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Modular construction panel idea comes together for entrepreneurial student


Brunel University London master's student Ehab Sayed impressed judges at the final of this year's Mayor of London's Entrepreneur competition with his durable, robust and reusable panel-based construction system, Triagomy.

On Monday 20 March, Ehab met mayor Sadiq Khan and pitched to a panel of judges for a chance to win £20,000 in start-up funding to tackle one of London's challenges.

Nearly 600 students were involved in the London-wide competition, with only 10 projects making it to the final. Ehab missed out to a project from City, University of London, but was energised by his participation and the feedback he received.

"Becoming a Mayor’s Entrepreneur finalist offers my company, Biohm, the recognition and acknowledgement that allows us to keep moving forward, and confirms that what we are doing is of great importance for the environment, the human and the economy," said the MSc Integrated Product Design student.

Taking inspiration from nature, Triagomy's design is based on sections of a hexagon, and is an interlocking construction system that can create affordable buildings in 8% of current build times and reduce their environmental impact by up to 90%. It allows buildings to be deconstructed and reconstructed at any stage of their life, eliminating demolition and making recycling and reuse a much easier process.

Ehab found Brunel a nurturing environment in which he could develop his ideas and establish his company: "My lecturers and technicians instilled in me the skills and experience so I could create Triagomy. Brunel's Innovation Hub has been instrumental in getting my idea to a stage where I was confident enough to start up my own company, and have offered me immense support throughout Biohm's initial stage."

Brunel has an established legacy of transforming students into entrepreneurs. This is the third year in a row that Brunel students have reached this stage of the Mayor's Entrepreneur competition: 2016 finalist Carlton Cummins' battery reuse project followed on from Solveiga Pakstaite, who won in 2015 with her reactive gel labels that show when food has gone off.

Ehab added: "The workshops and training sessions in the run-up to the event were incredibly helpful and have offered great tips that I will be using in future pitches and other endeavours."

Ehab will now be working on life-size prototypes of Triagomy and continue to develop the concept with the resources and facilities available to his company, whilst continuing to apply for more competitions and funding opportunities. He has also submitted and led a multi-million-pound bid to an Innovate UK competition involving multiple universities and small and medium enterprises, including Carlton Cummins, collaborating on 'Project Living Building'. The project aims to create living buildings that are intelligent, hyper-connected, self-sufficient and have restorative and regeneration effects on the environment and occupants.

Commenting on the competition's finalists, Sadiq Khan said: “I’m hugely impressed by the quality of entries. It’s testament to the creativity and talent in London’s world-leading universities that such a range of innovative solutions have been developed to make our city a better place for future generations.”

Read more about Triagomy or find out about Brunel's MSc in Integrated Product Design.

Reported by:

Joe Buchanunn, Media Relations