On the Ground at the Blackwood Student Design Award 2014

If you were following our Twitter or Facebook feeds last Friday you’ll know that we hosted the final judging event for the Blackwood Student Design Award 2014. The day saw four final entrants battle it out for the top place and win themselves the all-important trophy, as well as £500 cash and an iPad (courtesy of BT). The winner will also be receiving legal advice and support from McRoberts Law Firm and business advice from the Blackwood team. Both the winner and the runner-up also got a certificate of achievement.

In a scene straight out of Dragon’s Den our judges (which included people from across the disability, business, legal and engineering sector, as well as some of Blackwood’s own tenants) sat around the table and Skyped the entrants (some as far away as Boston) one by one, giving each of them 3 minutes to talk about their design. This was followed by a Q & A session and after giving their own personal marks the judges then deliberated as a group to discuss each design and come to an overall group score. Unfortunately instead of stacks of cold, hard cash on the table they only had their score cards which were later counted up to find the winner.  

So who were the entrants? Well, we had….

-Team Bruise: creators of the Bruise suit, an injury detection suit for disabled athletes.

-Kirubin Pillay with his design for a natural eye-controlled wheelchair.

-Lindsey McFarlane and her idea for a collision-prevention wheelchair.

-Muhan Zhang with Noggin, a software to be used in conjunction with devices like Google Glass to allow users to spell out text into speech.

At the end of the day it was Kirubin Pillay and the eye-controlled wheelchair which got the highest marks from the judges and take home 1st place prize. The runners-up were the team from Bruise suit. A big congratulations to both of them is definitely deserved, as both were really excellent designs and presentations. Keep your eye on bespoken, no doubt you’ll be seeing more of both of them!

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Comment by Anne Walker on February 18, 2015 at 10:18

was a really  interesting and enjoyable afternoon, was difficult to choose a winner, students all very talented and aware of the needs of others 

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