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Dartmouth students serve up ergonomic tray

Jun 24, 2014   |   by Meghan Pierce   |   NH Union Leader

This summer, Dartmouth students Shinri Kamei and Krystyna Miles are working full time to launch their business Tray Bien LLC.

As sophomores this year, the 20-year-olds founded the company after they developed an ergonomic serving tray in an Introduction to Engineering class at Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth.

Tray Bien
Engineering majors Krystyna Miles and Shinri Kamei

"We're accidental entrepreneurs. We stumbled onto an idea," Kamei said.

The ergonomic tray was tested in area restaurants before the design was finalized.

"We sort of looked for a problem that we thought not that many people had looked at before so this is what we came up with," Kamei said.

The 10-week intensive course focused on human-centered-design, Miles said.

"Part of the reason we chose the tray was because we could test them in a lot of restaurants in town. Trial and error," Miles said. "We had a lot of crazy ideas and a lot of prototypes that looked very different from our final design."

After talking to a waitress, the college students started designing a serving tray that would allow the person holding it to maintain a straight arm position.

"We started talking to a waitress in a restaurant in town, and we asked her, 'Do any of your waitresses experience wrist pain?' and she said, 'Almost all of the wait staff has tendinitis, and we are just waiting for carpal tunnel.' That's when we knew there was a real need here," Miles said.

They also designed a tray that has holes to fit most wine and other drink glasses served in restaurants.

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