Alumni profile - Hal Dubuisson
It feels amazing to have developed a product that has the potential to help doctors and paramedics save people’s lives – I really like the fact that design can have such a positive impact. My aim is to carry on innovating in emergency and trauma design.
What did you study at Queen Mary and what are you doing now? I studied Design, Innovation and Creative Engineering (DICE). I am now working on starting up my own design consultancy / manufacturing business following the success of my ‘REBOA bags’.
Why did you choose to study Design, Innovation and Creative Engineering at Queen Mary? What sparked your interest to study this course? The course stood out to me as it has a unique combination of design, engineering, material science and computer science. I went to a post offer open day and met the programme director Nobuoki Ohtani and was very impressed and intrigued by the course, so much so that I made my mind up that day that I was going to study at Queen Mary. The small size of the course is also a massive benefit, there were only 9 students in my year which meant we had a really close relationship with our tutors.
Huge congratulations on the medical kit you have designed which will be used by London’s Air Ambulance to help facilitate the REBOA procedure. How does the kit work and how was your idea for the kit born? Thank you! I am really lucky to have been given the opportunity to meet the amazing team at London’s Air Ambulance and to be given their full support while working on my project with them. The bag works by displaying the kit that the user needs in an explanatory way which guides them through the REBOA procedure. This sounds like an obvious solution, but their previous solution did not do this at all and even added to the stress of the scene! The way the intuitive layout is achieved is by laying it all out like a book – the user can navigate quickly through the ‘pages’ and they are less likely to make errors.
I understand that you invented the medical kit whilst you were studying at Queen Mary, how did you find juggling your degree and finding time to explore and produce your medical kit? I developed the kit as part of the ‘Design Studio’ module which is a double module that spanned the whole of third year – this project was essentially my dissertation, so I ended up spending months and months working on it. I knew that this project could potentially have a real impact, so it was hard to not just spend all my time on it!
How does it feel that you have invented a product that will save lives? It feels amazing to have developed a product that has the potential to help doctors and paramedics save people’s lives – I really like the fact that design can have such a positive impact. There’re still so many things that need to be improved in this field though, my work is only just getting started!
What does the future hold for you? Do you have a specific career path in mind or do you want to continue pursuing your own inventions? My aim is to carry on innovating in emergency and trauma design. I’m starting my own company with this focus in mind. I’m in constant conversation with the London Air Ambulance about new projects – right now I’m just working on getting funding to enable me to spend my time on these projects.
Why did you choose to study at Queen Mary? What do you think is unique about Queen Mary compared to other universities? The main thing that attracted me to Queen Mary was the course. I didn’t know much about Queen Mary when I started university but throughout my time, I have been pleasantly surprised. Queen Mary has a powerful ethos of doing good in the local community which is one of the things I really like about it. Queen Mary is rich with diversity and ideas from all parts of the world and all socio-economic groups.
How did your time and study at Queen Mary help your career and development? I enjoyed my time at Queen Mary greatly both from an academic and a non-academic perspective. Through being President of the Snow Sports Club and being on the committee for the design society I have developed skills which I’m sure have developed me as a person positively. The DICE programme is great because we have professional visiting tutors coming in almost every week to tutor us; through this I have made some great connections and have gained work experience with a few of these tutors.
Is there any advice you would give to current students or recent graduates considering their career options? The only thing I would say is don’t be afraid to put yourself out there a bit! I’m really bad at doing this but the times where I have messaged someone on LinkedIn or sent my portfolio over to people who I didn’t know that well have only ever lead to positive outcomes.
What was so special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments? One of my most memorable moments had to be when we did our end of degree design show. Seeing all my course mates together in a room with our final projects knowing that we had made it to the end was a very proud and emotional moment.
Do you have a favourite spot on campus? If so, where is it and why? Down by the canal side! It’s so relaxing and a great place to have a break. My halls from first year overlooked the canal so that area will always have a special place in my heart.
Do you have any role models that you look up to, both inside and outside of your field? The role models that I look up to the most are definitely all the ex-DICE students who are out there doing amazing things! There are so many successful people out there who did DICE which is a great inspiration for me. The course has an amazing network of past and present students which I feel privileged to be a part of.