In improving efficiency and intelligence in manufacturing a variety of strategies may be employed. Seldom is the most importamt 'cog' in the wheel of manufacturing given sufficient attention, i.e. the design and manufacturing engineer. In training as well as in-career development the recognition of cognitive lateralization is of vital importance. Much of the engineers creative activity is right-cerebral based and involves design and visualisation. The stage of development of the engineer's spatial-ability will have a significant effect in all engineering and design activities. The classification of such cognitive abilities is discussed, along with strategies and considerations in their development. Research shows that improving an individuals visualisation/spatial-ability skills, will enhanse performance in all engineering, design, math and CAD activities. Cognitive modelling is considered in the context of the 'space-factor'.