So Duncan, tells us a little more about yourself and why you decided to study design engineering
“I would consider myself a practical yet creative person who enjoys a variety of sports, mainly longboarding, snowboarding, mountaineering and rugby (to name a few!), alongside a keen interest in music. Design has always been integral to my interests – designing my own longboard and creating my own compositions when bored with the music I was listening to. My interest in design, combined with my analytical skills made Design Engineering my course of choice.”
What made you choose BU?
“I chose BU based on the range of subjects covered, the workshop facilities and the practical use of these, plus the fact that I could go on a placement year.
“My industrial placement was as a Design Engineer with a local firm. It gave me a real insight into the business world. I was able to apply the skills I had learnt on my course and learn new skills that you can only get from working in an organisation and as part of a team.”
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 design project is a compression bin. It’s a free-standing industrial sized rubbish bin which incorporates a solar powered compression mechanism to reduce the volume of the contents.
“We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful seaside town that attracts visitors from all over the world. But, hand-in-hand with those visitors (and local residents) comes an awful lot of rubbish. Having seen the mess that a busy bank holiday weekend can leave behind I wanted to design something that was practical, inexpensive and effective at keeping the seagulls at bay – they’re renowned for scavenging overflowing bins and scattering rubbish that then gets blown far and wide.
“The compression bin uses solar power to compact the rubbish, increasing its capacity to take waste therefore reducing the risk of overflowing bins. This not only helps to keep the town clean it also decreases the number of waste collections required, therefore reducing the cost to the council and lowering their C02 emissions.
“My hope is that a smaller version of the bin will also be developed and the design will be taken to market and result in cleaner towns across the country.”
What do you think are the benefits of taking part in the FoDE?
“I attended last year’s FoDE as a current student and found it really helped me to prepare for my final year. I was able to talk with exhibiting students about their individual projects and why they had chosen them and this provided me with the inspiration for my own final year project.
“Now it’s my turn and I am looking forward to discussing and demonstrating my project during the exhibition with companies and other designers. Ultimately this could lead to a real career opportunity and a future doing something I thoroughly enjoy.”
Where to next? What are your career plans?
“I am eager to build on the knowledge I have acquired whilst studying at BU and the work experience gained during my placement. As I develop my skills and expand my knowledge I aim to become a Systems Engineer.”