This week, Design Development Engineer, Dan shares an introduction to himself as well as a rundown of what he’s been up to in his first few months at Haughton Design:

What are your interests outside of work?

Outside of work I’m a bit of a film and gaming nerd, having a particular nostalgic soft spot for Nintendo games; I’ll reluctantly admit to being one of those people who escaped into Animal Crossing for 3 months to cope with the initial COVID lockdown!

I do also venture out into the real world from time-to-time too where I do a bit of SCUBA diving, when the weather calls for it. My last trip was to the Farne Islands in Northumberland to dive with seals, and my next big trip is a liveaboard holiday in Egypt this summer to hopefully see some interesting wrecks and sea life!

What attracted you to design & engineering and, what was the pathway to your role?

As a child I enjoyed drawing and crafting things with simple household objects, and throughout school I did well in STEM-related subjects. A teacher in secondary school suggested that I pursue a career in engineering, and after graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Staffordshire University I’ve gravitated more towards product and engineering design over the past decade in industry.


What is your favourite part of the new product & medical device design process?

For me, one of the benefits of working for an SME business is that you get your hands on a wide variety of tasks and don’t get pigeonholed into doing the same thing day in, day out. Variety in work is a big part of what helps keep me driven and motivated, so I’m not sure there’s a specific part of the development process that’s a personal favourite! I know that’s a bit of a non-answer, but I do genuinely find it all very interesting, and find a great sense of job satisfaction in seeing a design evolve from concept, through development, and finally into production to be launched as a fully realised product!

What interested you in working at HD?

Having worked on and helped develop laboratory equipment over the previous 7 years, transitioning from that segment into medical devices felt like a natural career progression and a step-up in terms of personal challenge. I’d worked with PCR machines previously, though only designed for research purposes, but I think the pandemic really highlighted their diagnostics application and made me aware of medical devices as a whole and the increased requirements in their development.

In visiting HD it felt like a very warm and friendly team, with a wide range of devices being worked on at any given time, which for me was a big appeal of HD in particular.

How have your first few months at HD been and what have they involved?

Very interesting! I got working on an electromechanical medical device with a small internal team pretty much straight away (after a short induction period.) I’ve been trained on Finite Element Analysis (FEA) within our CAD software, which is something I’ve been wanting to get my hands on for many years now, so that was fantastic to be able to start developing a long-sought-after skill so soon after joining!

I’ve also already been in a couple of training sessions for sustainability within the medical device industry, so it’s clear to see that the emphasis on this is only going to be increasing in the next few years – and rightly so!

What do you look forward to and plan for your next 3 months and beyond at HD?

Naturally, my focus at the moment is on contributing towards the continued success of my current project, but I’m always interested in learning new skills, and human factors engineering (HFE) is one in particular that I’ve not had much experience with previously, so I’m eager to be educated more on this.

Please get in touch to find out more about working with Dan and the team at Haughton Design to solve your new product and medical device development challenges.

Medical Device Design Development Engineer, Daniel Kirkham Dan Kirkham 23 March 2023


Get in Touch with Dan Kirkham

Dan graduated from Staffordshire University with a first-class bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and has since gained 10 years’ experience in product design, manufacturing, and project management. Prior to HD, he worked developing laboratory equipment from concept to production integration, including agitation, spectrophotometer, and PCR machines. Dan holds a PRINCE2 project management qualification, and within HD is keen to contribute his experience and further develop his technical engineering skills.

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