Looking forward to talking all things engineering with you! Thor is the best Avenger. FACT.
St Peter's C of E High School (Stoke-on-Trent) 13 GCSEs; Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College (A-Levels); University of Nottingham (Degree and PhD)
13 GCSEs; A-levels (further maths, biology, chemistry, biology and PE); Degree - MEng Medical and Mechanical Engineering; PhD - Medical Engineering (Tissue Engineering)
Argos - weekend job whilst at College; Bioengineering Group – University of Nottingham; Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering – University of Leeds
Programme Director of Mechanical and Medical Engineering - lecturing & research
I'm a Medical Engineer and love all things sciencey and geeky, and I'm not afraid to admit it.
I live about 13 miles outside of Hull, in a village called Brough. I don’t have any pets as I’m never at home long enough to look after one properly.
I can quote most episodes of Friends, and I am a Disney and Marvel fanatic.
- Favourite Avenger – Thor (the fit version, before he gets fat).
- Favourite Disney film – Lilo and Stitch
I’m quite sporty and play in a Netball league (we are actually quite good). I’m also rather musical and can play several instruments including trumpet, saxophone, and piano.
I have tattoos and piercings, and these have never held me back in my career.
I design and test new dressings and plasters for large wounds, so that people can heal quicker. I'm currently making face shields for the NHS, you may have seen them in the news!
Well, at the minute everything is a bit strange as I’m having to work from home a lot, and I can’t really do any research!
However, over the last three weeks I have been involved in a project to produce face shields for people working in hospitals or as front-line carers. The shields will help to protect them from catching COVID-19, and means they can carry on looking after people. These people are true heroes!
We have designed our own visors, and have been 3D printing them. We can make approximately 200 a day in our Fablab.
We realised this wasn’t enough, so we have changed the design a little, and are now manufacturing them using injection moulding. This means we can produce one visor every 10 seconds. So we can give out 4000 face shields a day!
We have hit a few problems though! We have to use a very specific material to make the visor as it needs to be able to cleaned properly. This material is now out of stock in the UK, and we are waiting for the next shipment into the country which takes place on Thursday. We have just bought enough material to make 35,000 visors!
I’ve spent a lot of time being interviewed by the BBC, ITV, Sky News and various other newspapers and radio stations. It’s been crazy! This is my newspaper pose (so embarrassing)
Hopefully I will be able to get back to my real job of teaching my students, and researching new dressings very soon. This is just one example of all the unexpected exciting projects engineers get involved with outside of their normal job! Engineering changes lives, and you will always be able to have a positive impact on someone’s life!
My Typical Day: There is no such thing as a typical day in my role! I'm currently 3D printing and injection moulding head visors for the NHS. Oh and being interviewed by various news and media stations. My 'normal' job is to teach and to design new dressings for big disgusting wounds, so that people can heal quicker. There's always lots of things to do, and always a few surprises. Engineering is never boring.
What I'd do with the money
I would run a drop-in session at the local hospital so that patients who are receiving implants can hold and touch the implants, and talk to the scientists and engineers about the design and manufacture of the implants.
I think that it would be great to run a drop-in session at the orthopaedic unit at the local hospital, inviting patients to come and meet the engineers who are designing and working with the new implants. Usually patients only have contact with the doctors and surgeons who often only explain the medical aspects of the operation, and can only answer the very basics about the science of the implant.
Wouldn’t it be good if you could hold the implant that you were about to receive, and ask about the materials its made from, why its the shape it is, why it will only last 10 years, and what the future holds for orthopaedic implants?
It’s also really important that as engineers we see how our ideas fit with society, and to see if people are aware of our work and the potential inventions and designs that are on the horizon!
Public engagement is for everyone, even those with broken bones!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Determined, inquisitive and outgoing
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
I have designed medical devices that are now being used in hospitals to treat people.
What was your favourite subject at school?
What did you want to be after you left school?
A doctor or a physiotherapist. I applied to study medicine at university, went to 4 interviews, secured places at 2 universities and then missed one of my A-Level biology exmas. Yep, I thought it was in the afternoon and as my mum dropped me off at college I saw all of my friends walking out of the exam. That was the worst feeling ever! I’ve never missed anything since then!!!!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
Nope – maybe I was too much of a goody two-shoes OR maybe I just never got caught ;-)
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I’d love to work for Lego! Who wouldn’t want to be paid to play with Lego?!
Who is your favourite singer or band?
I can't decide!! I like all kinds of music (apart from RnB…I just don’t get it)
What's your favourite food?
I'm currently addicted to Doritos (the struggle is real)
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Skydived from 13,000 feet and landed on a beach full of salt water crocodiles.
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
To believe in myself more, to be able to go out in the sun without burning...not sure about the third! Suggestions welcome!
Tell us a joke.
What was the name of the first electricity detective? Sherlock Ohm (plenty more where that came from ;-) )