Last week saw the return of four graduates from 2015. It was great to welcome back David Johnson, Martin Elerts, Lui Zatrak and Stephen Mounser . On the morning they delivered a joint presentation to students across design about their time at Teesside, friendships and their careers to date.
In the afternoon they spent time in the studio with our current 3rd year giving some really good advice and industry insights.
Thanks again to the ‘class of 2015’ until the next time.
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.
Graduate Talk and Studio Visit
David Winter, Co-founder of Hull Studio and Teesside graduate has worked widely within the fields of furniture, interiors and the super yacht industry.
After graduating David began work within the furniture industry for Silverlining Furniture based in Cheshire where he was involved in designing bespoke furniture for luxury yachts and houses worldwide. Driven by values of innovation, passion and excellence the company continually redefines traditional design and craftsmanship through cutting edge materials, finishes, techniques and technology.
Leaving Silverlining after 5 years in 2013 David Co-founded Hull Studio with former colleagues. The studio has a multidisciplinary approach with an ethos that lies in exploring the relationship between traditional craftsmanship, modern technology and organic design. Their work is currently being shown by Gallery Fumi in London and is often exhibited at The Pavilion of Art and Design.
David is also currently exploring and challenging what his design practice means through an MA in Product Design at Manchester Metropolitan University.
David’s talk will take place at 1pm on Friday 27th February in A2.01. David will then be spending the rest of the afternoon in the studio.
The world of work is a difficult place for a young graduate to navigate. How do you get noticed?, get taken seriously?, get things done? Everything and everyone is new!
Well, product design graduate Michelle Blackett had some of the answers to those thorny questions when she gave an inspirational talk to our students last week. Michelle graduated in 2010 and her first destination job was as a Knowledge Transfer Associate with Nifco UK. Nifco UK is an injection moulding company, supplying many of the big name car manufacturers.
Michelle was employed through the university and mentored in her role by Peter Reid, Senior Lecturer in Product Design. Her job was to develop a New Product Development Strategy. No small task! Michelle has since gone on to be employed by Nifco in a variety of roles from project engineer where she was responsible for key accounts with Ford and Jaguar/Land Rover to her current position as Marketing Manager with responsibility for Branding, internal and external communications.
One of many great examples of how Michelle has gone the extra mile is when she organised a teambuilding and charity event for Nifco staff to climb England’s highest mountain, Scarfell Pike in the Lake District. http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/local-news/stockton-workers-peak-performance-tsunami-3675240
But now Michelle is about to go a few miles further… Ford have offered her a new role in Essex!
And the secret of Michelle’s success, in a nutshell… “always going that extra mile” and exceeding your boss’s expectations. That’s what quickly builds respect and builds your career.
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.
Postponed from 28th Feb,
Product Design graduate Jonathan Prestwich will be visiting the University this Friday (7th March) to talk about his very successful career as a freelance furniture designer and consultant.
Jonathan graduated from Teesside in 1995 and for 2 years worked as a junior designer for a consultancy in Boston Massachusetts. From there he worked in France for 6 years as a design manager for Burkhard Vogtherr, a successful German designer, which gave him the experience and contacts needed to set up on his own.
Since then he has produced designs for many well known international furniture companies including Arco (Netherlands), Arflex (Italy), Davis (USA), KlÖber (Germany) and Modus (UK).
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Centuria Building (School of Health) Lecture Theatre H0.01
Jonathan will then be available during the afternoon to speak with students in the Product Design studio.