“I believe in failing fast, to make quick progress – it’s vital to have a really thorough understanding of the assumptions you have made, and then to test these assumptions as soon as possible. Early prototyping to obtain user feedback either uncovers unexpected issues – or provides the reassurance to power ahead with the design you’ve created.”

Next in our Hang out with Haughton series, we chat to Senior Design Development Engineer, John. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Product Design as well as certificates in Project Management and UX Design, John is an advocate of user-centred design and finding innovative solutions within regulated fields. John has over a decade of experience within the medical device industry from working as a Design & Development Consultant helping companies to develop innovative medical and consumer devices, to head of Industrial Design at a company developing imaging equipment for early detection of breast cancer.

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

When it came to deciding what career to follow, I was conflicted: I really enjoyed the world of maths and science but had a passion for fine art (particularly sculpture) and believed that the two professions were at odds with one another. It was only when I went to a Ross Lovegrove exhibition that I discovered that there was a profession that fused maths and science with art: Design Engineering.

What does a typical work week look like for you?

The week starts with a team meeting to discuss progress on open projects, the important milestones coming up and some of the challenges that we are facing. I will then plan my week out using a time-blocking technique. Depending on the nature and phases of projects, the week will be filled with brainstorming sessions, client meetings, project management tasks, design, and engineering work.

As the head of systems and the quality manager for the company, I also spend a fair amount of time during the week maintaining the company’s CAPA log as well as arranging team training and looking for ways to make the system and our procedures more efficient.


Senior Medical Device Design Engineer, John

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

Although the projects that we work on are diverse and pose their own unique set of problems, our problem-solving techniques are transferable and allow us to hit the ground running, even if it is a brand-new technology that we are developing.

How do you work cross-functionally with the team and associated consultants at HD?

Knowing your teammates’ strengths is a strong start. This will allow you to assign the best person suited to a particular task. From there it is all about high quality and regular communication.

What processes do you follow to catch any mistakes in your work?

I believe in failing fast: have a really thorough understanding of the assumptions you have made and test these assumptions at the earliest chance possible, usually through prototyping.

What has been your personal favourite project to date at HD and why?

We worked on a phase zero medical implant. The challenging nature of the problem forced us to think way outside of the box. The project also gave us the chance to explore fascinating materials such as shape-memory alloys.

Interested in joining our team? We are currently recruiting to expand our team at HD and are inviting direct contact from product & medical device design engineers looking for an interesting and challenging role within a leading Design Consultancy. Please reach out to enquiries@haughtondesign.co.uk to find out more and apply.

Our latest insights