Give us an overview of your journey with RHEON?
Where do I start! So, I was in my 3rd year of Design Engineering at Imperial College London when I started at RHEON and basically, I decided that I wanted to pursue design engineering in my career. I ended up taking this route in my studies as it gave me the combination of being able to create and design myself, whilst also doing the technical elements as well.
Imperial is actually the only University in the country to offer design engineering in the way that it is taught. I then found out about the internship at RHEON via Olga, RHEON’s Head of Design, who was also my lecturer at Imperial for the Industrial Design module.
The interview day at RHEON was so different, I really loved how everyone there seemed so chilled out and it seemed to be a really cool company. I was interviewed by Dan Plant, CTO and Stephen Bates, CEO, and they both gave great insight into the company. They also seemed really interested in the work that I’d done and were keen to know more about my experience, especially my prior internship at Aston Martin. So, it went from there, I got the offer and came to do my internship at RHEON Labs.
Describe your internship experience at RHEON?
The internship started with me and the other two interns spending a week each within three different areas of the business. From there it was really easy to slot into our roles with an awareness of the bigger picture within the organisation.
I was able to work on a vast range of projects throughout my internship, from working on designs for a leading global sportwear brand to working with a cross- fit company, designing protective garments. This experience allowed me to explore the textiles route some more.
What I found really great, was that although my internship was predominantly textiles focus, I was also able to have input and gain experience in other projects. For example, I had the opportunity to look at implementing energy control technology in helmets and PPE gloves. There was literally so much we could get involved with!
What made your internship at RHEON different?
It was a great experience. I was made to feel like more like an employee at RHEON, compared with my experiences with bigger companies. I’d already done internships with really big organisations, with lots of employees, where you tend to get treated like you are on work experience. In contrast, during my internship at RHEON I was able to take on my own projects, it was really cool to be given that amount of responsibility quite early on. I also found I gained insight into the operational side of the business too.
Now that you’re joining the RHEON team full time, what are you looking forward to the most?
My new role at RHEON is going to be within the textiles side of the business, which I’m looking forward to being involved in even more when I start. I will be working on other garment projects too. I didn’t have so much experience in garments before I worked for RHEON so it’s been really interesting to have learned everything about it, from all the tools to the sewing and I’m looking forward to learning even more.
Describe how you hope to develop your interest in sustainability in your new role at RHEON?
When I got the job offer from RHEON, a consideration I did have was on the environmental side of things. With RHEON being a polymer technology, it is not typically seen as the most environmentally friendly sector to work within. But Dan, RHEON’s CTO, proposed that I take the lead on looking at ways to make the company more sustainable.
I’m planning on taking two avenues to approach this project; firstly, looking at ways that we can make production, manufacturing and logistics processes more sustainable. Secondly, there needs to be a focus on the small things, which can make a big difference when it comes to sustainability. An example of this is, changing behaviours in the office; reducing the amount of printing people do, being observant electricity usage and increasing recycling where we can.