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DkIT host Mechanical Engineering and BAAF Year 3 Interdisciplinary Project Seminar

15 February 2019

Recently, Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) hosted the Mechanical Engineering and BAAF Year 3 Interdisciplinary Project Seminar which marked the importance of adopting an interdisciplinary approach to biomedical product design and marketing. This was highlighted by Yvonne Brady, CEO of EVB Sport and the Engineers Ireland Council representative for the Biomedical Division at a recent seminar held in DkIT.

Jointly conducted by DkIT School of Engineering and DkIT School of Business and Humanities, the seminar dealt with experiences at the technology-business interface and the need for interdisciplinary understanding as a core requirement for success. EVB manufacture and sell a range of engineered sportswear for female athletes. The seminar heard from Yvonne that within the biomedical setting, real understanding of client needs and product satisfaction can only be achieved if a broad spectrum of technical, medical and commercial expertise works together from the outset of the product development cycle.

The seminar marked the final week of an annual collaborative project undertaken by Mechanical Engineering and Business, Accounting & Finance students. Overseen by Kimmitt Sayers (School of Engineering) and John Morrison (School of Business & Humanities), the collaboration runs during the winter semester for the third year students of both programmes. The project aims to closely mix engineering and commercial skills at the product development stage to produce better and more satisfactory product solutions and to highlight the importance of interdisciplinary awareness to students.

Citing the Empathize stage of the Design Thinking model advocated at Stanford University, Neil Mc Loughlin, Technology Transfer Manager at DkIT Regional Development Centre reinforced Yvonne’s views. Designers generally solve problems that they don’t have personal experience of themselves, hence the importance of embedding empathy in design. For graduates, this means having increased openness to and communication with a range of other expertise. Neil asserts that exposure to interdisciplinary team based problem solving is essential to the formation of the industrially relevant graduate of the future. Yvonne is also upbeat regarding the value of such interdisciplinary experiences, commenting:

"this emphasis on transferable skills and interdisciplinary experiences within DkIT programmes will pay future dividends, as graduates draw on their educational experiences and apply these within the industry."

To find out more about the Engineering and Business courses offered at DkIT, please visit www.dkit/courses

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