Product Design Engineering School of Design

Michael Gartside (He / Him)

My work focuses on design for genuine circularity, and using innovation to drive a circular economy. Product design engineering involves combining creative design and concept development with technical skills to ensure realistic and verified concepts. I am passionate about using these skills to genuinely improve lives by solving societal problems.



My final project at GSA, “BALED”, is a concept for driving up the financial value of waste films & flexible plastics by making it easier for businesses to collect and recycle them. A literature review established key insights into plastic waste. Soft plastics are not economically viable to recycle due to their large volume and relatively low value and weight. Beyond research, meetings were undertaken with experts in the sector to garner further insights. A variety of potential mechanisms for compacting and constraining the material were devised and tested. Driving a commercial incentive for sustainability is vital to ensure that businesses are ready and willing to change, and I believe design engineering has an important part to play in this journey.


Beyond research and development, I undertook digital modelling and physical prototyping to verify my final designs. The manual compaction mechanism is simple and cheap so that the design could be applied anywhere on the planet to drive better waste management.

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