About Us

Founder PDI Services

Founder and President

Ronald H. Powers is Chairman of the Board and President of Powers Design International. He founded the Newport Beach, California based Industrial Design firm in 1974 which has become one of the leading independent design and development firms in the country, as well as internationally.

His background is primarily based in research, design and development of ground transportation vehicles, (automobiles, heavy duty trucks, motor homes, motorcycles, golf carts, etc.). Other projects are varied and include Mass Transit (Mag Lev, Linear Induction Rail, High Speed Rail, Monorails, etc.) aerospace, boats and yachts, water vehicles/Jet Skis, all-terrain vehicles, air cushion vehicles, and non-transportation related products.

Mr. Powers served various companies prior to opening his own firm. As Chief Designer at Kawasaki Motors Corporation of America, he was responsible for the design and development of the Kawaski Jet Ski and his new products included a 25 foot motor home and 23 other motor vehicle projects. He co-founded Sportswagon Inc., developing and building the Sportswagon, a revolutionary recreational vehicle. The Sportswagon received universal acclaim for its innovative design which provided the consumer with a practical, versatile and affordable combination van and motor home. Following that, he worked for FMC Corporation, developing motor homes.

His educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree in Transportation Design from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, with undergraduate work in Mechanical Engineering and Architecture at the University of Texas at Arlington.

Mr. Powers is very active in the community and in the world of transportation. He speaks at many functions regarding the future of automotive design and technology and mass transit and continues to work with Art Center College of Design and its students. He is a member of The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA). He belongs to numerous automobile, motorcycle, boat, electric vehicle and steam engine associations.


Design, Engineering, Tooling, Prototyping and Product Production
Powers Design International (PDI) has been successful in integrating the classical skills of traditional craftsmanship and conventional industrial design with the latest in computer and CAD/CAM technology. Blending the skills and strong design sensibilities of experienced industrial designers, with modern high speed Silicon Graphics workstations, we yield an environment mixing high creativity and accurate manufacturing data.

A traditional design project begins with a team of industrial designers researching the project goals and design criteria, then creating an environment study defining constraints. In the case of projects requiring vehicle compatibility, the environment data is normally supplied to the industrial design team as computer generated isometric and orthographic scale CAD plots. These scaled environment views yield concept drawing with proportions that are accurate to the final environment.

Next the design team creates the look and feel of the design working in a variety of conventional media. Once the basic design has been established, concept drawings and sketches are scanned into the computer for surface development. Using a combination of software, imaging from ALIAS Studio to Pro/Engineer, the surface development begins to take shape as a computer model. Complex original surfaces are created in ALIAS, and then transferred into Pro/Engineer for the creation of math data and class A surface/model integrity. This database is now spread out among the engineering team in a truly concurrent engineering environment.

As the solid models are developed, lead critical parts are fed into RASNA for finite element analysis. Parts to be injection molded are evaluated in one of several mold flow analysis packages to insure the basic design is predictable. Feedback from these tools is incorporated into the solid models and the refinement continues until the cost, strength and aesthetic goals are achieved. From this point, rapid prototyping comes into play as stereolithography parts are created where suitable, and 5 axis machining of foam is used to create larger mockups. Clay milling of full size vehicles or products can also be performed on PDI’s 60’ x 8.5’ x 8.5’ Gantry, 5 axis profiler.

The final result is rapid turnaround of larger scale design and prototype projects with deliverables including Level III production, drawings, producible, well engineered designs and production ready prototypes. Due to PDI’s refining of this “integrated development process” over the last 35 years, with the addition of CAD and CAM, we have eliminated many steps that are no longer required. Because of our system, we have realized dramatic improvements which result in shorter development time frames and less associated costs.


We are unique in the industrial design field because of the scope of our services:

Professional Design

Heavy Duty Trucks
Rail - Ground Level & Elevated Guide Way Vehicles - Monorail
Buses and Mass Transit
Motor Homes
Travel Trailers
Boats, Yachts & Jet Skis

Architectural Manufactured Housing:
Mobile Homes
Offices & Commercial Buildings

Aerospace Full Scale Models
Flight Simulators
Exhibits Trade Show Booths
Mock-Ups & Scale Models
Logos, Graphics and Trademarks
Signage & Corporate Identity
Package Design
Clam Shell and Molded Packaging

Sports Equipment

Exterior, Interior, Body & Chassis
Human Engineering & Ergonomic Studies
Working Drawings
Surface Development & Lofting Drawings 

Master Male Tooling Female Molds and Models & Prototype Construction:
Full Size Or Scale Mock-Ups
Scale Models
Running Prototypes



Copyright © 2008 Powers Design International. All rights reserved.