Matt Hulbert; BA Hons (First Class), MSc
Having graduated from Teesside University’s prestigious Product Design course in 2010, I found myself working within the exciting world of commercial design just three months after graduation. I joined a team of like minded designers at E3Design in Newcastle, where we worked on many household products that millions of people still use daily. At E3 we considered ourselves to be ‘Design Plumbers’ – called in at any point within the design cycle to assist in which ever way we were required to do so. Every day we were met with new challenges, whether it was to re-engineer a specific type of valve for costing down purposes or the conceptualisation and production of specialist laboratory equipment, no task was too big or too small. I am a big believer that Product Design is a creative extension of problem solving, and to be successful within the industry it’s more important that you develop a plethora of skills. My time at Teesside helped me to do just that, we were encouraged not only to develop our drawing, CAD and model making skills but importantly to ask questions and constantly address problems and apply creative thinking to overcome them.
It’s this core skill set that helped me to find my place in the industry and then go on to successfully design and launch my own invention, a digital golf training aid called TALON. In 2014 I left E3 (whom I continue to work closely with) and started Ojee Golf Ltd with my father, Paul. The last three years I’ve been fortunate enough to embark on an incredible journey, we successfully crowdfunded the TALON on Indiegogo selling 178 TALON units to 20 different countries. We’ve raised more than £150K in funding and were invited to Orlando and Shanghai to help promote UK business.
One of my greatest achievements to date has been realigning with Teesside University on the very course that I graduated from just seven short years ago, only this time as a part-time lecturer. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the University, the course and the lecturers so it feels good to play a part in the future of the course. If I can help to instil the same design values in today’s students that I learnt during my years on the course than it will give them everything they need to help pave their way into a successful design career.
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.
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.
Must read article in the AA Magazine by Marek Reichman, Teesside Graduate and Aston Martin’s design boss, on creating a car for the world’s most famous secret agent.
Click on here to read the article.
Tuesday night saw the successful launch of Creative Teesside 2014. The show celebrates the hard work and dedication of final year students in the School of Arts & Media. This year’s show was opened by Product Design Alumni Marek Reichman, Design Director Aston Martin. Marek, pictured with two of his own designs outside the exhibition, was truly impressed with the work on display and commended all the students on their efforts and achievement. The students and graduates appreciated the opportunity to speak to an inspirational Teesside graduate, designer and industry leader.