Engineering Intern – Designability

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

  • Design work on a saddle seat for a dynamic wheelchair for children with dystonic cerebral palsy.
  • Documentation of the engineering design process, including design specification, research findings and concept and detail drawings.
  • Home visits to a family with a child with dystonic cerebral palsy (who will test the wheelchair in its early stages and eventually use it) – I collaborated with other engineers and occupational therapists to determine the best design for the saddle seat.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

My work proposed a specific design for a saddle seat to replace a currently used off-the-shelf bicycle saddle which was unfit for purpose. The design better addresses the complex needs of the user. The research and design work I completed lightened the workload of colleagues.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

My time included home visits to a child who would be using the saddle seat – this improved my skills in user-centred design and helped me understand the complex requirements of seating for dystonic cerebral palsy children. I improved my team working skills, in consulting other engineers/ occupational therapists on my design. I became more confident in putting forward my ideas, as well as understanding criticisms.