How quickly a month passes. Mhairi's i4 Internship Q&A. Posted by: Tristan on 28/08/2017

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For the month of August, i4 was pleased to give a bright Mechanical Engineer from Heriot Watt University the chance to experience what it's like to be a design consultant. In a spare moment we asked her a few questions about herself and the time she's spent at i4.


What have you studied to date and what interests you?

I’m about to start 4th year of a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Heriot Watt University. I started off studying Physics and Maths but decided to steer towards a more practical career where I could still apply my aptitude for physics.

I live in Peebles and love spending time outdoors with my dog and doing sports like mountain-biking, outdoor swimming and snowboarding.


What in particular excites you about engineering?

It’s about being creative and practical at the same time. It turns ideas into reality.

It has always amazed me how massive projects can be achieved when the skills and experience of lots of people are put together. By collaborating, engineers can achieve things that wouldn’t be achievable with one person alone.


What attracted you to intern with i4?

I really wanted to try out the product design industry. Before I got that bit of experience I just had no idea what might suit me. I’m really glad I did, so far the industry looks really exciting and seems to be well suited to my interests and abilities.

All I knew about i4 was from their website and other articles online. The work they do looked really impressive and reading about the design problems they’ve solved in the past made me realise that I’d love to be a part of that.


What have you learnt already and hope to learn during your time with i4?

I’ve already learnt a lot in a short space of time. Just being exposed to the projects others are working on is really interesting and has given me a better understanding of the daily challenges an engineer faces. I spent the first week getting to grips with SolidWorks which I hadn’t used before and then applied FEA to a project I had been tasked with. I have developed my own design concepts, found a solution to a small design challenge and been taught about the design process and current-market manufacturing techniques (specifically injection moulding).

Where to now (after i4 and university)?

Next summer I’d love to experience a bit more of the product design industry. I think I’ll apply for an internship with a large manufacturing company to experience a different type of company structure and hopefully get some practice in part design for injection moulding.

After university, I’d love to find a job that incorporated my interest in engineering with my love of sports. Designing bike frames, snowboards or any sort of sports equipment would be a dream job for me.


Name 3 favourite designed items and why

The Santa Cruz Bronson trail bike. An awesome bike, beautifully designed, it ascends as smoothly as it descends.

My Garmin Forerunner 220 GPS watch and heart rate monitor. It does everything I need it to, is easy to use, comfortable and still looks great as a day to day watch.


The Kong. Add some peanut butter and the puppy is kept busy for hours!


List a piece of equipment / technology / tool could you not live without


The hair bobble and contact lenses as they help with the long hours I've had to spend peering into my screen during my studies so far


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