Time to submit entries for DIP 2021!

It’s time for students to fine tune their entries and send them to the 2021 Design Innovation in Plastics competition!

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With the entry deadline of March 28 fast approaching, we asked one of our judges, Dr Robin Kent, the managing director of Tangram Technology, to provide us with some pearls of wisdom on what he looks for in a good entry.

Here’s what he says:

It goes without saying when I’m scrutinising this year’s entries, I’ll be looking for an innovative response to a well-defined need and hopefully in amongst the entries will emerge a product which is as near market-ready as possible.

Although we don’t expect perfection, the product has got to be feasible.  If the student has done their research and thought through the processing method, it will become clear whether they have chosen the right materials for the application, so some detail about processing and also product costings – however rough – will definitely strike a chord with me!

In this day and age, we have to pay a great deal of attention to sustainability, so I always look for real and considered statements about this.  It wouldn’t be enough just to say “this is a sustainable product”.  Always try to back up what you say.

The product should also relate to the brief and it must be original. These are key points that all my colleagues on the judging panel will be looking for.

This is a prestigious award so the extra effort the students put into their presentations will be worthwhile. For example, simply checking for things like spelling accuracy shows that a person cares and that the presentation is not devalued.

You’re probably getting the drift by now, that what I look for overall is that sense of professionalism.  Winning this contest can give a student a tremendous start to their career as a designer (you’ll see this by some of the comments we’ve published from previous winners), so it really is worth going that extra mile beforehand to convince the judges that they are deserving of the award.


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*Robin Kent is the founder of Tangram Technology –  a consultancy for plastics processing and plastics products.  He has been involved with plastics processing in a variety of sectors since 1972 having accrued many years’ experience in product design, working as technical director for several of the major plastics processing companies in the UK and Europe.

Dr Kent has published over 400 technical papers and articles on plastics and windows, and written two books on plastics processing.  He is a regular lecturer at conferences on materials processing and PVC-U windows and has chaired five committees setting the standards for the UK window industry.

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