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Joseph Keech, BSc (Hons) Design Engineering

Joseph Keech

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

“I decided to study design engineering because I love taking on projects that allow me to create products that help and benefit people. My desire to help people came from an early age when I accompanied my grandmother on a trip that I had helped to plan, to Lourdes in France, for severely disabled children and adults. I could see how much everyone enjoyed the trip and what it meant to them to get the assistance they needed to be able to travel – something that  many people take for granted.”

What made you choose BU?

“I chose to study at BU over other universities because I felt like I was going to be part of a design community who were willing to help and improve my skills, not only in design and engineering but in writing and drawing too.

“The projects that have formed this four year degree have been interesting because they have enabled me to explore different areas of design and engineering. An example of this would be the ‘Tank project’. This involved a research trip to Bovington Tank Museum. There we were able to interact with WWII tanks and bring back the knowledge we had gained to re-design the track and sprocket of a tank.

“Taking part in competitions such as the IMechE challenge is also encouraged. This national challenge saw our BU team competing with a variety of different universities.  We came in second place, which was a huge achievement.

“Another positive addition to my time at university was the opportunity to go on a placement. I worked at a robotics company which boosted my confidence in design and reassured me that being an engineer was definitely what I wanted to do as a career.  I gained additional knowledge and skills going in to my final year that have also prepared me for life after university.”

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?

“For my final year project I was approached by an occupational therapist to design a product that would assist a patient who suffered with polio and had recently had a stroke. Following the stroke the patient had been left with shortened limbs, reduced mobility and a lack of grip in his hands.

“My focus for the project was the patients struggle to get himself dressed, more specifically pulling up his trousers. My aim was to provide a product that would help with this everyday task using a simple operating system, incorporating flexible adjustment and a gripping mechanism that could be controlled with one hand.

“Lots of us take dressing ourselves for granted, sadly for some, what we consider to be a simple everyday task is not possible without the assistance of others. I hope my design will solve this particular problem and will inspire other similar designs to assist those less able than others.”

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

“FoDE helps to showcase all the hard work that goes in to your time at university. It is an opportunity to present your designs and ideas to potential employers and companies interested in investing money in projects covering a variety of themes, aims and functions.”

Where to next? What are your career plans?

“After graduating I am going back to my placement company to continue my work in engineering. I’ll be working as an Assistant Production Engineer producing automated systems.

“My future plans are to apply for a Master’s degree and work towards becoming a Chartered Engineer, hopefully with support and financial assistance from the company I am working for. I am also currently awaiting the results of an application to the Creative Conscience Awards for a project around the hard of hearing that I completed last year with a graphic design student, now graduate, from Kingston University.”

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