Blankets are key elements of a future fusion power reactor, as they breed the fusion fuel tritium, extract the heat from the reactor for power generation and contribute to the nuclear shielding of the plasma confining magnetic field coils. On the way to the engineering implementation of fusion, in particular the blanket design approach has changed substantially. Novel blanket designs require, already from the beginning, incorporating close coupling of plasma physics with engineering physics to develop robust solutions coping with thermal, mechanical and also electrodynamic loads – not only during the stationary operating phase, but also during transients. Simultaneously, nuclear licensing feasibility as well as component failure safety must be part of the design approach. This article describes advanced blanket design approaches undertaken in the past years by the example of the helium cooled pebble bed blanket (HCPB), aiming at an efficient blanket engineering design, starting from the development of modular integral reactor analysis tools, via design analysis and engineering validation of fabrication and interface performance, towards safety analysis on the reactor level.