Design Engineering
Showcase 2021

Kinneir Dufort

Industrial Design

Project Details

Oliver Cross
Dr Weston Baxter
Engineering Intern
Company Website

Over summer I have been working as an engineer for Kinneir Dufort, a design consultancy based in Bristol that works on products and services for consumer, medical and industrial clients. I worked closely alongside different departments including design, electronics and software and human factors allowing me to expand my skillset and gain insight into how these teams work together. Many of the projects I worked on where at the early stages of concept development and ideation. Even as an intern I found my ideas were valued and my input had an influence on the direction of projects.

Kinneir Dufort

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

At my time at Kinneir Dufort I worked on a number of projects for several different clients. Below I have included three of the most significant projects.

A consumer goods company approached Kinneir Dufort to develop concepts for their next generation of sustainable toothbrushes for developed and emerging markets. The brief was to develop a toothbrush which would mechanically provide feedback to prevent the user from overbrushing. The initial phases of this project were heavily focused on producing a broad range of concepts to explore this brief. Several of these concepts were then selected for further development and exploration. I produced a range of prototypes to test these concepts and presented these back to the company. One of my concepts was taken forward to be prototyped and was praised as having strong visual identity which could set it apart from existing offerings.

KD was contracted to investigate the possibility of using compressed air as a propellant for hair sprays. Existing propellants cause damage to the ozone layer and contribute to global warming, so the company wanted to explore more sustainable alternatives.

My role was to investigate different flow rates of hairspray and air through a selection of nozzles to determine several optimal spray patterns. These were compared to spray patterns from existing aerosols and ranked based on particle fall, spray consistency and spray strength. Laser measuring equipment was also used to accurately determine the average particle size to ensure this fell within an appropriate range.

My final project was for a corporation that specialised in pharmaceutical and biological technology. Some of their products include bioreactors that are used to manufacture vaccinations. The corporation approached Kinneir Dufort to help develop the user interface of a new line of bioreactors. My role in this project was to design and build two rigs that would be used in a study to test features for the new line of bioreactors. On the last week of my internship, I accompanied three other team members from Kinneir Dufort to run the study at the company’s headquarters. I found the experience of talking to clients face to face and seeing my work being used in the field to be very rewarding.

Kinneir Dufort combine creative, technical and user experience expertise.

Role and Contributions

My role at Kinneir Dufort was as an engineering intern. This involved everything from sketching and concept development to detailed CAD work for final deliverables. I found the work to be very varied and each project required me to learn new skills. During the later stages of my placement, I was involved with more client facing roles. I had the opportunity to present my work to clients and engage in design sessions with engineers from different companies. Over the course of my internship, I was entrusted with more responsibility. For my last project I designed, assembled and sourced components for two test rigs for a new client.

During other projects my role involved developing prototypes and operating test rigs to collect data to inform the design process. I was also involved in the research phase for one project and conducted a piece of IP landscaping to identify the emerging trends across several different product categories

Kinneir Dufort has departments across several different disciplines.


My internship at Kinneir Dufort has given me the opportunity to work on a wide range of projects across different disciplines. I found the work to be very varied and I have developed new skills at every stage of the design process. I would recommend an internship at a design consultancy because of the level of responsibility and influence you have on projects.