Brompton Bicycle manufactures folding bikes for people all over the world from their factory in West London, using customisable parts to develop a bike that suits all their customer’s needs. The Brompton was conceived as an innovative product that increases people’s sense of independence and freedom – a concept still at the heart of everything they do.
“I would say Brompton are quite a special employer; ingenious engineering is in the blood of this company which makes it a fascinating place to be,” said Eleanor Rogers, Brompton’s Product Design Engineer.
“Brompton has a good sense of its own identity, and it wants to stay a London company doing things thoroughly.”
Eleanor is a Brunel alumna. She works with a team developing new functions for the Brompton bike, which has helped the company produce high-quality products with thriving profitability.
Eleanor has been working in collaboration with Brunel design student Rob Lancaster on the exploration and development of a new bike accessory concept for Brompton bike riders. There is considerable competition in the bike sector and the value of innovation is well recognised. For Brompton it is part of the DNA, which has given Rob a difficult challenge. The collaboration has also been a way for Eleanor and her colleagues to develop new ideas in parallel to the day to day pressures of a highly successful company.
Eleanor’s own work closely mirrors the skills Brunel designers are developing.
“In my job I help refine the brief and research the project, generate concepts in sketches and models, test and evaluate proof of principle prototypes, validate the design on alpha prototypes, and eventually move on to a small engineering build of bikes for ride testing,” she said. “I also do all the engineering drawings for the final design and work with our suppliers throughout to make sure that what I’m designing is feasible.”
Eleanor’s not the only one who believes in this way of thinking.
“That attitude runs through to how it treats its staff; it is important to Brompton that people are looked after fairly.”
”Many staff have their own Brompton, so we keep a culture of being very close to the product and knowledgeable about it.”
The company has ambitious plans for future developments including a recently opened Brompton Junction store in Bangkok, new creative projects set for 2016 and an ongoing need for the range of people and expertise that Brunel can offer.