Career Profiles

Career
Profiles

Meet some of our team and learn more about the work that they do and the qualifications and experience required for each role.

Alex Ambridge, Design Engineer

Alexander Ambridge

What's your degree background and where did you study?

I studied at Brunel University for the BSc Product Design Course and graduated in 2011.

What was your work experience prior to IDC?

Before I started at IDC I was working for a start-up company in Shoreditch. We were designing a luxury product from scratch and sharing our office space with many other start-up companies which was a very exciting and interesting space to work in. We hired a design consultancy for the main development work, which was a really useful process because I experienced sitting on the other side of the design consultancy table in the position that my clients are in now.

What do you like most about your role?

My role at IDC has exposed me to so many different types of projects. No two projects are the same and the design process for each tends to take a different path. With every new project I get many new skills and develop as a designer.

You're one of IDC's 'sustainable design experts' - what do you do to support clients with sustainable design & how did you get into that role at IDC?

At Brunel I studied Environmentally Sensitive Design as one of my final year modules, it was a subject that I found really interesting because it’s an area where applying the design process can have a huge impact. Whether it is through material choice, product life cycle analysis or by influencing user behaviour there are many opportunities to improve a products environmental impact. I have remained interested since leaving university and kept up to date with the latest trends and developments within sustainable design as well as working on sustainable design projects at IDC. I developed IDCs Sustainable Design Guidelines to complement IDCs existing LCA Calculator software and Design Compass guide. Last year Stephen and I joined up with Brunel University’s Co-Innovate and Jaguar Land Rover to deliver a Product Design Sustainability workshop at the Royal Institution in London.

What do you like most about working at IDC?

One of the most interesting elements to design projects at IDC is that the solutions to the challenges raised don’t tend to be obvious at the beginning, they require research, testing and prototypes, so we get an opportunity to come up with ideas that have not been applied before.

What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in product design?

I think it is really important to stay curious. Find out how things work, have a go at making things and practice the core skills such as sketching, prototyping and learning. Product designers never stop learning, so it’s important to never stop asking questions.

William Pargeter,
Trainee Design Engineer

William Pargeter

What's your degree background and experience?

I originally came to IDC as a placement student while studying for an MEng in Engineering Science at The University of Oxford. After my second year at Oxford, I wasn’t enjoying the theoretical onslaught, and really wanted to get out and do some actual engineering. I had previous experience from a pre-uni gap year in a design role, and wanted to build on this. The breadth of opportunities and diversity of projects offered by a consultancy really appealed above ‘in-house’ design teams within specific companies, so IDC was perfect for me. After a year at IDC, I wasn't keen on returning to Oxford to resume theoretical study, so I transferred my ‘credits’ onto an Open Learning HND in Mechanical Engineering at Teesside University, which has allowed me to continue working at IDC whilst on a route towards graduation, which I’m using as a stepping stone towards Chartership.

What sort of projects have you been working on recently and what are your responsibilities?

I’ve been involved with over 12 projects in as many months, doing everything from initial brainstorming and CAD modelling, to prototype manufacture and scientific testing. The work is certainly ‘hands on’ a lot of the time. I’ve recently taken on my first more ‘managerial’ role – with one of our new placement students – which I found very rewarding.

What do you like most about working at IDC?

The constant variety in my day to day work; one day I could be working on large industrial equipment, and the next on medical nanotechnology! The team size is also great for getting to know everybody, and of course the social side of life.

What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in product design?

Academic learning is important, but nothing compares to ‘real world experience’. Taking on multiple placements at different companies has taught me a huge amount, and I’d encourage anybody looking to go into any career to do the same.

Peter Hiles,
Product Design Placement Student

Peter Hiles

What's your degree background and where are you studying?

I’m studying Product Design BSc at Brunel University London.

Why did you choose a product design placement at IDC?

I chose IDC because of the high quality of work shown on the website. I wanted to work in a varied consultancy and IDC works on projects in a wide range of different sectors.

Describe a typical day at work.

Though there’s not really an average day, I tend to work on around three projects throughout the day. This may be research, prototyping in the workshop, CAD work, ideation or a range of other things.

What do you like most about working at IDC?

I enjoy the quality of the work that I am given and the responsibility.

What would you like to do when you have completed your degree?

Look for a career in the design industry.

What advice do you have for anyone considering a career in product design?

I would advise anyone looking for a career in product design to seriously consider a placement at IDC. Placements are a great way of developing skills and this role in particular will set me up for the projects I will face in final year.