Max Munford

Ever since I was young I have enjoyed designing things to solve real world problems, whether that was with my Lego Mindstorms kit or during product design at school. When I was told engineering was a combination of applying maths and design to solve problems, and just how far reaching it was an a subject, I found this so exciting and knew that this was the right path for me.

I always plan ahead and remember searching for ways to learn more about various degree courses and differentiate myself ahead of applying to university. In year 10 I came across the Arkwright scholarship program and decided to apply in spite of feeling like it was only for private schools. During the scheme throughout my A-levels, Arkwright helped show me what degree subject I was best suited to from exposure to days in industry, residential courses at Cambridge university and subject specific activities. The best thing about the Arkwright scholarship was that the more effort I put in, the more benefits I seem to get from it. I have always tried to put my best efforts into the opportunities made available to me and Arkwright has been exceptional in giving me a platform to learn from this.

The opportunities which were made available to me through Arkwright have always been fun, educational and have acted as a spring board for so many things even years later. I often look back over the past 8 years and trace many of the best opportunities I have had having been started by Arkwright in some way or another.

I was fortunate to go on to study mechanical engineering at Imperial College London and have absolutely loved every minute of it. The degree course was tough and rewarding and I have learned so much from this great university as well as the people who I have been proud to study alongside. Working hard to secure summer internships during my degree allowed me to finish my studies with industry experience, something which has proved invaluable.

My internships which I took during my degree gave me hands on experience of working in medical device consulting and surgical robotics. This time in industry was some of the most influential of my degree. It showed me what I liked and disliked and taught me what I could aim for in my career. At the time there were days and jobs which I found boring or uninspiring, but persevering through them was as important as enjoying the exciting moments and allowed me to find a career that I absolutely love!

After completing my masters at Imperial College London and, I decided to do further research through a PhD at Imperial in medical engineering. My time in industry meant that I knew I would thrive in medical engineering. I am now researching the use of additive manufacturing (metal 3D printing) to make regenerative orthopaedic implants and am hoping to commercialise this technology. My PhD has given me opportunities to travel across the world, including to Arizona, California, Hawaii and across Europe.

As well as my main area of research I have worked on projects in smart inhalers, pharmaceutical devices, wearable technologies, computer vision for surgery and wound therapy and every day has been different!

Before Arkwright, I never knew what engineering was. At school I had no idea what industries and disciplines I could work in and what variety of innovative disciplines existed for me to work in.

Medical engineering is a crucial part of healthcare which is so often overlooked. Everything you are treated with in hospital has been deigned by as engineer and knowing that what I am working on can make such a big difference to people in their every day lives is truly inspiring and motivating.

Designing orthopaedic implants has shown me the size of the problem that currently exists and the amazing team I am part of has helped me challenge why things are the way they are and how I can innovate and work to improve them.

Arkwright has given me countless opportunities and still continues to do so, 8 years on. I have always felt that the effort I put into making the most of Arkwright, the more I gained and this is what has compelled me to try to give back to Arkwright now, volunteering as a mentor, promoting the scheme in my old school and helping where ever Arkwright can have me.

Arkwright taught me about various disciplines within engineering, what university could give me, why industry is so important and the value of a community of people who believe in inspiring future engineers. The value of hard work and perseverance is something that I have learned from Arkwright. Being given opportunities is good but it is up to you to make the most of them.

Arkwright Scholar 2012-2014

Reece Foundation

Maths, Further Maths, Physics, Product Design

Imperial College London, PhD in Medical Engineering, MEng in Mechanical Engineering

Medical Engineer, Imperial College London