“Once you ae chartered that is not the end of your education, there will always be new technologies and skills to learn about and apply.”

This week we chatted to Lead Design Engineer, Jack, about his role at HD and the most challenging project he has worked on this year as well as his advice for others working toward becoming Chartered.

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

I started playing with construction toys like Lego and K’Nex when I was about 6. When I was 14, I undertook a work experience placement at Airbus in Bristol which included visiting the A380 wing manufacturing line. It was here that I realised that engineering was a profession, and so I started focusing my education on the subjects I needed to pursue a career in engineering.

For my A-Levels, I studied physics, maths, product design, and geology. These subjects allowed me to start a course in Mechanical Engineering at Cardiff University where I went on to achieve an MEng. During my degree, I completed a yearlong industrial placement working at a medical device manufacturer called Gyrus ACMI who manufacture electrosurgical equipment. After university I worked at Renishaw who are a metrology company that also manufacture metal 3D printing machinery. After leaving Renishaw in 2019, I joined Haughton Design which offers me the ability to work on a variety of projects from medical devices to large industrial machinery.

 

Lead Medical Device Design Engineer, Jack

What does a typical work week look like for you?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been doing a mixture of working from home and in the office. Currently, I work from home on Monday’s and Friday’s. On a Monday morning, we have a team meeting where everyone runs through the status of their projects and we discuss what everyone will be working on over the next week. In my Lead Engineer role, I speak to each engineer individually to discuss any specific project related and technical risks and how to address them. The rest of the week consists of working on my own projects, team projects, drawing checking, meeting with clients and liaising with suppliers.

How does the diverse range of projects, clients and sectors at HD suit you?

I enjoy working on the wide range of projects as it keeps the day interesting as well as exposes me to a wide range to technologies. It also gives me the opportunity to learn from one industry and apply it to another.

What has been the most challenging engineering project that you have been involved with during the past year and, how have you managed it?

We worked on a project that included injection moulded plastic components which were under high forces within a small area and therefore posed a complex engineering challenge. With all plastic components, it was important to consider all of the material failure modes such as creep, stress relaxation, wear and over stressing. It can sometimes be difficult to balance all of these considerations against each other for example, in a clip which is under prolonged load but is required to bend to operate – it must be designed so that its cross-sectional area is as thick as possible to minimise creep but as thin as possible to make it flexible… To overcome these challenges, we have a great external partner (PS Partnerships) who have a wealth of experience in plastics and can advise on the best materials and grades to use for difficult applications. We also use advanced non-linear finite element analysis (FEA) which allows us to simulate the complex behaviour of plastics and can significantly increase the chance of getting a design right first time.

When the limits of non-linear FEA and previous experience were reached, we used rapid tool manufacture to allow us to get parts injection moulded in the intended production materials allowing us to test function components as well as confirm the accuracy of our simulations.

How do you ensure that you keep up to date with the latest engineering trends and techniques?

I am naturally interested in technology so spend a fair amount of time reading about new technologies online – typically on platforms such as LinkedIn where people are always excited to show what new products or services they are working on. As a member of the IMechE, I receive a monthly magazine from the institute which showcases new developments in engineering.

What advice would you give to someone hoping to become a Chartered Engineer?

The best advice I can offer is to speak to someone who is already chartered themselves or even better, are a fellow of the institute you would like to join. They will help demystify a lot of the requirements and help you understand whether you have got the qualifications and experience required to become chartered. If there are any areas that you need to improve on, they will be able to point you in the right direction to work on these. Most engineering companies will also support you in developing your experience with an aim towards achieving chartership if you speak to them. Applying for chartership should not be scary, remember you are just writing about your experiences within engineering and when it comes to your interview, they won’t be trying to trip you up, they will be interested in what you have worked on and what problems you have solved.

And once you are chartered that is not the end of your education, there will always be new technologies and skills to learn about and apply!

Jack Dunkley CEng 24 June 2021

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Get in Touch with Jack Dunkley CEng

Lead Design Engineer

Jack is a chartered engineer who holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cardiff University. He has experience working with design for injection moulding, machining and sheet metal as well as design for assembly and serviceability. Prior to HD, he worked at metrology company Renishaw for 6 years where he led several complex mechanical projects from initial concepts through to production. He has also worked at electrosurgical medical device manufacturer Olympus Surgical Technologies Europe (Gyrus ACMI).

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