Dominic Leatherland

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From a young age I have always had an interest in understanding how things work and how they were made. I had gained a reputation for taking things apart to the point family and friends would drop round broken products for me to take apart.

After speaking to a family friend about their experience at Loughborough, I came to the open day to look around Loughborough University and Loughborough Design. Ever since that day, I knew Loughborough was the place for me.

My biggest achievement whilst studying at university has been working for Avon Protection. Not only did Avon accomplish some huge milestones whilst I was on placement, but the placement allowed me to develop myself and many skills to take forward in life.

Dominic Leatherland

I went to Avon Protection for my placement and was a student design engineer. I was part of the product development department team responsible for product and manufacturing design and testing. I had a wide range of responsibilities from product testing, operating, and maintaining the 3D printers as the design and manufacture of products.

On placement I learnt lots of skills about the design and manufacturing process as well as how a manufacturing business works. I was able to develop my knowledge of 3D printing through operating and maintaining the 3D Printers at Avon. This also developed my skills with organisation and management.

The role I played in the development of the HCH-40 was right from the initial brief with a meeting with University College London. From that day on myself and colleague Nick Hunter (former Loughborough Student) began brainstorming ideas and rapidly producing prototypes from as many existing materials and components already used in Avon’s products.

As the prototypes progressed, I was fortunate to travel to UCL Hospital and work with some experts who tested the hood. This opportunity was not only one to remember but played a key part in the development of the HCH-40.

Once the final design was proposed and tested by the MHRA, I played a part in sourcing components from manufacturers and assisting process engineers with the setting up of the production line. This included modifying existing tooling and training people to manufacture HCH-40.

All of Avon Protections products are for saving lives, although many of the population will never experience the catastrophic events these products are designed for. But being able to play a key role in the development of a product to save the lives of those suffering with COVID-19 is truly amazing.

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