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Engineering researchers win national entrepreneur award

A team from Loughborough University’s Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering has won a prize in the 2013 nationwide Engineering Young Entrepreneur Scheme (YES).

David Gordon, Aaron Neal, Richard Sharpe and Tom Lockyer – aka Team DART – were awarded the Best Use of Intellectual Property award, as judged by senior patent attorney Darren Mitchell from Potter Clarkson.

The annual competition, which brings together young researchers from across the country in an intensive three day residential workshop, provides an invaluable opportunity to hone the skills and knowledge needed to launch an innovative engineering start-up company. As well as developing enterprise and commercial awareness, participants gain experience of working under pressure whilst trying to impress leading industry experts.

The event culminates in a Dragon’s Den style pitch which sees competitors put their new entrepreneurial expertise to the test in front of senior managers from Rolls-Royce and E.ON.

The Loughborough team developed a business plan to finalise the development of a manufacturing process that allows GPS, cellular connectivity and sensing technology to be embedded into the core of a golf ball.  This allowed for data acquisition during a round of golf, resulting in performance metrics that could be used to help golfers improve their game.

Professor Steve Rothberg, the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise, is thrilled with the team’s success: “We are immensely proud of Team DARTS’s achievement and delighted that the enterprise support we provide is genuinely helping our students to develop the skills needed to take their ideas forward into the business world.”

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