Looking forward to the first chats
2006-2010: Brunel University, London (including 2008-2009: Placement year at Medivance Instruments Ltd in London) 2004-2006: Copleston Sixth Form in Ipswich, Suffolk 1999-2004: Copleston High School in Ipswich, Suffolk
Product Design Engineering BSc Hons Product Design, Chemistry, Maths, History A levels General Studies AS level Maths, English Language, English Literature, Double Science, History, Geography, German, Resistant Materials, Art, RE GCSEs
7 years experience in Design, 3+ of those in the bike industry. I’ve worked on scanning equipment for mines, improving production speeds in a lighting factory, designing x ray film developers for dentistry, and doing animations and models of photonic devices (like a circuit board but with light in it)
Product Design Engineer on the PDD (Product Design and Development) Team
Brompton Bicycle Limited
Product Design Engineer for Brompton Bicycles Ltd
My job is to design new parts and features for the Brompton folding bike. I’m primarily a mechanical designer, that means I do solid parts and mechanisms. I’ve worked on redesigns of the lighting, saddle range, bell, and grips.
Right now my job is in two sections. I’m doing mechanical work on my main project of redesigning the bike frame’s hinges, and I’m also on secondment (being borrowed) by the Brompton Electric team to help with our eBike, which has a motor to help you pedal. On that project I’m doing software work. I’m writing code that tells the bike how to respond to you when you pedal.
My Typical Day
On “mechanical” days I CAD at my desk, make prototypes in the workshop; on “electric” days I write code in the lab, and test ride bikes around London
Mechanical projects here follow the classic stage-and-gate design process. We define a brief, research to work out a specification, draw sketches and make models, test them, then we model in CAD and test again, iterating until we have something really good. If I’m in an earlier stage of a project I’ll be in and out of the workshop a lot, sketching and making things to try, getting people in the office to help me test. If I’m in a later stage, I’ll be on the computer more, drawing up what I’ve tested in CAD, writing to suppliers and meeting with my colleagues in the Production department so we work out how to get the design into production in large volumes.
When I’m working on Brompton Electric it’s different because code gets modelled and shaped on the computer instead. So the creative phase is a lot of flowcharts, maths, and coding in C. But what it does mean is a lot more test riding, I’ll take the bike out many times a day to see if doing A makes feeling B happen like I thought it would. I can record my rides and check the data afterward. Electric days are like a series of logic puzzles, and the key is to break it down into small tasks and prove out each one before moving on.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Cycling Scifi Tea
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I’ve been making the electric bike feel really fun and smooth, to tempt people away from driving cars, and I’m really proud of it and excited about the positive climate impact
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to do until I was 17 and applying for University. I found Design really fun and I mostly wanted to be allowed to do a bit of everything, be curious/creative, and make that make a practical difference. It was my D&T teachers, Mr Howard and Mr Froud, who helped me find this career. They encouraged me to come hang out in the workshop making stuff, they showed me examples of how engineers make a difference to people’s everyday lives, and so I got to see that design engineering hit all of my criteria
What was your favourite subject at school?
Maths earlier on, D&T when I was older
What did you want to be after you left school?
I wasn’t really sure until 6th Form. I thought maybe I’d be an architect or a teacher.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Not really! We once nearly got in trouble for sticking lots of paper squares to the roof to turn our classroom ceiling into a mosaic – but the head of 6th form decided it was OK in the end.
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I’d be a behavioural economist – looking at why people make decisions is fascinating
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Red Hot Chilli Peppers
What's your favourite food?
Daal and rice
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Cycling up the MASSIVE climb outside Fort Augustus with my fiance. It was so steep, this cycling club coming down were cheering and shouting encouragement. When we got up to the top we were so exhausted we literally fell off the bikes but then we had the most amazing view, I love that feeling that you’ve conquered the world.
Tell us a joke.
Two cats sit on a sloped roof. Which one falls off first? The one with the smallest Mu!