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Alex Dytham, BSc (Hons) Design Engineering

Alex Dytham

So Alex, tells us a little more about yourself and why you decided to study design engineering

“I have been interested in design and engineering from a very young age. I got my first toolbox when I was six and since then I have helped with all of my family’s building works from general DIY to constructing a second-floor house extension. My passion for design and building things has been present throughout my education and was the influencing factor in my decision to study Design Engineering at BU.

“In addition to my love of design, I thoroughly enjoy music and sport – playing county level golf since I was 11 years old, competing in club boxing and athletics plus playing guitar in a band who have recorded an album, a number of EP’s and played at various gigs and festivals.”

What made you choose BU?

“Having lived in Poole in Dorset for most of my life I hadn’t planned to stay at home for university however, after looking at many courses, Design Engineering at BU seemed like the best fit for me. I studied art and product design at A-level and really wanted some engineering knowledge so I would have the ability to produce the products I designed. The course had a good mix of design alongside engineering, with some technical elements, enough to be a challenge but not so much that it was overwhelming. The open nature of the projects also allowed me to explore different solutions using my strength in design. During my studies I have developed a good range of skills from computer-aided design and technical feasibility studies to business management and manufacturing which I hope will prove invaluable in my future career.”

Part of your BSc (Hons) Design Engineering course is taking part in BU’s FoDE, where students showcase their designs, models and prototypes. Can you talk us through your project and your reasons for choosing this subject area in particular?

“My product is an upper limb prosthesis that uses adjustable pressure to specifically aid the top hand grip of a golf club. I chose this subject area because I have a keen interest in golf and recognised that there was a gap in upper limb sports prosthesis. The majority of research to date has been around lower limb amputees due to the higher population compared to upper limb amputees. The choices for upper limb amputees were very basic unless they were prepared to pay for expensive custom made devices that could potentially cost thousands of pounds, depending on functionality.

“I hope that my product design opens up the game of golf to more upper limb amputees, gives them back the ability to control their clubs therefore enhancing their game. This will not only enable them to return to the game that they love but may improve their overall level of fitness and quality of life.”

What do you think are the benefits of taking part in the FoDE?

“The FoDE is a great way to showcase my project. It opens up the possibility of obtaining recognition for my design in the engineering industry whilst meeting potential employers and industry experts. It also equips me with the skills required to create a strong presentation to exhibit my work in a professional and interesting way.

“I attended last year’s FoDE so I could see the type of design engineering and product design projects being presented and gather some inspiration before starting my final year. This then led to me joining the FoDE team so I could play my part in the setup and design of this year’s show.”

Where to next? What are your career plans?

“After university, I plan to look for jobs in biomedical or smaller consumer project engineering companies. I would like to be part of a team that sees designs through from conception to completion.  I am also going to continue to pursue my goal to get my upper limb sports prosthesis design into production. I have made several connections with disabled golf organisations who have all shown an interest in my product – so watch this space!”

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