Meet the Mentor! April 2018
Each month we are introducing the wonderful mentors that support the Big Ideas programme, in a feature we are calling ‘Meet the Mentor’. The programme and the students on it simply would not be the same if we didn’t have this mentor support from our business and community partners, and the mentors themselves get an awful lot out of it too. Find out more about the range of interesting and diverse mentors we work with on our Meet the Mentors page on the website!
Allow me to introduce one of our community mentors from Yorkshire – Miranda Newbery.
Name: Miranda Newbery
Position: Director / Human Factors and User Research Consultant, Inspired Usability Limited
· Please describe your role:
I founded my company Inspired Usability in 2017. I run a human factors consultancy specialising in medical devices. Human factors is study of how people interact with devices and services. I help medical device and pharmaceutical companies understand how to design products that are safe and intuitive to use.
· Please describe your route to this role:
I originally studied Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge University because I was interested in both science and design. I then did a joint Masters in Industrial Design at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College. This was a course specifically for engineering students to move into design. My first job was for a start-up company called Adlens. I was the third employee of the company so managed to do a bit of everything. I worked on a pair of universal glasses for both the developed and developing world. I was the lead Industrial Designer, but also did design for manufacture and user research. It was during my time at Adlens that I found I really enjoyed learning from end users and that then moved me into the world of human factors. My next jobs were working in technical consultancies. I started working in medical device development just when human factors was becoming a regulatory requirement and I haven’t looked back since. I now run a very successful company, which I absolutely love.
· Why did you get involved in S4TP’s Big Ideas programme?
In my A-level physics class there was one other girl in my class. At Cambridge there was 20% women in my Engineering intake and throughout my working life I have always been in a minority. This hasn’t changed, and now I have the flexibility of running my own company, I am keen to encourage all people, especially young girls, into STEM subjects.
I have worked on so many exciting projects that I wouldn’t have been able to do without my background in STEM. My experience working on a huge range of products is directly related to the Big Ideas concepts that the school children will take forward.
· What involvement have you had so far?
This is my first year on the programme, and so far I have been involved as a mentor on a Big Ideas Day
· Has participating met your expectations?
The Big Ideas day was really good. I was really impressed with the breadth of ideas the children came up with. I was really glad that I could share my experience at Adlens since it was very relevant to the ideas the children were coming up with. Many of the issues the teams were grappling with are the types of problems I come up against on a day to day basis so it was both interesting to see their approach and be able to guide with my experience.
· What has been the best part about participating in the programme?
So far being able to share my experience and hopefully inspire a new generation of engineers and scientists
· What has been the most challenging part about participating in the programme?
· What have you learnt, through participating, about yourself, the company and sector you work for, young people, schools and skills development?
Presenting to children requires a non-jargon approach which is a good skill in everyday life.
· What would you say to others considering participating in the programme?
We are proud and grateful to have you on board Miranda – thank you for all your help!
Answers written by: Miranda Newbery, Director / Human Factors and User Research Consultant, Inspired Usability Limited
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solutions for the Planet Ltd.