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Work Experience

London, December 06, 2013

It has been a busy year for last year’s finalists who have now completed their work placements. In addition, some of our designers of the future have even secured further work opportunities through the Design in Plastics 2013 competition.

Winning designer Chris Natt completed his placement with Bayer MaterialScience.

Apart from prize money amounting to £1,000, Chris Natt also won a placement at Leverkusen with Bayer MaterialScience (BMS), sponsor of the competition and jury member since 2003. He spent a week getting to know the Leverkusen plant, including a bus tour of the Chempark to start, a tour of the Polycarbonate Technical Center and its showroom, as well as a tour of the Functional Films showroom. Another highlight of his placement was a visit to this year’s K fair at Duesseldorf. There he met colleagues from the business units, and he was among the SpeedTalkers who gave a presentation to visitors at the BMS stand. Chris presented his winning project, Project Sting, a cartridgebased hypodermic vaccination syringe system for infection control in the developing world.

Speaking of his time at Bayer MaterialScience Chris added:

“The trip to Leverkusen, the Horners Banquet and the awards has been great. Everything was well organised and I appreciated those that gave their time to meet with me.

“For me, the trip to Leverkusen was a great experience. It was a unique opportunity to see inside a multinational organisation, to see the production lines and the plant as a whole, and to gain the thoughts of Bayer’s specialists about my work. The meeting with Richard Northcote was one of the highlights of the trip. He took the time to talk to me about my work and kindly connected me with some of his colleagues at Accenture who have met with me via skype about my landmine project.

“Attending K Fair was an overwhelming experience and I enjoyed talking about my work at the speedtalk event. I would certainly recommend that the winner’s trip coincides with the trade show where possible.

“Overall, I think the Plastics Award is unique it is well organised and offers the winning students (as well as the runners up) opportunities that can positively influence their careers for the future. I have been involved in a number of awards over the past five years and this has been one of the most rewarding”.


You can watch view all the news from K Fair here:

All talk videos from K Fair can also be viewed here:

Fellow finalist James Scott also gained invaluable insight and experience during his time at Innovate Product Design, a consultancy that specialises in helping individuals to protect, develop and commercialise their new product ideas and inventions.

Speaking of his work experience at Innovate Design, James added:

“My placement was fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained a lot of valuable experience, while possibly securing another placement opportunity at a later date. The MD Alastair Swanwick commented on my departure saying I was "a credit to my University and the plastics competition".

And finally, Thomas Hamilton completed his placement at PDD, a leading multidisciplinary company that provides integrated design and innovation skills to develop novel products, services and business processes.

Talking of his placement at PDD, Thomas added:

“I found my placement very helpful and the experience of working at a design consultancy was extremely insightful. For the two week placement I worked on creating concepts for a new, top of the range product. Once the placement had finished PDD employed me to help on a number of projects.”


There is still time to register for the Design Innovation in plastics 2014 competition before the final closing date on Friday 13th December. Full details can be found here: http://www.designinnovationplastics.org/competition.htm

Welcome to Dr Keith Watkinson
Finally, we would like to extend a very warm welcome to Dr Keith Watkinson who has joined the Design Innovation in Plastics Organising Committee. Dr Keith Watkinson is the Senior Materials Advisor for the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and has formerly worked for BASF. Dr Keith not only brings great expertise to our committee but excellent knowledge having formerly been involved in the Students Design Award.

For further information please contact:
Sylvia Katz, Award Coordinator tel: 020 7503 5949
email: sylviakatz@designinnovationplastics.org.uk    www.designinnovationplastics.org                                                                                            
Note to editors
Established in 1985, Design Innovation in Plastics is the longest running student plastics design award in Europe. For more information visit www.designinnovationplastics.org      

The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) was created from the merger of The Institute of Materials (IOM) and The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy (IMM), and now incorporates the Institute of Packaging. The IOM3 is the professional body for the advancement of materials, minerals and mining to governments, industry, academia, the public and the professions. For more information visit www.iom3.org

The Worshipful Company of Horners is one of the oldest livery companies in the City of London and was formed to regulate the horn-working trade. In 1943 it adopted its modern equivalent, the plastics industry. For more information visit www.horners.org.uk

Bayer MaterialScience, the headline sponsor for DIP, is one of the world’s largest producers of polymers and high-performance plastics. Its coatings, adhesives, insulating materials and sealants, polycarbonates and polyurethanes can be found in applications ranging from automotive, construction, electrical, electronics and household, to sports and leisure. For more information, visit www.bayer.co.uk

Design Innovation in Plastics sponsors:

  • PlasticsEurope, the leading European plastics trade association
  • PDD, worldwide provider of integrated design and innovation skills
  • DePuy International, a global leader in orthopaedics, spinal care and neuroscience therapies
  • Hi-Technology Group Limited, a provider of total solutions in plastics design, tooling and moulding
  • Brightworks, an award-winning UK product design and development consultancy
  • HellermannTyton, a leading supplier of products for fastening, identifying and protecting cables and their connecting components

The Award is also grateful for support from the following publications: NewDesign, Materials World and Mould Technology.