John Bennett – The Mastermind Behind Your Virtual Design Team
Having been given the opportunity to sit with John Bennett, the founder and director of Bennett Engineering with 50 years of experience to offer, I have a new understanding of why clients from a variety of industries call for John’s expertise whenever they have an engineering challenge or the potential to increase their profit.
One example that John explained, in which he was asked to design a brake for vehicle restraints, John described to me that the old design was confusing (now, I am no engineer, and given that even John thought that the old design was confusing, I’d expect it to be nothing less than mind-boggling for someone with less of an engineering background such as myself). Having struggled with the functionality of the old design, John made it a priority to ensure that an elegant solution was put into place. The final outcome could be described as nothing other than “simple, cost effective, reliable… World class”. In fact, these adjectives are commonly used when describing John’s designs.
While sitting with John, he explained to me that his thought process aids him when finding his solutions: while most people would describe their thought process as linear, I would interpret John’s as more like a jigsaw puzzle; starting off with the corners – such as client needs, measurements and valuable past experience – and finding pieces that fit perfectly to complete the picture. An example of this was when John was recently asked to design a platform, for which he would have to take a few perspectives and surrounding equipment into account. This platform, after around 10 minutes of thought and some time for the digital design and manufacturing, saved the client thousands. For John, the high-level of problem-solving skills that this requires is what makes his job so enjoyable and plays a large part in what differentiates Bennett Engineering from its competition.
But John’s engineering expertise doesn’t stop at the office; as a pastime, John enjoys creating knives with a variety of unique wooden handles. John discovered his passion for creating knives when he was around 18 years old and found one of his parent’s old knives laying around outside. By this point I imagine that the knife vaguely resembled me after a night out; tired and desperate for a wash.
When John finished this knife, he had a feeling of accomplishment, one I believe we can all relate to when having created an elegant product with your two hands. This inspired John to continue to create knives. Having now created 8-10 in total, the most recent one having a burr oak handle that he carved and oiled to create a smooth ergonomic handle. It took John 3 hours to decide on this project inspired by his knife blank and a variety of materials, and a further 6 to complete the project.
As with any project, there were definitely the less-favourable aspects; for John this is sharpening the blade itself… Sometimes maybe too much; one blade blank was nicknamed the “Ninja Blade” by one of his daughters, bringing about the humorous term “ninjury” for when someone accidentally cuts themselves on the blade. To me this outlines John’s ability to make light of a dark situation; an invaluable outlook when running a business and creating the happy and client-focused working environment that is illustrated in the Bennett Engineering ‘Vision and Values’, which are illustrated on the Bennett Engineering website.
John’s mind for engineering and experience in solving engineering challenges is the tip of the iceberg for Bennett Engineering. A friendly team with a vast knowledge of design engineering, an open-minded approach to new scenarios and the processes that ensure all designs are right first time has enabled us to satisfy clients from a large variety of industries. What opportunities do you have to increase profit and productivity? Put John’s expertise to the test via telephone at 01509 363060, and work alongside us to find practical solutions to your engineering challenges.