James Whatley

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

“Fuelled by an interest in design and engineering from a very young age, becoming a Product Designer has always been a real ambition of mine. I decided to study product design because I really enjoy practical and creative challenges, improving current designs and providing solutions to challenging new designs.”

What made you choose BU?

“Part of my desire to join BU was due to the emphasis placed on design prototyping and the skills you have to learn in order to create a fully functional prototype in your final year – this was something I found quite unique about BU. I was also impressed by the open, friendly, honest communications from course lecturers when I first visited BU during an Open Day. The friendly feel of the BU campus and the great workshop facilities also influenced my decision. The opportunity to go out into the industry during a placement was also a draw.

“Working with industry designers and manufacturers gave me the confidence to tackle my final year project.  Having spent 15 months on multi-placements in industry I gained a huge amount of knowledge and experience. I developed a wide range of skills such as team working, client management, knowledge of design software packages, manufacturing products and prototype products and liaising with international manufacturers and patent counsels.”

Part of your BSc (Hons) Product Design 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?

“As part of my final year degree I spent the year researching and designing ‘Pura’, a bespoke air purifier and sensing unit that attaches to the frame of a pram. The product idea came about due to growing concerns surrounding air pollution. During my research it became clear that infants are particularly vulnerable to the particles in air pollution due to the density of pollutants and the low level position of prams. The product I have designed detects dangerous levels of air pollution and subsequently provides the infant in the pram with a cleaner supply of air.

“I would love to see the ‘Pura’ refined and developed further either as a personal project or in collaboration with other designers and companies.  I believe there is a real opportunity to go to market with a product like this as the benefits are huge.”

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

“The FoDE provides a great opportunity for all graduating designers, enabling everyone to showcase the skills and techniques they have learnt over the course of their time at university. It also helps as we prepare to enter industry and the job market.

“After attending last year’s FoDE I really appreciated the emphasis BU puts on producing high quality and functional designs and it was inspiring to see the wide range of products the students developed and what they had achieved.”

Where to next? What are your career plans?

“I’m excited to say that I’m due to join a large UK high-tech engineering company graduate scheme in September 2019! Looking further to the future I hope to have a long career in design and engineering, maintaining my passion to create and improve product designs.”

Read more student stories

Christopher Lane, BSc (Hons) Product Design

Chris is exhibiting CineClimb, a compact remote-controlled action camera mount that allows climbers to dynamically capture unique and stunning video footage of themselves.