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Photo of students and Nicky Morgan at Designathon event

8 Apr 2019

Students from all disciplines come together to pitch sustainable solutions as part of Designathon event

Last month, almost one hundred students came together for a challenge which required them to design a sustainable solution.

The Designathon – which was co-organised by Engineering Without Borders (EWB) and the Design society – was a 12-hour design competition with a focus on global responsibility.

Students worked in teams of five to pitch a service or product using research, sketches and other resources at the end of the day to a panel of nine judges, who then asked questions about their idea.

The panel consisted of academics and industry experts, including Pro Vice-Chancellor of Teaching, Professor Rachel Thomson, President of Loughborough Students’ Union Rahul Mathasing, and Duncan Livingstone from Fraser Nash Consultancy.

Photos of some of the judges at Designathon

Judges at the 2019 Designathon

Also in attendance were LSU Enterprise, Enactus, and Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan.

Ideas that were developed on the day included a water purification system, a credit scheme to boost recycling in third-world countries, as well as stackable houses which can travel on water to help those who have experienced a natural disaster which may have destroyed their home.

The winners of the Designathon received a Bom Bom Patisserie voucher, an rCup, a zero-waste starter kit, and £10 donated in their name to Oxfam to provide water to families in need.

Ben Purkiss, Event Coordinator of Designathon, commented: “EWB for me is a way for like-minded individuals to explore new areas of engineering and STEM, to help create a positive change on our planet, and to help save it for future generations.

“I love talking to members at events, listening to their experiences and learning how they have made a difference!

“Being able to link design with engineering was an amazing experience and being able to show students how to link different disciplines was one of the reasons we ran the Designathon.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor of Teaching, Professor Rachel Thomson, added: “I was immensely impressed with the organisation of the Designathon.

“The brief they developed for the students to work to, the rules around participation, and the structure of the day were outstanding. It was clear during the event how much the students competing were getting out of their participation, and a delight to see multidisciplinary teams containing students from first years to postgraduates all working together.

“It was an honour to judge the fabulous ideas put forwards in the evening, and we had a hard time selecting an overall winner from the high-quality pitches and detailed design solutions. Very many congratulations to all involved!”

If you are a student and interested in joining either the Engineering Without Borders or Design society, check out the LSU website.


Photos of keyrings made for the Designathon 2019 event