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Latest news from Loughborough University

7 Oct 2014

The world’s first self-maintaining tropical fish tank is selected for WIRED2014

Loughborough University graduate Suzy Shelley has been chosen to present her fish tank that never needs cleaning or filter changing at WIRED2014, a showcase of the world’s most exciting new technologies.

On 16-17 October in London’s Tobacco Dock, WIRED2014 will feature pioneering practices spanning neuroscience, robotics, business, design, entertainment, sport and much more.

An audience of technology leaders will see Suzy’s ingenious work in WIRED2014’s Test Lab, an exclusive preview of disruptive new technologies. This will be a fitting reward for over three years of research, development and testing which Suzy began as soon as she graduated with a first-class degree in Industrial Design and Technology from Loughborough Design School.

Unlike other fish tanks, Avo does not need water or filter changes and will never need cleaning. All you need to do is top up the water and feed the fish. Once the 15-litre tank is switched on, its continuously moving bed recycles older bacteria into plant food, creating space for new bacteria to grow. It also features automated LED lighting specifically optimised for plant photosynthesis and growth, which promotes clear and healthy water for both tropical and temperate fish. Avo’s unique lighting has the added aesthetic benefit of producing soft red light in the morning, fading to daylight white, to cool blue in the evening.

“I wanted to design something that takes the stress out of keeping fish, to make it a simple, beautiful and above all enjoyable experience,” said Suzy, who has developed a premium pet accessory brand, Noux, with the support of the Studio, Loughborough University’s graduate commercialisation hub.

Suzy has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to launch Avo next September. In under 24 hours, she has already raised over 50% of her £60k target, and attracted global praise for Avo. Supporters can pledge as little as £1 and fish tanks and starter kits can be pre-ordered for £100 off the £250 RRP.

Suzy can also be seen on the current cover of Gear, WIRED magazine’s new technology round-up. Earlier this year, Suzy won a Special Recognition Award from the Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network and The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity Award for Manufacturing and Technology and the Marketest Award at the University’s Think BIG Awards.

Noux is one of the many graduate companies featured on the University’s Marketplace website.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 14/178

1.  High resolution photos available here.

2.  Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University in London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.

3.  The Studio provides access to the resources, expertise and knowledge to help Loughborough graduates develop sustainable businesses. To date, the Studio has supported 27 businesses, 18 of which are now registered and 16 are trading, creating 5 permanent jobs. Studio companies have won 36 awards and will turnover an estimated £200K this year. A royalty agreement means its members pay a percentage of their sales turnover when they start trading, which long-term, means the Studio will become self-sufficient.

Contact for all media enquiries

Anna Leather
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445