Process Development Engineer - Smiths Medical

William Wilson

William Wilson

William Wilson

William Wilson is helping to improve processes at Smiths Medical Luton to increase ventilator output

William Wilson is a Smiths Medical Engineer based in Ashford in the UK. He was recently re-allocated to the Luton site to help the team respond to the Ventilator Challenge. In this interview, William reflects on his contribution to help fight COVID-19 and save lives.

How things work

“As a child, I was always interested in how things worked and always wanting to fix things. I enjoyed very practical and hands-on activities. At school, I was drawn towards scientific subjects and did my A-levels in Math, Chemistry and Physics. Naturally, that led me to studying Engineering at university.”

“I studied Agricultural Engineering which is the engineering of agricultural production and processing. I was interested in farming and processes so that fit the bill perfectly!”

From conveying systems to medical equipment

“After finishing university, I got a job at a company that made conveying systems for the Food and Pharmaceutical industry. I was a Design Engineer there for just under three years, producing design work all day, every day, and a lot of technical drawings!”

“I was looking for my next professional challenge when the opportunity at Smiths Medical came along. Following a challenging interview and some interesting visits to the site, I became very interested in the medical sector and decided to join the team at Smiths Medical in 2016.”

William Wilson at work

A great learning experience

“Working in manufacturing in the medical sector has given me a fantastic opportunity to broaden my experience and develop my career.”

“My role at Smiths Medical focuses on process development. That covers a wide range of tasks from technical drawings to design work, through to documentation and validation.”

“My first assignment for the Ventilator Challenge was to design Perspex screens to go in between workstations as a way of preventing the spread of COVID-19. Keeping everyone safe has been a top priority.”

“I’ve also been involved with sorting out an impressive selection of special purpose tooling and equipment which had to duplicated for our consortium partners own production lines.”

“In addition, all this equipment needs to be tested. There are about 15 different special purpose test boxes in use during manufacturing. I’m also involved in ensuring we are checking everything works properly and fixing any issues that occur.”

“Being part of the Ventilator Challenge has been such a great learning experience. It has definitely been challenging and we’ve had to work very hard but it’s given me an opportunity to learn new techniques and apply my skills to a new product. My previous role had been focused on helping our site in the Czech Republic with their new and existing tracheostomy products they’re producing.”

“A lot has been accomplished since the start of the Ventilator Challenge. Production at the Luton site has increased from around 20-30 ventilators a week to hundreds a week.”

Proud to be Smiths

“The reason we’re making these products is to help save people’s lives and this makes me very proud to be part of the Smiths team.”