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Course studied: MSc Medical Product Design

United Kingdom
I enjoy the tangible difference I can make in patients' lives, as well easing the pressures of healthcare professionals

More about Vithu

Vithu graduated in 2015 and is now working in Medical Design Engineering.  We caught up with him to reflect on his time at Nottingham Trent University, and to see how things are going now.

Why did you decide to study at NTU?

The course itself is very unique. Medical Product Design MSc at the point of my application in 2014, was the only course to combine the medical field with product design in the country. I visited Nottingham before progressing with my application, and I was impressed by its diversity, culture and friendliness. I also enjoyed the fact that it has more pubs than days of the year too!

What did you learn – both inside and outside of lectures? What still makes you smile when you look back?

My Masters course involved working with prestigious clientele including PepsiCo, and a live medical brief involving a leading consultant surgeon from Nottingham City Hospital. This has set me up really well for working for a consultancy and building rapport with clientele.
On my course, I met a wonderful set of people from both England and internationally, who have become friends for life; we bonded over the late nights spent in the library to pub crawls to paintballing.

What does your current day involve? Take us through a “typical” day (if there is one!)

There is no such thing as a typical day in the medical device engineering field. Some days can be spent firefighting issues with a device, and others can involve guiding colleagues on design requirements based on strict medical regulations.

What attracted you to this field of work?

I enjoy the tangible effect of making an impactful difference in patients' lives, as well easing the pressures of healthcare professionals.

What have been the highlights and biggest challenges of your career so far?

The biggest challenge I have faced so far would be regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. After returning from travelling and finishing a short-term contract, I found myself unemployed right as the pandemic began in March 2020. I struggled to find opportunities during this time, and eventually decided to explore other options until the medical device market opened again. I started working at Tesco as a customer assistant, serving customers and stacking shelves. Although things have now improved, this was a particularly hard time in my life. I do believe, however, that perseverance and positive mental attitude can get you through most things.

The biggest highlight has been whilst working for Pfizer, in drug delivery device development. Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), is an illness that affects the respiratory of young children. I was directly involved in creating the engineering drawing for the syringe for this illness. The engineering drawing is what the manufacturing side of Pfizer would use to produce the syringe. This was a great moment to tangibly help young children.

What are your plans for the future?

I intend to continue to grow and develop within the medical device industry and become a subject matter expert within design and quality. I would ideally like to retire young by a beach, here’s hoping!

If you had a time machine, what would you go back and tell yourself at uni?

I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason”; the mistakes you make are lessons in disguise. I would continue to encourage my younger self to make mistakes, to learn, to not worry about things I can’t control, and to laugh more.

Finally, is there anything else you’d like to share with our alumni community?

Don’t worry about what grades you achieved at A-Levels! If you put in the time and determination with loads of enthusiasm, you’ll surprise yourself on how far you can come. I wasn’t the brightest of students when I did my A-Levels, but I continued to strive forwards and doors did eventually open for me - knock louder if they can’t hear you!

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