CeeD Scotland Event - 22 September 2022


Innovation is a risky business. Whether you're an existing business or just starting up, it can be costly and time-consuming to launch a new sustainable product or service

As the restrictions lifted, we’ve been keen to bring people to the office and share some of our hard-earned experience and secrets to successful product design. Over the past decade we have been walking the talk where we’ve not only helped large organisations and start-ups navigate the design process successfully, but we also launched our own product on the other side of the world to roaring success despite recent global events.

This experience makes us one of the few that can support and guide disruptive innovation in Scotland.

So, during this event, our Managing Director and Design Director will talk you through the design process and how you can de-risk development. To support the advice, real world examples will be given from multiple industries including consumer goods, agritech, industrial equipment and IoT.


  • Introductions
  • Tour of studio and workshop (where the exciting things happen)
  • Refreshments (CAKE!)
  • Presentation
  • Q&A and opportunity to raise specific challenges

Who is this event for?

This event is perfect for senior engineers, project managers and those who lead innovation.

... Did we mention there will be cake?


Places are limited so early registration is recommended and the event will take place at our office in Glasgow:

R13, 100 Borron Street, Glasgow, G4 9XG.

To register visit CeeD 

Walking the talk - an introduction

Over the past 8 years 4c has been working on a life science venture called Numnuts (case study is under construction). During these 8 years, we have walked the journey that so many of our clients have. From initial trials and research, to commercialisation, production and distribution.

Read more

Mapping Innovation using Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)

Our first webinar is based on a common discussion we have with with those who ask for our help with their innovation strategy. It is focused on how we have interpreted Technology Readiness Levels and how we transition between the various TRLs by using the design squiggle by Damien Newman to express how widening the scope at the beginning can reduce time to market and overall cost in the long run.

Key takeaways

  • A quick introduction to Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs)
  • What we believe is the typical journey of innovation
  • Suggested uses of gates
  • Q&As

Downloads & links

Questions and feedback mark@4cdesign.co.uk

The Design Squiggle link

Covid19 | We're still operational

Dear Clients and Friends,

Following the official advice and evolving Covid19/Coronavirus situation, 4c Design will until further notice, operate a working from home policy.

The health and wellbeing of our people and their families is our number one priority – this move will help protect them while enabling us to maintain our usual service levels across our client base without any foreseen delays.

Our agility and creative communication will take on even greater importance in a time like this. We’re fortunate to be able to offer an uninterrupted service when not all are. It will be our mission to provide even more value to our clients in the weeks and months ahead, so please lean on us and we will navigate these uncertain times together. This is a time for going over and above.

Unfortunately, this does mean we will not be accepting any visitors. We are however contactable and we ask you to call or email our team directly. Our main line will still be available (0141 353 5490).

Wishing good health to you and yours,

Will Mitchell + Team

Why have a workshop?

For most of the team at 4c, the most valuable asset is the workshop. While computer aided design has an important place in the detailed design process, prototyping allows the members of the 4c team to design and test concepts, develop multiple iterations, fast.

Read more

What does effective design mean to ewe?

For 4c, effective design means enabling our clients to achieve business goals they wouldn’t have reached otherwise. Our Barbervax project is a great example: as our client, Dr David Smith says:

“When we started this project we didn’t know if it could be done. 4c have designed practical machines that have enabled the creation of a new international business.”

Barber’s Pole worm is a parasitic nematode that infects the gut of sheep and goats in hot, humid climates. For farmers in such regions an infestation can be economically devastating as these blood-sucking, treatment resistant parasites spread quickly causing anaemia and ultimately death of entire flocks.

After 20 years of research, Dr David Smith’s team of veterinary scientists at Edinburgh’s Moredun Research Institute had developed the first vaccine for the Barber’s Pole worm. Making the vaccine involves grinding up worms taken from the stomachs of dead sheep. Although the process was successful at lab-scale, to be commercially viable a production process and equipment needed to be designed which could operate at the same rate as Australian abattoirs. No equipment capable of the task was available and a bespoke solution was required. We were engaged by Dr Smith to design and build a commercial production system that could scale the harvesting of the worms and bottle the vaccine in a reliable, cost-effective and semi-automated way.

Our design process led to three separate production machines. Invented, developed and built in our workshop, then shipped to our client’s site in Australia where we installed and commissioned the machines. When Barbervax® (the Barber’s Pole worm vaccine) was launched in Australia in 2014 the 300,000 dose production run was a sell-out success. Since then, production has grown rapidly to 2.5m doses in 2017-18, all produced by the machines we designed and built.

Seeing their research make an impact in the real world remains an un-fulfilled dream for many academic researchers. We are proud of enabling Dr Smith to realise his dream of producing Barbervax® at commercial scale and making it available to farmers to protect their sheep and livelihood. Dr Smith and his colleagues at the Moredun Research Institute, have set up a new business, Wormvax, to produce Barbervax®. Wormvax now employ 8 people and have launched the vaccine in Australia and South Africa with other markets planned.

Wormvax are now saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Australian sheep, and the livelihoods of Australian farmers. Over 500,000 sheep were protected from the deadly Barber’s Pole parasite last year with production planned to increase year on year. Effective design at work!

But don’t just take our word for it. We’re delighted that this project has been recognised by an independent expert panel of Design Business Association judges and awarded a Design Effectiveness Award. This realises a long-held ambition of 4c’s founder, Robin – so doubly effective design!

Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) in Design and Engineering

Product development is a journey which starts with an idea and ends when the finished product rolls off the production line. It’s never straight forward.Read more

Mark Craig | Mechatronics Engineer

What is Mechatronics?

The term mechatronics breaks down to a combination of mechanics and electronics but since its inception has grown to encompass computer and control systems. This powerful fusion of interdisciplinary knowledge and engineering approach is vital to the automation of industrial manufacturing processes. 

Why is it vital to industrial automation?

Industrial automation would not exist without mechatronics. As a minimum it requires the sensing, actuation and control of mechanical systems but more recently it incorporates computer vision, simulation and optimisation, and machine intelligence.

Where do 4c stand?

Our first industrial automation project was for Moredun Research Institute with the creation of multiple machines to help commercialise a vaccine. Recently, we have worked with Tharsus, the company behind Ocado's revolutionary robot hive warehouse.

Our clients are increasingly asking us to improve the productivity of their manufacturing processes and to help us do this, we’ve hired Mark Craig, our new mechatronics engineer.    


Hello, I’m Mark – the new mechatronics engineer at 4c.

I was asked to provide a small bit of detail about myself, so you can get to know me.

Previously I worked in downstream oil and gas at Trident Engineering Consultants for 8 years. I’ve worked on some amazing projects – most I can’t talk about however a favourite was working on a submarine.

I then became technical manager at MAKLab, a charity and social enterprise which provided access to digital fabrication tools. While there my role included maintenance of equipment, providing technical training and bringing practical working knowledge to the public.

In my spare time I play with robots. I always have since I was at school. The development of circuit boards and Arduino kits interests me as it ties in with my passion for making things. I’m excited to take this further and work on industrial automation projects.

I was introduced to 4c through a mutual friend, but it was a colleague from MAKLab that suggested to both 4c and myself to get in contact as they were secretly looking for someone to add to their capabilities.

I’m excited to get started with projects, especially those that float or sink. This is because I was a keen rower and scuba diver, though not simultaneously.

Core Capabilities

  • Electronics
  • Hydraulic, stress and surge analysis
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Robotic automation
  • Project Management
  • CAD

A fresh face

We received over 150 applications for our ever popular graduate internship scheme, and are excited to announce that after a lot of consideration, we’ve selected Heather Guyan. We have no doubt, Heather will be a great addition to the team at 4c Design over the next few months.


Hello I'm Heather!

Graduating from Strathclyde University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Product Design and Innovation in 2015, I started my career in the personal protection industry. Working as a ‘Product Design and Support Engineer’ for a company located in Milton Keynes. This role gave me invaluable experience and skills, focusing on product development and working as a test houses liaison to ensure all products produced met the British quality standards and regulations. However, as beneficial as this position was in starting my career, it soon became apparent there was very little design freedom due to the industry culture and restrictions.

After this realisation I decided to pursue my own entrepreneurial ambitions. Entering competitions such as the SIE ‘I’m an Innovator’ competition (placing highly commended) and the ‘Converge Challenge – Social Enterprise category’ where I am currently a finalist waiting on the results to be released at the Converge Challenge 2016 Awards Ceremony. Competitions such as this provide a large platform to gain feedback and assist in evaluating my business’s potential along with cash prizes, advice and support.

However being so young in my career, I realise there is still a lot to learn before taking the plunge of starting my own company and 4c has offered me the chance to move into a more creative environment. To me this is the golden opportunity, allowing me to return back to Glasgow, develop new and existing skills, all the while gaining support and advice on my own endeavors and progressing my portfolio. The consultancy nature, with such a broad range of clients and projects 4c undertake; ranging from design and market research, to prototyping and following through to assisting in the development and delivery of a exciting new project, are just a few of the many factors that drew me to 4c.

The team here have been so welcoming and I am very much looking forward to everything 4c has in store for me.