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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.”


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/122

About Engineering YES
The Engineering Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES) is a competition for UK-based postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The intensive three day event gives participants the chance to work with leading industry figures who expand on all aspects of developing a business plan for an engineering start-up, and culminates with formal presentations to a panel of judges comprising business and venture capital representatives. The competition is part-funded by sponsorship and other EPSRC enterprise afunding streams.

About Loughborough University
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 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 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


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

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