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Industry recognition for Brunel's prize-winning product design students


Design students and graduates from Brunel University London have attracted a raft of awards in the past few weeks from leading names in the industry.

For the second year running, a Brunel student took home the Mars Chocolate Design Thinking Award at the annual New Designers festival in central London. Product Design student Sophie Copley won a four week placement in the Mars Design Studio and £1,000 for her Little Heroes project enhancing the experience of children in hospital.

She is also the recipient of this year’s New Designers Gleeds Associate Prize for the designer best demonstrating lateral thinking, while student Emilios Farrington-Arnas's project - a vibrating tactile navigation system for the visually impaired - was selected as a New Designers Show Highlight by the Innovate UK KTN.

Sophie, Emilios, and eight other Brunel students (Toby Rix, Anna Palgan, Imogen Adams, Dale Burrowes, Agata Guz, Odile Stabon, Emma Kennedy-Flanagan and Katherine Jenkins) had been selected to represent Brunel and display their work at New Designers 2017 – a highly competitive showcase of graduating design student talent. Their projects had previously been on display at Brunel’s graduate show, Made in Brunel.

Emma Kennedy-Flanagan has also been awarded Silver at the Creative Conscience Awards in the product design category. The Awards are an annual competition for designers to create solutions and provocations that will call people to action and could lead to genuine impact. 

Emma’s submission was ‘Vac³’ – a vaccine storage cool-box that does not require ice packs or electricity. The box has vacuum insulation panels and is cooled through evaporative cooling, using zeolite beads and a hand vacuum pump. In developing countries, vaccines are traditionally transported in cool boxes with ice packs but this only keeps them cool for a limited period of time.


At the end of June, 2017 Brunel Industrial Design student Mark Mitchell was announced as a finalist in the inaugural Rado Star Prize UK student design competition for London Design Week. His ‘Tate-ium’ chair uses phase change materials to heat and solidify around a user whilst using artist Stuart Semple's colour changing pigments to create a colour-shifting effect.

The ten finalists will exhibit their shortlisted concepts at designjunction from 21-24 September 2017 and the winner will receive a £5,000 prize.


Brunel Design was ranked 2nd in London and in the UK top 5 in this year’s Complete University Guide.

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(Main image via @madeinbrunel - Sophie Copley collects her awards at New Designers 2017. Toby Rix's wooden bicycle kit design is to the right of shot.)

Reported by:

Sarah Cox, Media Relations