Product design competition motivates next generation of student engineers

biopure print out held by a man A competition to simulate how student design engineers might interact with real clients in the future has been hailed a ‘great success’.

Supported by Hampshire based BioPure, a business division of Watson-Marlow Technology Group, the initiative commenced in November 2017. The Company set the second-year Product Design students of Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) the task of generating concepts for a new product. The student who produced the best concept would win a 3D printer.

For BioPure, this is the first time the Company has worked with product design students outside of the WMFTG family. All involved consider the project to be a great success and those involved have seen real benefit in working with the academic community.

Real client experience 

Cardiff and Vale College’s Product Design lecturer, John Johansson, had requested a technical project for his creative students, to simulate how they would need to interact with real clients in the future. BioPure was happy to oblige, adding the prize as a motivator to get the best out of the students.

During the course of the project, BioPure Design Engineer Chris Sillitoe was on hand to provide technical feedback to the students. Not only did he play the part of the client, he encouraged the youngsters to push the limits of what was possible. 

In February, the BioPure team returned to Cardiff with Steve Feasey, BioPure’s Managing Director and Nick White, Tubing Development Manager, to see students pitch their concepts. After a day of presentations, Josh Brewster Liddle’s concept swayed the panel, and he was awarded the prize.

Successful trial

John Johansson believes this has been a fantastic learning opportunity: “This sort of project makes a massive difference to our student’s education experience, not only through the feedback and field specific projects but also interacting with a live client. The inclusion of a prize for the best design was certainly not expected however we are of course very grateful”.

BioPure’s Managing Director Steve Feasey also sees the experience as very positive;  “This has been a very successful trial. We are exploring opportunities to work together again in the future with Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC), after all these youngsters offer fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. These students are the next generation and future design engineers, and we are committed to encouraging and fostering their talent.”

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