e7cde70c-4ade-4aa7-b352-4c2de31180aa.jpgWe do not often get to hear about the experiences and challenges of undergraduate students and new graduates. In #GraduateStories, we share the ‘behind the scenes’ stories of recent graduates and hoping their journeys and experiences are beneficial and to motivational to current students. In the first of  our #GraduateStories, Robert Sampays, recent  graduate (class of 2016) from the UWE Bristol, UK shares the motivations and journey to success. Enjoy reading!

Since a young age I have always been fascinated with products and the way they work, it was this inquisitiveness that stemmed my passion for design. I find inspiration in the work I produce knowing I have the chance to help people and make their lives easier. It was the notion of being able to make this a reality that made me study Product Design and is still the reason behind my work ethic today.

I was taught to draw by my aunt during family visits to her house in South Wales; being an artist she had both the patience and the skill to teach me various techniques that would later serve as one of my main attributes as a designer. I furthered my interests at school where I studied art alongside graphic design and resistant materials. Product design at A-Level allowed me to bring all 3 of these disciplines together, I was sold in an instant and made this one of my main subjects to study at college. 

Completing college with 4 A-Levels dawned the start of my university degree of which I chose to study a BSc in Creative Product Design at UWE Bristol. I chose to study at UWE due to the nature of the course and the freedom students seemed to have of which was evident of design projects from first to final year. This in conjunction with the quality of teaching, engaging modules and friends made along the way made for an enjoyable learning experience from start to finish.

During my degree, I embarked on a placement year; six months spent at Steele & Stovell in Herefordshire, UK, where I worked with designers on a diverse range of projects consisting of branding, layout for print, web design and marketing. This placement developed my graphical skills enhancing my knowledge and understanding of what makes good design; something I can apply on a multidisciplinary level throughout my career. The second placement was for another six months at Simbars; a design engineering company specialising in street furniture in Bristol. In this role, I worked both in the studio and the workshop understanding key fundamentals of design for manufacture. Having close contact with the manufacturers gave me a great insight into the design process where I could learn directly from staff in the workshop; particularly how certain manufacturing techniques directly implemented the scope for design opportunity.

Read moreGetting ahead at University

Gaining this engineering experience enabled me to approach my final year project from a different angle; meaning I was able to resolve many design issues early on and make for a better resolved product. Again, taking this forward into my career is an experience that I will benefit from for many years to come. Overall my placement year was a great help to succeeding in my degree, not only furthering my interests and talent as a designer but to also gain valuable insight into the design industry and the various disciplines available.

My final year project was based around the problem of drug administration within hospitals targeting dispensing errors experienced by nurses on a day-to-day basis. Throughout primary and secondary research I grew to understand more about this issue and the effects it has on both the nurses and patients within the clinical environment. It was from this research I chose to redesign the conventional dispensing trolley. In succession this would improve the efficiency of the nurses administration procedure during drug rounds and provide a safer means of caring for patients.

Product design II

Dawn (drug administration ward nurse) is a revised means of dispensing the right drug to the right patient, at the right dose, at the right time. To achieve this systematic storage of both patient specific and stock medication is provided within the unit, all of which works in conjunction with a highly intuitive bluetooth low-energy (BLE) platform interface and caters for 20 patients within a hospital ward. I had to consider many crucial factors that would be implemental to the design such as: sizes of volumes to store various medication packaging, preparation area, hygiene, ease of use and maneuverability of the unit in and around the clinical area.

The main benefactors from this product are the patients receiving treatment in hospitals; overall safety would be improved as well as peace of mind.Fatigue levels experienced by nurses would also be dramatically reduced making for an easier product to maneuver in and around a clinical area. It would also provide for a more interactive and easier way of carrying out this otherwise strenuous task during long working hours. Essentially facilitating a safer and accurate means of medication dispensing during drug rounds would save the NHS in upmost of £750 million pounds and prevent 36 deaths per year.

This year saw an end to my University education. After completing a BSc in Creative Product Design with a 2.1 honors degree I am now looking for a job in Product and Industrial Design. After working on my final project revolving around the medical industry I would welcome the opportunity to work on medical products in the future. Solving problems for real needs such as these is something that I have grown quite passionately about and believe this is an area of design I excel at. 

Read More Begin with the end in mind  Begin with the end in mind 

Going forward in my career I would like to further my interest within medical design, with the hope of working for a company who deals with such projects, that have the potential to help and save people’s lives.  However as this area is not my only interest I would be more than happy to work in any creative design environment; I strive for challenging, engaging and exiting projects where I can put my talents to good use. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to hear more about me and to find out how else I may make a great candidate for your team.

For new and current undergraduates looking to experience a fantastic design environment with the freedom to push their ideas, i would recommend studying for a design degree at University level. With such a diverse range of expertise and project possibilities this is a great way to achieve greatness in design. 

Robert Sampays
About the Writer: Robert Sampays is a recent graduate from UWE Bristol. Robert is also a freelance designer and has had experience in other areas including Manufacture, R&D, Graphic Design & Design Engineering. In his spare time he enjoys drawing and art, cycling, climbing and electronic music.


If you enjoyed reading this article, please share and subscribe to our network! Would you like to share your own #GraduateStories? We would love to hear from you. Please get in touch – info@aspiringprofessionalshub.com.

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