Ben Russi, 25, who graduated from Teesside’s BA (Hons) Product Design and Industrial Transportation in 2012, is now working as a Design Engineer with Dyson, the company best known for it’s revolutionary vacuum cleaner design.
Originally from Saltburn, Ben, a former student at Prior Pursglove College in Guisborough, met with students currently working on design projects as part of their degree studies.
He said: ‘I studied at Teesside University largely as it was so highly recommended to me by my college lecturer. It gave me a great grounding in product design and helped me to make up my mind about what I wanted to do.
‘It’s been great meeting the students and telling them about my journey since studying at Teesside and it’s been really good to speak to them about their own projects and ideas.
‘I really enjoyed my time at Teesside, so it’s been great to return and see all the reminders of being a student here. Speaking to the students too is a great reminder that just a few years ago I was one of them myself.’
Ben, who is now based in Wiltshire, joined Dyson in 2014 as a Graduate Design Engineer before moving into the role of Design Engineer.
He said: ‘It’s a great place to work, I’m inspired every day. The degree at Teesside helped to give me the confidence to apply and push for a role with such an innovative company.’
Great to see the Class of 2016 enjoying their graduation in the sun today. It was probably a shade too hot but it certainly added too the day. There was a fantastic atmosphere in campus heart and throughout the University.
Also what a pleasure it was to meet up with Product Design graduate John Barrett, who was here to receive an honorary doctorate from the University. John graduated in 1988, from the then Teesside Polytechnic, and is now President and Chief Executive Officer of US-based global design consultancy TEAGUE.
John gave a wonderfully inspiring speech, talking fondly about his time at Teesside and how the course helped to mould his hugely successful career.
Good luck to all our graduates.
2nd year Product Design student Jess Chambers’ Safe Sanitation project was selected to be showcased at the Design Museum’s Design Factory Symposium.
The museum, which is devoted to contemporary design, annually sets a challenge to degree design students to help promote the museum as an essential resource for research and practice.
Jess’ idea and design for the Prive Cube, a toilet for use in Third World Countries, was among entries selected to take part in the symposium at the London museum, chosen by design industry experts. Her design was inspired by a past trip to Gambia with the Affecting Real Change charity.
Jess said: ‘I am interested in designs which can help to make lives easier for people, after being inspired by a company’s designs to take tablet computers into African schools to help children learn. This inspired me to design something which would help to make life at school easier for children living in Africa.
‘My initial research revealed that sanitation was one of the main issues why children in the Gambia missed school. I also discovered that one in three people in Africa are unable to use a public toilet safely as they are at risk either from sexual assault or attacks by an animal, due to the design of some toilets with many not having a lock. It is a shocking statistic.
‘Toilets in use are often nothing more than a metal hut, which is not very secure. There is also additional issue that there is not often a lock, or the lock is often the outside.’
As part of her research, Jess spoke to the Affecting Real Change charity, which is involved in projects in Africa and India with schools and communities to help improve everyday life. This led Jess to focus on security as a key issue, along with ensuring the toilets would be suitable for use by both genders.
Jess said: ‘The main issues I found with the current toilet design were sanitation and security, which I used as the basis of my design and to provide users with safe sanitation.’
She received a certificate in recognition of her design idea.
Last week saw the opening of the Product Design Degree show which is part of 16 Degrees, a celebration of the hard work, dedication and creativity of students from our School of Arts & Media. It was a busy night with friends, family and colleagues from Industry all celebrating the hard work that went into the projects on display.
|Projects with Industry
Year two are undertaking two live projects this year.
The first project is with our KTP partner, Godfrey Syrett Ltd, investigating a number of briefs for the Higher Education market and with “active learning” at its heart.
|The second project is with Scandinavian kitchen manufacturing giant, Nobia. Supporting the project with Nobia is one of our graduates, Emma Braham. Emma has been with the company for 2 years as a designer, frequently travelling throughout Europe and working with suppliers.|
|Work on these projects is well underway and our students have benefited from some brilliant presentations at the companies’ respective premises, together with excellent factory tours. We are all looking forward to seeing the fruition of these projects in the coming weeks. Both companies have generously agreed to donate to our 3rd yrs New Designers Exhibition Fund.|
Following on from last year’s epic trip to Italy, the delights of Milan and visits to Ferrari and Lamborghini, Product Design students recently returned from this year’s International Study Trip to Amsterdam!
I thought it would be difficult to top Italy, but what a fantastic city to visit.
The highlight for me was our visit to the Philips Museum in Eindhoven where we had a private escorted tour and learned about the history of this, most iconic of companies, from its early beginnings as a manufacturer of light bulbs to today’s global force in design innovation.
Our hotel was in the heart of the Museums Quarter and we, of course, visited the world-class Van Gogh, Stedelijk and Ryjks museums. Well… it would have been rude not to! Nothing quite compares to seeing the great works of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Kandinsky, Monet, I could go on “up close and personal”. You get a real sense of “feeling” and how the artists worked in a way you can never quite appreciate from a screen or book.
There was also plenty of free time for the students to take in some culture, including cutting gem stones in the diamond quarter, “designer” shopping, the flower markets and Amsterdam’s vibrant night life to name a few.
And…, we are already thinking about next year’s trip. High on the list is a return visit to Berlin in 2017, the VW Autostadt and Bauhaus. We’ll have more information at the start of term in October.
For the 2nd year running a team of staff and 3rd students from Product Design took on similar teams from around the University in the Festival of Learning Challenge.
Like last year each team had to complete a number of physical and mental tasks against the clock. Despite coming 2nd again it was immense fun and winning the silver meant a healthy prize of £250. The award will help bolster the money already raised by the students to exhibit their work at the New Designers 2016 Exhibition which is taking place at the Business Design Centre, London in July
Third time lucky next year.
We recently held the 2nd of three mentoring sessions with year 12 and 13 students from The King’s Academy. 3rd year product design students gave help and advice with the development of their college projects. As part of the visit they also had a digital illustration workshop where they learnt how to use PhotoShop as a rendering tool and produced some great work. The next session in early April will see the Kings Academy students bring in their final designs solutions in model form for a final critique.
Last week we were delighted to welcome Tina Gray, Head of Innovation and Design at Mayborn Group , to the University. Tina gave a special guest lecture entitled “Working in Design, Perspectives from a leading design and manufacturing company”
Mayborn are best known for their Tommee Tippee brand which can be found in the major highstreet retailers. Their feeding, weaning and monitoring products are used by parents and children around the world. Tina gave some insights into the Mayborn design and development process from briefing to production, and some of the issues that operate in this highly competitive market.Tina also discussed the skills and qualities that she looks for when recruiting designers.
After the lecture Tina spent the afternoon in the Product Design studio talking informally with students “one-to-one” and in small groups.
Tina and Mayborn are great friends of the course and it always pleasure to welcome our friends to give specialist lectures.