Brandon reaches national design award final

04 July 2024

Brandon Hopkins, one of our Product Design students, has reached the national final of the Design Innovation in Plastics 2024 awards. For his award entry, he designed a salt-water powered data buoy to collect important information including water quality, weather conditions and the impact of climate change.

The awards focus on generating green energy which can be delivered on a smaller scale than windfarms and by single products. Nominees were challenged to create a product that uses its own energy source for an application which is independent of a conventional power supply, self-sufficient, and uses energy harvesting technologies including solar, wind, tidal, thermal and mechanical.

Six finalists presented their concepts to the judging panel in May, and they each win a cash prize, a short placement with a UK design company and invaluable connections to design sector leaders. They have been invited to a two-day plastics processing training course at the UK headquarters of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, a world-leading manufacturer.  The awards results will be announced in July.

Recent national and international awards won by Engineering students and staff include the:

Brandon said: “It’s an honour to be recognised for my oceanographic measuring device. I designed the salt-water-battery powered data buoy to firstly address the challenges of the data buoy market, namely the increasing need for autonomous data buoys that require less maintenance, as well as to address the very real issues that solar-panel/ lithium-ion battery powered data buoys create, which is surprisingly a lot. This is the first data buoy of its kind, powered entirely by salt-water batteries, and I very much look forward to the results.”