Sir James Dyson founded Dyson in 1991 – ostensibly to build a better vacuum cleaner. Since then, Dyson has been answering questions that others have not yet even thought to ask.
Dyson applies science to everything it does. Sir James is an engineer and probably describes his daily cornflakes as desiccated corn baked at 350° and rolled and crisped. I would hate to see his ‘Dysonised’ 140,000 RPM toothbrush!
Today Dyson is a global technology company with engineering and testing operations in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and the UK. Dyson employs over 12,000 people globally (over 4000 in the UK) including more than 5800 engineers and scientists – with an increasing proportion in South East Asia.
The more I review Dyson products, the more I appreciate the Dyson formula.
- Always finding better ways to do things
- Harnessing young engineers not constrained by old ideas
- Absolutely no design compromise – properly or not at all as evidenced by the number of design prototypes and scientists involved
- And Dyson’s next model always manages improves on its last which was damned good in the first place
Dyson has leading-edge technology in
- Aerodynamics, airflow and air multiplier – application of the Coandă effect and aerodynamics in designing things to use airflow effectively like its fan/heater/purifiers, Supersonic hairdryer and Dyson Blade dryers
- HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning) and air treatment/filtration like its fans, humidifiers and purifiers
- Vision systems including AI and machine learning
- DC powered digital motors that can scale up or down to fit a car to a hairdryer
- Developing DC battery technology is key to portability in vacuum cleaners to electric vehicles
- Beginnings of robotics and automation relating to household appliances
- Lighting and well being
- Hair science – Supersonic and Airwrap
- And the application of electronics for sensors and control
So, whether it is a vacuum cleaner, hairdryer, bladeless fans/purifiers/heaters, hand dryer or lighting, it is leveraging Dyson’s patents.
The company started in the UK but in 2019 moved its corporate headquarters to Singapore to be closer to its Malaysia and Singapore manufacturing base.
Dysons new Malmesbury UK Campus
Dyson has also established the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology. It is a £44m investment based at its Malmesbury Campus in Wiltshire UK. Students work in a position in the Dyson company for three days a week, receive a salary, and have their tuition fees paid for.
The Dyson Undergraduate Village has 63 pods inspired by Habitat 67, a model community and housing complex in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. At the centre of the village is the ‘Roundhouse’, with a café, bar, screening room and study space. Joe Croan, the former Head Chef at Marco Pierre White’s, Michelin starred restaurant L’Escargot restaurant in Soho manages the cafe.
The adjacent ‘Hanger’ has a fully equipped gym, multi-sport pitches, and free classes ranging from boxing to yoga.
A further 3,000m2 teaching hub on the Malmesbury Campus will open in September 2019.
Director of The Dyson Institute, Duncan Piper, said,
“The Dyson Institute of Engineering is a new model of education combining the rigour of degree education with the advantage of working alongside world-experts on real products. Embedding our Undergraduates into our Global Engineering Team does not just benefit their academic learning, the teams benefit too. It is incredibly exciting to see our UK campus evolve into a centre of academic, as well as technical expertise.”
Dyson is always trying to invent a better way to do something – everything.
The company invests in long term research like vision systems for robots (Imperial College of London); Fluid mechanics (University of Cambridge); Digital motors and drive trains (Newcastle University); solid-state battery technology; and it previously secret electric vehicle project due for release in 2021.
It has funded numerous projects that may lead to a better ‘mouse-trap’.
Being a good corporate citizen
A substantial portion of the price you pay for a Dyson product goes to charitable and education causes.
The James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson’s charitable trust supports ventures that budding inventors need so that they can get hands-on with problems, think differently, and find solutions.
It supports the Dyson School of Design Engineering at the Imperial College London.