Amy's experience

Amy Harris

Junior Device Development Engineer at Oval Medical Technologies 2018-2019

A placement with Oval is ideal for someone looking for a placement offering the opportunity to be involved with innovative projects, to take part in a range of engineering activities and work within a close, friendly and supportive company. Oval has small and concise teams of people whose main focuses at present are the push to get their first device out into production, and the design and proof of concept of their latest innovative device that is to be centred around schizophrenia patients.

From the start, I was invited into all the relevant meetings to allow me to quickly become part of a tight knit team in a fast-paced environment. This meant that I was given ‘real’ work from the very beginning, which was relied upon to help with the development of their devices.

I am currently half way through my placement as a Junior Device Development Engineer.

My main responsibilities tend to be testing mechanism rigs and device components that need refining and troubleshooting. This requires the design and creation of a range of jigs and fixtures which I do using Solidworks and 3D printers - and to record data, I use high-speed camera footage and math models to help represent, record and distribute what I find. I have also been given the responsibility of managing the in-house 3D printers: Ensuring resources and availability of the machines contribute towards a smooth prototyping process. This has allowed me to learn so much about rapid prototyping, and consequently I am now able to advise my colleagues in which print materials to use, product orientation and build structure placement etc – helping the team to use our fantastic prototyping facilities to their best abilities.

Being part of a small but growing company; I have also had the opportunity to gain a wide range of experience that include areas within projects focused in places I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience within my degree programme. For example, one area of work is looking into drug delivery and how certain parameters affect the ‘bolus’ that is formed under the skin after injection. Meanwhile, I’m also looking at how stable an oxygen-sensitive drug is within the drug container Oval have designed for it.

I feel so lucky to have been able to work in a company where my work and designs have actively contributed to the production of their products, having had one of my designs sent out for injection moulding manufacture and another due to be machined later this month. What I’ve learned at Oval has not only set me up amazingly to help with within my university projects when returning to Loughborough University – but has given me an amazing grounding for my future career. I’ve enjoyed every second of it.