Design Innovation in Plastics: 2020 finalists announced

Six talented university students have won their way to the final of the 2020 Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition, having been asked to design a product for urban living.

Students from Brunel, Coventry, De Montfort, Dublin (two) and London South Bank have made the final and will represent their universities at final judging on May 29.

With a focus on ‘Improving lifestyle and saving resources’, this year’s theme challenged the students to come up with a brand new product which would enhance life in a city environment, for use in flat or whilst commuting.

Organisers, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, along with headline industry sponsor, Covestro, wanted to see how students would respond to the increasing demands of today’s social and environmental trends.

Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, the panel of renowned industry judges critiqued over 100 entries via video conference to choose their final six. Chairman of judges, Richard Brown, commented: “The six finalists’ entries offered a diverse range of solutions to challenges such as pollution, how to stay fit – particularly in confined spaces – and how to make best use of that space. They showed a good grasp of the brief, and the overall creativity of these six solutions is excellent. A good number of entries displayed how they generated and developed their ideas, which is a key area to help the judges understand the journey from concept to product.”

As is customary, the judges have given feedback to all the students, requesting further thought into some aspects of their designs, which will then be presented by each student at the final judging. This session will take place for the first time via video conference to comply with Covid-19 social distancing guidance.

First prize is a visit to the headline industry sponsor and leading polymer manufacturer, Covestro, in Leverkusen, Germany, along with a cash prize. Another key feature of the competition is that every one of the six finalists receives a short industry placement with one of the competition sponsors: Brightworks, Innovate Product Design, PDD and RJG Technologies.

The six finalists are:

Ellen Dack – third year Product Design, Technological University Dublin Complanter – an easy to use composting unit ideal for people living in confined spaces and which also functions as a planter for herbs.

Hannah Dempsey – third year Product Design, Technological University Dublin Workspace – a personal ‘desk’ for students, which promotes better posture while being capable of being used in a variety of confined spaces.

Matthew Foord – third year, Product Design, Coventry University A versatile urban trolley to be used on trains and buses or open city streets as an alternative to single-use carrier bags. Made with components that are 100 per cent recyclable.

Matthew Shaw – third year Product Design, De Montfort University Andas One – a smart device, which measures air quality, and helps the user to plan the cleanest and most direct route to walk, when in an urban area.

Kristen Tapping – fourth year Product Design, London South Bank University Rolloe Roll Off Emissions – bicycle wheel caps that actively purify the air, making for a cleaner ride for the user.

Zihao Zhang – MSc Product Design, Brunel University FREEFITNESS – A sustainable fitness dumbbell, which uses plastic bottles, providing the user with multiple options for doing an upper body workout.


About Covestro:

With 2019 sales of EUR 12.4 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, and electrical and electronics industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics, health and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 17,200 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of 2019.

About Design Innovation in Plastics:

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) is a major UK engineering institution and 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

Find more information at www.covestro.com.
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