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Design Competition: For Students
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Aluminum extrusions are all around home in windows, doors, railings, appliances...on the road, on the water and in the work or the gym, the playground, the stadium, the supermarket, the doctor's office. Every day we come in contact with a myriad of products made better by aluminum extrusions.

Aluminum Extrusion: Alloy + Geometry = Performance

The aluminum extrusion process is often the most functional, cost-effective and quickest path between function and form. The right shape, utilizing the right alloy, can then be enhanced and perfected through additional fabrication to yield an effective product solution … allowing you to design to the limits of your imagination!

Learn more about how to design using aluminum extrusion below.


International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition: Student Class

Once you’ve learned more about the process, product applications and design tips, enter your design in the International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition for a chance to earn a scholarship award. The competition is intended to enlighten students studying engineering, design, and architecture about the superior advantages of extruded aluminum profiles.

Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition Fast Facts

  • Open to high school, university, technical and design school students around the world. Student must currently be enrolled in a school and provide the name and contact information for an academic advisor, teacher or professor on the entry form.
  • Entries will be judged based on four main criteria: creativity, practicality, product/process advantage/ and market impact/potential. Details here.
  • Multiple entries and team entries will be accepted.


The 2017 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition for students is closed. However, another student Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition is planned for the 2017-2018 school year. 

Watch for the announcement of the 2017 Design Competition winners coming soon!


Scholarships totaling $8,500 may be presented as cash awards to the best student designs submitted. 


Students with the winning entries will be awarded scholarships in the following amounts:


 First Place
 Second Place   $2,000
 Third Place   $1,000
 LED Lighting Design Challenge









Bonnell Aluminum LED Lighting Design Challenge

The 2017 Student Design Competition will again include a special design category that challenges students to think about aluminum extrusions as a holistic solution to a design problem. Students are tasked with designing a product that incorporates LED lights and uses aluminum extrusions for structural, thermal management and/or some of the other excellent material advantages for this application. Examples include a park bench with incorporated LED lights, an LED solar-powered signboard, stairway lighting, and road sign. Think beyond a light fixture; your limit is your imagination!


The Bonnell Aluminum LED Lighting Design Challenge has separate criteria for judging.


>> Download the Bonnell Aluminum LED Lighting Design Challenge Criteria


>> Competition Judging Criteria


>> View past winning entries


Academic Resources

Learn more about designing with aluminum extrusions


An educational presentation is available for instructors and students to learn more about aluminum extrusion. The PDF presentation is a primer on the advantages of aluminum and aluminum extrusion, as well as a good resource for some aluminum extrusion design tips (hint: it's not effective to simply transfer your steel design to aluminum extrusion).

Use this presentation to educate yourself about the extrusion process and how to improve your Design Competition entry.

This classroom presentation was specifically created to help instructors and students understand the many advantages that designing with aluminum extrusions offers.

Download the newly updated presentation Designing to the Limits of Your Imagination!

(File size: 7 MB)


Instructors: Incorporate the Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition into Your Curriculum

The Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition provides an excellent opportunity to teach your students design techniques while exposing them to the material advantages of aluminum and benefits of designing with extruded aluminum. Incorporating the Design Competition into your curriculum provides an excellent teaching opportunity while offering students a real-world experience in product design. And, the opportunity for students to earn scholarship money is always a strong motivator.

The competition is intended to enlighten students studying engineering, design, and architecture about the superior advantages of extruded aluminum profiles.

Aluminum's favorable strength-to-weight ratios, the flexibility of numerous alloys, and the unsurpassed advantages of the extrusion process, including the ability to design to close tolerances, make aluminum extrusion the material process of choice.For more information on the aluminum extrusion process, download the presentation above or visit the Aluminum Extruders Council's website at


Many members of the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) conduct plant tours for instructors and their students from local learning institutions. If you are interested in finding an AEC-member extruder who will provide an educational tour of their facility, contact the ET Foundation at or AEC at


AEC on Campus

Check out AEC's Academic Outreach Program for Educators here.