At the Dyson HQ, advanced design engineer Sam Twist conceptualizes and turns all sorts of materials into devices that make easy work of chores.
Sam describes himself as an inquisitive kid. He would enjoy taking things apart and going through each parts to understand how they work. Growing up, he developed interest in architecture, having been gifted with drawing capabilities. Meeting with architects in a firm, he shares being told not to pursue a career in this field. Coming out of this confused, Sam retraced things he’s good at which include math and physics. And so, entering design and engineering was the next most natural path to take.
As if plotted by the universe, the thrill of creating things—and sometimes setting them on fire—earned Sam a degree and soon a job at Dyson fresh out of uni in 2014.
Working at Dyson was a dream come true for this young engineer. Apart from face time with James Dyson and his son Jake, getting to discuss and share interesting ideas with these trailblazers, Sam felt at home in the tech-filled Dyson HQ. An incredible place to work at, Sam enthused over the high-tech facilities at Dyson available anytime at their disposal. These allow them to do everything to the Dyson standard. He also mentioned built-in identity confirming devices including one with finger vein technology made him feel like a super agent.
In his years at Dyson, he was able to work on various engineering projects including tackling challenges across the Floorcare category and eventually helping refine the V8 Carbon Fibre Fluffy cleaner head. Having explored various branches in different countries, he is now stationed in Japan, ensuring that Asian markets are well catered and suited for their future products.
The Dyson Engineering and Design
Sam as a career-person lives by “testing the 99 percent” and this is also a truth at Dyson. At the company, they think of the most ridiculous scenarios and even the untestable and find a way to address them. With their vacuums, even cleaning position, angle, altitude, and air pressure where users may be are taken into consideration. Dusts samples from Asia all the way to the UK are also observed. They’re in the business of clean, but they don’t mind getting dirty just to bring the best service to its market.
Dyson’s design process begins with identifying a problem and using technology solve it, Sam shares. They build their products around this notion, and coincidentally end up with really good-looking machines. They also pride themselves in products where no space is left unused, every single part contributes to further functionality. Though some of the products take a decade to develop, they take customer concerns into consideration and pioneer through and through allow them to create near-perfect products. What other companies shy away from, Dyson takes head on, particularly costs. When the benefit is significant, Sam says Dyson won’t second-doubt adding it to the product (e.g. carbon fiber). At Dyson, they don’t cut corners and confidently add real consumer value to their offerings. They let their technology do the talking.
The Dyson Future
Sam emphasizes that the company has currently around 200 live projects. That’s 200 products being worked on across various areas. He further shared that though they seldom discuss the future, Dyson has a lot of exciting things for consumers. One is an electric vehicle set to launch in 2020. In this project, all technologies Dyson has been working on for years—airflow, battery chemistry, environmental control, and motors—come together to make for a vehicle that would truly represent its time.
Meanwhile, personally, Sam desires to work on prosthetics for people with disabilities and dispel people’s doubts on engineering. He hopes to continue what he has started in uni, and which the James Dyson foundation has helped him with. Together with Dyson, Sam is able to solve problems that truly matter. The future is looking up with these two in a team.
Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE March 2018
Interviewed by Mia Carisse Barrientos