to see and understand exactly what was being designed. The ability and interest in creative sketches, combined with an engineering background, were instilled while attending Pacific.

 "Take you back to my senior project days at Pacific...Dr. Watson introduced me to a book written by a company called IDEO, ever since that moment I think I realized, that it [industrial design] was exactly what I wanted to do," he explains. While working at Poly Processing, Pelaez revisited the IDEO book that had captured his mind during his senior year. "I researched IDEO more and found out that they do Industrial Design among other services. So I applied to the Academy of Art University." Not wanting to quit his job, Pelaez began taking night courses while working full time during the day.  Admirably, his dedication would not stop there, he soon discovered that one of his professors owned his own firm, Shook Design. "I asked him if I could intern for him, or even just hang out in his office...I started working on Saturdays. At this point, I was working a full time job, taking online courses, and interning on the weekends from 8am-7pm." Fortunately, Pelaez greatly enjoyed his internship and made the decision to relocate to San Francisco in order to attend school full time at the Academy of Art University pursuing a Masters Degree in Industrial Design.

During one of his courses, Project Design 2, the class was required to design a glove pack (tech pack). "The design consists of 30 pages of detailed information so that someone in China can pick that tech pack up and create a pattern for your glove and make it." The course instructor took note of Pelaez's creative and innovative work, and was able to recommend him for the summer internship in Shanghai, China, all expenses paid. "I realized that I had no funds for courses this summer, so this internship came at a really good time."

Pelaez has completed the first stages of his design, and has a prototype of the glove.  The experience of being in China has also been invaluable. His favorite part of the trip: "How the US differs from China - from the way they eat to the way they drive, it's just all so different." He is able to explore Shanghai with his co-workers on the weekends. In the future, Pelaez has been offered a free lance position with the company while he attends graduate school.