22 January 2021

Accelerated Learning at Dashworks Makespace

Holly Stringer

Recently at Dashworks Makespace, we had the chance to chat with one of the amazing students participating in Restech’s work-integrated learning projects onsite.

student
Work-integrated learning at Dashworks Makespace Warners Bay

Hi Tiana! Tell us a little about yourself, what are you studying or what degree have you completed?

Hi! I am currently studying Medical Engineering at the University of Newcastle.

  • Why did you choose this degree?

I chose to study Medical Engineering because it combines my passions of engineering aspects such as maths and physics, and the more ‘medical’ side, biology and anatomy. It really interests me to be able to design medical devices which can help people.

  • What year are you in now?

I have just finished my second year!

  • How did you get started at Dashworks Makespace with Restech/Ampcontrol?

I reached out to somebody at Ampcontrol to ask about the Emergency Ventilator Project and was asked if I wanted to come and check it out. From there, I was asked if I wanted to have a tour of the Ampcontrol facilities located within Dashworks, where I met ResTech General Manager Pierre Gouhier and Product Development Manager Chris Bird, who asked If I wanted to do my Industrial Placement with them!

  • What is the name of the project you are working on?

I am working on the Emergency Ventilator Project. At the moment I mostly work on untangling the ‘web’ of standards and guides, but sometimes I help out with testing the ventilators.

  • What is your role during your work placement? What were some of the highlights doing this work?

I mostly help out wherever I can, whether that be teaching people about the standards, testing, or providing a different point of view on important information. While I have been with ResTech, I have also been helping design a Biomedical Engineering STEM program to be taught to kids in school, focusing on ventilators and the engineering design process. This has been lots of fun to come up with interesting investigations for kids to learn about the things I enjoy.

That sounds like an exciting project! What’s the most interesting project you’ve ever worked on?

The Emergency Ventilator Project is probably the most interesting so far, because it has real world applications, and is relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have learnt a lot about the Medical Device approval process, as well as the inner workings of ventilators. Another honourable mention is the dancing robot I designed as part of an exclusive STEM workshop with Boeing.

When you aren’t working on potentially life-changing or robotic projects, what do you do in your downtime? 

I don’t have a lot of downtime, but when I can relax I like to cook, do dance lessons, make fancy coffee, take my dog for walks, and go to the beach.

How has your time at Dashworks Makespace been beneficial to you?

I have learnt a lot about professional engineering practice, research and design, and the regulatory processes involved with medical devices, which are all very important things.

What’s your dream future look like?

In my dream future, I design medical devices of all sorts to help doctors diagnose, treat patients, and help people with chronic illnesses live an easier and more pain free life. On the side, I design prosthetics and wheelchairs for dogs, cats, and all types of animals that need it!

What advice can you give students looking for real hands-on work experience? 

My best advice for all students is to not be afraid to reach out and ask. If there is a company or project you are interested in, reach out to them and get into touch. The worst thing that can happen is they say no!

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