Product and Furniture Design graduate takes his work worldwide

Alex Round Product Design

Alex Round, a 1st class graduate from BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design, has designed ground breaking safety features for ambulance trolleys carrying neonates, a term for a newborn child, in the UK and worldwide.

The UK Neonatal Transport Group statistics show that there are approximately 16,000 transfers of premature and ill babies each year. The transfer of neonates is a stressful process that could contribute to long-term health complications caused by excessive movements of the neonate during acceleration and deceleration or in the event of a crash of up to 40MPH.

Neonatal transfers are planned, lower speed journeys rather than emergency journeys for front line ambulances carrying critical patients, but are still subject to the risks and dangers inherent to a road network that gets busier every year.

Alex was recruited to work on a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with Birmingham City University and EVAC+Chair International with an aim to “to reduce the g-Forces experienced by a neonate in emergency ambulance transportation caused by excessive acceleration and deceleration.”

Alex designed, developed, and tested the Impact Reduction Interface System (IRIS). He then presented his findings with a conference paper and poster on “The Development of an Impact Reduction Interface System” at the European Society of Paediatric and Neonatal Intensive Care (ESPNIC 2019) conference in June. Speaking at the conference in Salzburg, Austria, Alex said:

Alex is now working full-time as a Design Engineer at Evac+Chair international, developing further safety improvements for the company’s products.

Dr Panch Suntharalingam, lead academic from Birmingham City University explained that the engineering product knowledge and practical skills that Alex learnt during his three years studying on the BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design gave him the essential knowledge and skills required for the KTP project to succeed.

Innovate UK complimented the Birmingham City University academic team for achieving a very high standard of outcomes from the KTP.

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