Take a Step Inside Kitronik HQ and Meet the Crew
Kitronik Ltd. is dedicated to the field of Design and Technology: the teachers that teach it, the students that study it, and the hobbyists that exercise it. We have passionately fused together Design, Technology, Electronics, E-Textiles, and education through the products that we sell and the resources that we offer.
After graduating from Loughborough University with Electronic Engineering-related courses, the directors of the company, Geoff Hampson and Kevin Spurr, spent a lot of time designing electronic products and assisting soldering activities at Technology Camps and Scouting events. Noticing a significant void in the resources available for those starting out with Electronics, Geoff and Kevin decided to design a range of electronic project kits that were tailor-made to suit the National Curriculum programmes of study for Design and Technology at Key Stages 3 and 4. These kits were supplied with ready to use teaching notes from which teachers could base their schemes of work. We went on to develop these kits to not only support Design and Technology Departments in schools, but to also inspire makers at home.
Amidst the hype surrounding wearable technology, we, too, have been deeply inspired by the craze. As a result, we have designed our own range of E-Textiles parts in a bid to help lessen the gap between Electronics and Textiles: Electro-Fashion. Projects that feature our Electro-Fashion range push the boundaries that once distanced Textiles and Electronics and thus broaden our students’ creativity and imagination – the imaginations of our future engineers.
From our booming amplifier kits to our soothing night light kits, to the soldering irons that are used to assemble them and the Perspex sheets that can be designed to case them: we supply it. We are constantly working towards expanding, refining, and upgrading our products in order to heighten the accessibility of design and technology and strengthen the link between the two.
Founded in 2005, the same year that Make Magazine first provided the catalyst for the Maker Movement, it is not surprising that Kitronik has rapidly expanded year by year – just as the Maker Movement has gathered increasing momentum. As keen makers ourselves, over 60% of the products that we sell are our own designs. Another statistic for you while we’re at it: to date, we have sold over 840,000 of our electronic project kits and we’re keen to see this figure escalate!
Our team shall continue to sell, support and inspire creativity in this ever growing maker culture.
Now, that's most of the generic questions answered. Let's take a peek behind the curtain so that you can get a better sense of what a typical day at Kitronik is like, who designs our products and kits, who manufactures them, who kits and keeps our stock circling, who places your order, who packs your order, who deals with your queries, and who keeps everything else ticking over such as distributor sales, keeping an eye on our stock levels and expanding on our product range accordingly, and who's behind our web and marketing material *PHEW*. And, let's face it, we all like to put a face to the voice at the other end of the telephone.
Let's start with the directors of the company...
Geoff (above left) with John, who is currently developing our new database
Geoff Hampson (above, left)
Geoff Hampson is an expert on all things electronic. He writes great tutorials and is our resident electronics expert. He designs some of our interesting project kits and explains why they might be useful in day to day life as well as being great fun. When he's not here Geoff is actively involved in Scouting. He enjoys outdoor pursuits including walking & climbing, and regularly plays badminton.
Kevin Spurr is never happier than when designing great electronic projects and offering an insight into the world of educational electronics. When he's not here he is a School Governor at Parkdale Primary School and plays football and golf as well as endlessly chasing around after his daughter.
I (Emily) sit opposite Geoff - *note that these photos were taken on an early Friday morning after Kevin had sprung the idea on us that he'd like to bring some character to our website. Clearly, we went for the 'natural, look busy look' for the above photo... not awkward at all...* My main responsibilities are processing orders and creating web and marketing material, such as this.
To my right is Stephanie, our Customer Service Manager. Stephanie manages our distributor accounts, has a lot of involvement in our Electro-Fashion range and does a whole heap of administration and financial tasks.
We are both working on getting a better picture of ourselves for this page, however we are yet to brush up on our selfies.
Delloria (above) has been around from day one. Geoff and Delloria met at a local scout pack meeting where Delloria volunteered to help lift Kitronik off the ground. Jane was next to join the team. Having had many responsibilities at Kitronik previously, Jane and Delloria are now members of the production team, which includes kitting and adding all of our products and kits into stock.
Here’s Dan packing orders…
...Dan testing our Electro-Fashion boards...
...and here's Michael…
…who are both out in production too. As well as processing stock, these guys also pick, check, and pack your orders. Michael and Dan also work on ‘the ovens’ as we call it, which includes either manually placing components onto PCBs (usually our Electro-Fashion boards) and taking them through the ovens to set or using the Pick and Place Machine (which does all of the picking and placing for us).
This is the area where all of the manufacturing takes place – oh, and there’s Aaron, our Graduate Electronics Engineer. Aaron mainly designs new electronic project kits and offers technical product support – you’ll probably have spoken to Aaron if you’ve ever been struggling!
Here’s Paul, our Production Team Leader (forgive me for that slight diversion!). Paul, in short, manages the day-to-day workloads of the production team and has the responsibility of keeping the warehouse in shape. If we’re running low on stock, Paul places orders with our suppliers – our products are typically better than 99.5% in stock at all times!
Last, but not least, is Rob – our Web Developer and Digital Marketing guy. Rob is here three days a week, in that time Rob adds our new products to the website and continues to improve our new shiny website!
Thank you, from all of us, for being here and enjoy!