Loughborough graduate wins national round of prestigious design competition

A new portable cooling device to improve vaccine transportation in developing countries has been announced as the UK winner of the 2016 James Dyson Award.


ISOBAR can keep vaccines cold for up to six days and can be recharged on the go in just over an hour, providing a safe and effective means of transportation.

The device was invented by Loughborough University Industrial Design and Technology graduate William Broadway as part of his final year project.

William will receive £2,000 to develop ISOBAR, which he plans to put towards building more prototypes and applying for patents.

ISOBAR uses a chemical process to provide a long term cooling effect for vaccine delivery. A mix of ammonia and water is heated in a lower pressure vessel. The ammonia vaporises and separates from the water into the upper chamber where it is trapped by a valve. It remains trapped until the cooling effect is needed.

It is anticipated that ISOBAR could save millions of lives[1], due to the fact that current vaccine programmes in developing countries do not meet the international standards for temperature safe vaccine distribution which leads to vaccines losing potency.

William Broadway said: “I am so pleased that the technology can get a bit of the limelight. Winning the UK James Dyson Award gives me the confidence to pursue my invention with my whole heart in the knowledge that yes, I can actually make this device, and that it could have a great impact for the benefit of thousands of people.”

Professor George Havenith, Dean of Loughborough Design School, said: “We are extremely proud of William’s achievement. His award win is testament to the fantastic tuition we provide at Loughborough Design School. The ingenuity and creativity of our students grows year on year and we are very excited to see what the future holds.”

Jack Lang, Fellow at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, co-founder and chair of Raspberry Pi, and UK James Dyson Award judge 2016, added: “ISOBAR is a brilliant invention. It solves a real problem and is a complete, well-thought-through system.”

ISOBAR and the UK national runners up will compete in the next round of the James Dyson Award as they go up against the best entries from 22 countries. The international winner will be announced on the 27 October, a title which is awarded along with a £30,000 prize to help the inventor in further developing their idea.

In 2014, the International James Dyson Award was won by James Roberts, a fellow graduate from Loughborough Design School, with his invention – the mOm Incubator – a life-saving, low cost, inflatable, baby incubator for use in the developing world.

Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 16/124

  1. In 2015, an estimated 19.4 million children worldwide failed to receive routine immunisation services, with more than 60% of these living in developing countries. Figures suggest that an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination systems improve:

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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 the best in the country for its student experience in the 2016 THE Student Experience Survey. Loughborough was ranked 4th in the Guardian University League Table 2017 and 7th in The UK Complete University Guide 2017 and was also named University of the Year in the In the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.

Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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


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