Engineering: It came to him in a dream

When people talk about the great innovators of healthcare and medicine they mention Hippocrates, Marie Curie or Alexander Fleming, but you don’t necessarily have to be an academic to achieve great things. It was Albert Einstein who once said ‘imagination is more important than knowledge’…

It came to him in a dream.

One night as Jorge Odón was sleeping, his brain reminded him of a YouTube video he had seen about removing a cork from inside of a wine bottle. He made a bet with a friend that he could remove the cork with the help of a plastic bag and later that night as he was sleeping, he unconsciously made a link between the video and the difficulties of child birth where children can get stuck in the birth canal. After many conversations with doctors, his dream became reality as after years of developing his idea, the World Health Organisation and donors endorsed his product, creating a rare breakthrough in childbirth technology as there had been no innovation in this area for centuries. His brilliant yet easy to use device can potentially be used during pregnancy by a midwife without the presence of a doctor and can also reduce the risk of infections passing from mother to child such as HIV. Little did he know how much of an effect his dream was going to have.

Jorge Odón was not a university graduate however, in fact he didn’t even finish secondary education, instead working as a mechanic in Argentina where with no medical background he only operated on cars.

With the Odón Device being manufactured by US company Becton Dickinson and Company, Odón has no desire to make as much money as possible, instead preferring for his idea to be sold cheaply to developing countries. He said: “The most important thing is that it’s affordable so that it can reach everywhere…..more than the economic side of this I have always wanted to save lives, to help people.”

Whilst Jorge Odón started off with an oily rag and a spanner, he has proved that there are great minds everywhere and that even the most unsuspecting person can come up with an idea so ingenious that it can change the world. Imagine the possibilities if you decided to actively take an interest in engineering. Imagine all the people you could save and all the lives you could make better by getting involved. He has been all over the world, from America to Thailand, winning awards and inspiring people with his success for humanity.

With the UK going through a tough period you might be surprised to hear that the country is in dire need of engineers. The average starting salary for graduates in engineering and technology is a whopping £25,762, which is about 16 per cent more than the average for all other graduates. With one of the best employment rates out of every subject and one of the highest starting salaries, never before has becoming an engineer been so attractive.

One of the problems is that young people aren’t taking STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) at GCSE and A-Level so the country is missing a whole generation of engineers. All it takes at first is for students to continue those subjects. Continuing with these subjects can offer you all kinds of opportunities such as the government’s Tomorrow’s Engineers initiative. And who knows, maybe you can be the next Jorge Odón.

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