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2 June 2009 | PR 09/61

Post offices for the future and health techniques of tomorrow – students’ design concepts win four major awards

Kemball-Cook's Post PodFour Industrial Design and Technology students from Loughborough University have won top awards at this year’s RSA (Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) Design Direction Awards.

The RSA highlights the best of British and European design. The Design Directions Awards challenge student designers to respond to projects with a strong social context and ask them to question the role of the designer in the modern world.

Laurence Kemball-Cook and Matthew Ward both won awards in the ‘After the post office’ category, which asked the students to develop a new service designed to replace the traditional post office. Matthew Ward's Post Office 'Hub'

Laurence’s design, ‘Post Pod’ – a set of simplified, portable post office equipment – won him the Design Council Award. Matthew was awarded an internship with technology company NCR for his idea – a ‘hub’ which allows post offices to cost-effectively share community spaces such as village halls with other service providers, helping to maintain easy access for customers to vital services.

Smoking diaryIn the ‘Design to quit’ category – in which entrants were asked to consider the design of new therapeutic nicotine products or services to help people stop smoking – Lucy Wilson won an internship with GlaxoSmithKline Healthcare for her innovative diary to help pregnant women give up smoking.

The ‘While you were sleeping…’ category asked students to consider how healthcare, and particularly the role of the anaesthetist, may change in the future. In this May Wilson received the Aircraft Medical Award for Design for her system that allows medics to access a patient’s airway using sonar technology and echolocation, without the need for surgery or endoscopic guidance.

May Wilson's designAnother two students – Helen Morris and Marcus Hanratty, who is studying for a Masters in Sustainable Product Design – were commended and high commended respectively in their categories.

“Loughborough has always done exceedingly well in the Design Direction awards, but this year has been our most successful year ever, with students winning £20,000-worth of awards,” says Paul Wormald, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Design and Technology. “It is testament to both the outstanding quality of the students’ work and the very high calibre of the courses at the University.”

This latest success builds on Loughborough’s growing reputation as one of the country’s leading universities for design. The Department of Design and Technology’s undergraduate programmes are among the best in the country and Loughborough was rated as the top university in the UK for design research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.

All the students’ award-winning designs will be among the hundreds featured at Loughborough University’s forthcoming Design and Technology degree show, entitled ‘in detail’, which will take place on the University campus from 12 to 16 June.

– Ends –

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other institution.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

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