Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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1 June 2006 PR 06/58

Air passenger sedation system and digital radio win influential design awards

The inventive designs of two Loughborough University Industrial Design and Technology students have claimed top awards at this year’s RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) Design Direction Awards.

Peter Humphery received the £1,000 HEAD Trust Award in the ‘Design for Debate’ category for ‘SEDATAIR’ – his futuristic system that allows air passengers to travel under sedation in special capsules. Peter’s design could help to reduce passengers’ fear of flying, allow them to arrive more refreshed, and increase on-board security.

The second top prize was won by Chris Johnson, whose digital radio, designed for users of all ages and abilities, was awarded the Helen Hamlyn Research Centre Award of £2,000 in the ‘Inclusive Worlds’ category.

Another student, Rebecca Lawson, was awarded ‘highly commended’ in the ‘Ceramic Futures’ section for her work – a shower tray with a special textured surface that also enables feet to be exfoliated.

A further seven Loughborough University students were shortlisted in their chosen categories.

The RSA highlights the best of British and European design. The Design Directions Awards, launched in 2003, are the RSA’s student awards scheme that challenges young designers to respond to projects with a strong social context and intend for them to question the role of the designer in the modern world.

Paul Wormald, a lecturer in Loughborough’s Department of Design and Technology, said of the students’ success: "Our Design and Technology students performed excellently in the RSA competition. It is a significant achievement to have so many students do so well in this prestigious international design competition, and we’ve even improved on last year when we had seven students shortlisted and won two awards."

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Notes to editors

  1. Images of some of the students’ work are available on request. Please contact Hannah Baldwin, T: 01509 222239, E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

  2. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

    In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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