BSc Integrated Product Design
When searching for a place to study, I didn't want to limit my options to just one field of work. I managed to find a degree which combined the analytical and physical elements of engineering with the creative and user oriented mindset of design. Sprinkle in a little bit of business management and you get, in my opinion, a versatile package ready for a rapidly changing world.
Hosted at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, most of the modules were analytical and physical in their nature, covering statics, kinetics, fluid dynamics, material analysis and advanced manufacturing.
From swaying steel bridges to Formula 1 parts in titanium being printed at a factory in Stirling, we felt we were looking at the heart of the industrial revolution and got to revel at how much of the knowledge had been built using only the mind and how computers are only the last addition to the field of engineering, although they will facilitate a paradigm shift in efficiency.
Starting with the needs of the user, diverging and converging you way to a solution, design thinking allows for more flexibility than purely analytic problem solving. The result can be the discovery of solutions that solve more problems than originally perceived, which through rapid prototyping can evolve into highly effective products and services quickly adapted in the market.
This was the process used when I explored the potential of smart phones for the blind, using it's many sensors and the camera together with social platform APIs create a more seamless and functional experience, rather than many separate add-ons with a single function, such as screen readers.
For an idea to be valuable, it needs to be adopted in the market. Managing projects to ensure good resource management and goal setting is crucial to ensure timely deliveries. From the value chain, to operations, logistics and global marketing, we got a good overview of the road from idea to true innovation.