Aston students' designs tackle world issues

Design to give people who are homeless a voice
One of the designs being showcased at Aston Inspired 2017

1 June 2017

  • Students’ identify problems affecting people across the globe – and design solutions
  • See products at Aston’s annual design and engineering show 5-7 June
  • Designers will showcase their work at UK’s leading exhibition in July

Product design and mechanical engineering students from Aston University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science are designing products to challenge issues faced by thousands of people across the world.

As part of their final year projects, the students have identified problems affecting people in both the UK and overseas, covering everything from surgical lighting in developing countries, to energy usage in student accommodation, and public perception of homelessness.

They have been working hard to develop solutions to these issues following in-depth research, design iteration, refinement and prototyping.

Lauren Hughes, a product design and management student, is designing a product to aid communication with non-verbal autistic children. She said: “From working with children with autism, I had an interest in the different traits that each child had, specifically non-verbal children. I wanted my product to help these children have a voice of their own, and the same opportunities as everyone else.”

Samuel Roylance, an industrial product design student, added: “I’m trying to help people reduce their household energy usage by encouraging them to buy smaller fridges. I’ve developed a product for modern kitchens using current icemaker technology and an innovative evaporator coil to cool bottles and make ice.”

The students will present their projects at the university’s annual design and engineering show, Aston Inspired, taking place on campus from Monday June 5 to Wednesday June 7. Professionals from the engineering and design industries attend the event, which creates a great opportunity for students to showcase their skills and network with key industry professionals.

The show, which runs from 10am to 6pm each day in the university's Main Building, is open to members of the public free of charge.
Dr Laura Leslie, lecturer in mechanical engineering, explained: “This is a fantastic opportunity for our students. At Aston we’re huge advocates of learning by doing - the Conceive Design Implement Operate or CDIO approach - and this enables students to develop their skills and complete a project from conception through to completion.

“The students are working hard to address issues that affect a huge number of people.”

Following on from Aston Inspired, the product design students will exhibit their products at New Designers, the UK’s most important exhibition for emerging designers. New Designers is held at the Business Design Centre in London from 5-8 July. 

Follow our students' progress on: Facebook: Aston Inspired and Twitter: astoninspired1


Notes to the editor  

  • ·Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry.

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