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Design students from Northumbria University, Loughborough University and the Royal College of Art, have made it to the finals of the prestigious 2013 Design Innovation in Plastics Award, out of a record number of students who registered for the competition.

March 28, 2013

The 2013 brief challenged the undergraduate and postgraduate design students from universities across the UK and Ireland to design a product that would help to alleviate the suffering of disaster victims. The threat of disaster, be it natural or man-made, is an ever-present concern to us all, whether flood, earthquake, act of war or terrorism.

Martin Sixsmith, chairman of Design Innovation in Plastics, comments: “We need to be innovative and look at new ways to tackle any disaster, and this competition has been the perfect platform for design students across the UK and Ireland to be creative and design a product that could help make a big difference.”

Following the judging session, Richard Brown, chairman of the judging panel, reported that it had been the hardest challenge to his team for several years, with entries addressing a very broad range of issues relating to the theme. “They ranged from the prosaic to the high-tech” was how Robin Kent, a co-judge, described the submissions.

Of the 82 final entries, the judges felt the following five designs fully answered the brief:

DISASTER CASKET designed by Josh Allsopp, Northumbria University
A biodegradable casket that can act as a stretcher, storage container, morgue table and biodegradable coffin.

LEG BRACE designed by Thomas Hamilton, Loughborough University
A leg brace for immobilising injured people in mountain rescue type situations, moulded in a single plastic material so that it can pass through a CT or MRI scanner without any problems.

PROJECT STING designed by Chris Natt, Royal College of Art
A hypodermic vaccination syringe for infection control in the developing world.

RAIN POD designed by James Scott, Northumbria University
A tent constructed to both provide shelter and harvest clean drinking water.

SAFEPLACE designed by Michael Heppenstall, Northumbria University
A waterproof container for the protection, both digital and physical, of documents and information for people living in flood risk areas in first world countries.

A special feature of the Design Innovation in Plastics Award is the feedback from judges that is passed on to the finalists in order to help them refine their designs for the second judging session which takes place at the British Plastics Federation on 24 May 2013.

Another unique benefit of the Award is that, unlike other competitions, not only the winner, but all the finalists are awarded a work placement with industry sponsors of the competition. A prize which students consider to be of more value than cash in their pockets.

Design Innovation in Plastics is Europe’s longest running student plastics award, established to encourage innovative product design in plastics, and is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students across the UK.

For further information and images please contact:
Sylvia Katz, Award Coordinator. Design Innovation in Plastics 
Tel: 020 7503 5949 email: sylviakatz@designinnovationplastics.org.uk
Web: http://www.designinnovationplastics.org.uk

Andrea Foster, PR & Media Relations Manager, Bayer plc
Tel: 01635 563031  email: andrea.foster@bayer.com    
Web: http://www.bayer.com

Notes to Editors:

  • Established in 1985, Design Innovation in Plastics is now the longest- running student plastics design award in Europe. For more information on the competition, visit www.designinnovationplastics.org.uk      
  • 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  IOM3, 1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB. Tel: 020 7451 7300
  • 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 and supports many educational and charitable activities. For more information visit www.horners.org.uk
  • Bayer MaterialScience 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.bayermaterialscience.com       
  • The Judging Panel
    Richard Brown, Panel Chairman, Operations Director Hi-Technology Group
    Mandy Haberman, Director, Haberman Products
    Rob Holdway, Director, Giraffe Innovation
    Morag Hutcheon, Design Director, Quadro Design Associates
    Ian Kelshaw, Technical Sales Engineer, Bayer MaterialScience
    Robin Kent, Managing Director, Tangram Technology
    Sergio Malorni , Principal of Medical Engineering, PDD Group