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UK student competition winners to join Covestro at K Fair

Design Innovation in Plastics winners get their first taste of the world’s biggest plastics exhibition

The student winners of the annual Design Innovation in Plastics competition, headline sponsored by Covestro and jointly organised by the Worshipful Company of Horners and the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, are packing their suitcases for a memorable trip to Germany to join Covestro in one of its most important weeks of the year.

Annabel Burton, a third year product design student and Alexander Bordino, who also specialises in product design – both at Nottingham Trent University – are taking up their prizes for winning the competition in 2016 and 2015 respectively. Apart from cash prizes, they were both invited to visit the Covestro headquarters in Germany. This year, they will see first hand what goes into the company’s participation at the biggest plastics exhibition in the world – K2016.

The students will be joining a specially themed Design Day on the Covestro stand, involving students from Germany and Austria, where they will be introduced to new products and materials, take part in interactive workshops, offer ideas on new applications, and learn from the experts how materials shape design, before being turned into new products. This is part of Covestro’s Career Bar, which has been created at the fair to showcase the company’s credentials as an attractive employer to students.

They will get a chance to exchange ideas, before exploring the huge expanse of the biggest plastics exhibition in the world on their second day.

The remainder of their visit will include an introduction to Covestro, at its headquarters in Leverkusen meeting the people and the products which make the company tick.

Alex and Annabel both came up with innovative new products made using high tech plastics, to win the Design Innovation in Plastics competition – the longest running student competition of its kind in Europe.

Alex reinvented the pump mechanism inside a commercial ice cream machine, while Annabel invented a new safety quick release ‘surcingle’ buckle which is part of the strap used for securing rugs on horses.

Since winning the competition, Alex has completed a year-long placement with Stormsaver, the UK market leader in rainwater harvesting systems, where he developed and re-designed a best selling product, and was involved with many other product design related briefs. He is currently talking to manufacturers about the marketing of his own ice cream pump, while completing his fourth year of study at University.

Annabel has entered her third year of study at Nottingham Trent University, and is currently in Valencia on a European project working on a live brief with a start-up company which designs toys which aid sensory development for children. She has patent pending status on her quick release buckle, and is working on initial designs of her website.

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