Brian Westbrook, IDSA | Carolina Vice Chair - Eastern NC | Apex Tool Group
Despite nearly eleven years of professional experience, Brian Westbrook’s design career started at a early age. Spending hours on end assembling Lego bricks, disassembling his mother’s appliances, and constantly doodling – his creativity, mechanical prowess, and passion proved a driving force throughout his life. With dreams of becoming an architect, Brian spent three years working as an intern for award-winning Charlotte Architecture firm Peterson & Associates, PA before enrolling at the North Carolina State University School of Design.
Though shortly after arriving at N.C. State, Brian shifted focus from the Architecture curriculum over to Industrial Design, where he recognized a tremendous opportunity in improving the interaction between people and the products that help shape their lives. Brian dabbled in engineering course work before finishing up his education seeking a minor in Graphic Design. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Design from the North Carolina State University School of Design, where he maintains strong relationships through the student IDSA chapter and College of Design faculty, as well as the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.
Brian worked with then-startup Red Hat software in 1999, before spending five years as a Staff Graphic Designer for growing catalog and internet retailer Performance Bicycle in Chapel Hill, NC. In 2005, he transitioned into a two year role as Senior Art Director with electrical products giant Cooper Industries, managing internal resources and design projects from creative brief to press.
While with Cooper, Brian expanded his design knowledge base, moving from graphic design to an industrial design role within the engineering team. He continued to champion the need for industrial design, while also tasked with the role of Project Manager over the North America/Latin America manufacture of key product lines. Brian worked closely with manufacturing facilities in Brazil, Mexico and Columbia to reduce costs throughout the 2008 economic downturn.
Additionally, he was given a Program Management role for several new product development initiatives, including three of Cooper's largest key consumer brands. Brian was responsible for the scope, cost, and time of each new product group while coordinating the efforts of three distinct teams, each represented by every aspect of the business structure.
He is currently fulfilling the product development needs as the sole Industrial Designer for Apex Tool Group, a joint venture developed between Cooper Industries and the Danaher Corporation. Focusing purely on product development, concept ideation, and user experience research while showcasing the power of industrial design from within a $1.3B company in Apex, NC. He holds six U.S. and foreign patents with several currently pending.
Brian is serving as the Eastern Vice Chair, IDSA Carolinas Chapter and maintains membership in several professional organizations including PDMA, HFES, TriUPA, SME, and AIGA. He is member of the NC State Design Guild as well as a lifetime member of the National Eagle Scout Association.
He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org