From Human Factors Engineering (HFE) training to having already worked on 4 different projects, it’s been a busy first 6 months at HD for Design Development Engineer, James! This week, James discusses what he’s been up to, has learned so far and plans for the next 6 months at Haughton Design:

The last 6 months have flown by! It’s been such a huge change for me, having to adjust my mindset from being in a large manufacturing business to the smaller, technical consultancy at HD, but I don’t regret the move one bit. I’ve already had some great opportunities to get stuck into, so now have a lot of ideas on how to help the business further in the coming months/years.

I think one of the biggest changes for me has been the detailed involvement in the wider business that everyone has at HD. Instead of just doing design work, for example, we all do some project management, sales and marketing (including writing for this blog!), business development, etc. These are fantastic universal skills that make you more invested in the business’s success and make you a more rounded engineer.

Another important change for me has been the compressed timescales for each project, which has brought some great benefits to my skills. Coming from the automotive sector, I was used to projects taking at least 2-3 years. Depending on the project, things are very different at HD – I have already completed significant phases on 2 projects! This has helped me to focus on time management and increase my efficiency, so I can get jobs done as fast as possible while maintaining the high standard of work that HD prides itself on. The sheer variety of projects has also been incredible and always keeps things interesting. I have already worked on an industrial test rig, a piece of lab testing equipment, a medical device, as well as industrial safety equipment – hopefully with many more to come!

In the past six months, I have attended various training opportunities including sessions on plastic injection moulding and Human Factors Engineering (HFE), as well as informal training on Solidworks for CAD (I used to use CATIA), and Keyshot for rendering. This has been enormously helpful, and I have already put a lot of the skills I have learnt into practice. I’d like to develop my CAD skills further by doing some of the certifications offered by Solidworks, which should help boost my confidence in some of the more complex techniques. I have also spoken to Jack Dunkley, our Technical Manager and resident Chartered Engineer, to get some insights on starting my own chartership journey, and plan to kick things off officially by the end of the year.

My goals for the next 6 months are quite ambitious. In addition to the points I have discussed, I would like to increase my responsibilities at HD to grow into a new role. I have a keen interest in all things digital so would like to find a way to develop additional digital products/services that would be beneficial to our clients. I also want to learn more about sheet metal and other metalworking processes, as my background is mostly in plastics so would like to fill the gaps in my knowledge. Finally, I would like to learn something completely new such as electronics, as I have next to no experience in this field.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far and have learned so much in such a short space of time. I want to thank everyone at HD for being so welcoming and helpful. I hope the next few months and years are as challenging and interesting as the first six, and I can’t wait to find out what projects I’ll get next.

Please get in touch to learn more about working with James and the wider team at Haughton Design on your new product and medical device development projects.

Product Design Engineer, James McPherson James McPherson 23 June 2022

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Get in Touch with James McPherson

James graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2018 with a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to joining HD, he worked in the automotive sector designing Exterior Trim systems for Jaguar Land Rover. As a result of this, he has a strong interest in plastic part design and additive manufacture, and hopes to contribute this knowledge to Haughton, as well as learning new skills that can benefit the company. He is keen to start his training to become a Chartered Engineer at HD.

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