How to be Boring – Adrenaline Rush Avoidance for Medical Device Engineers

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Developing medical devices is highly rewarding but also undeniably hard. Sadly, failure too often stems from a set of familiar and surmountable development hurdles. In this lunchtime knowledge-share session at the Bradfield Centre, effectively the inaugural session for the meetup, I'll be talking about common pitfalls experienced by medical device start-ups as they develop their first products, and exploring ways to foresee and avoid them.

Please register on the Bradfield Centre website ( as well as indicating you're coming here.

This event is not catered, but please feel free to bring your lunch and enjoy it in the auditorium!


As an engineering leader starting out in the Medical Devices industry, you stride toward a glorious, bright horizon down a path strewn with the remains of unprepared teams. There are many things that can go wrong along the way, and indeed half the fun in development is in confirming that your ingenuity is equal to the challenges – after all, this is the reason you above all others were born for this job.

The challenges can arguably be placed into two categories. Type 1 is the “good” kind of problem – sudden, daunting, a significant exercise for the team but ultimately bounded and rapidly remediated, these are the stuff of engineering legend, a week of late nights culminating in a warm glow of achievement and a new story to tell the grandchildren. Type 2 problems are vastly more threatening to projects and so to the very existence of a small company – these are characterised by technical debt built up over time and recognised late, shaky foundations discovered through a gradual realisation that things are getting more and more difficult, and increasing panic as critical dates approach and whizz by. If you want to enjoy your engineering career, I thoroughly recommend taking precautionary steps to minimise Type 2 events so that you can properly appreciate Type 1 when they inevitably arise.

In this lunchtime session, we will look at some familiar, frequently-encountered type 2 issues with special relevance to medical device development, exploring why these serious issues affect the Medical Devices industry in particular and how they can escalate to threaten your entire programme. We'll look at a simple logical framework to help predict which challenges are most likely to arise in your development and what an engineering team can do to head them off before they occur