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The ET Foundation and Bonnell Aluminum Invite Entries for the 2016 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition

Competition Open to Professional and Student Entries New Student Category Announced: LED Lighting Design Challenge



Wauconda, Illinois—November 4, 2015 -- The ET Foundation, the educational and research organization devoted to promoting and advancing aluminum extrusion processes and technologies, and Bonnell Aluminum are seeking entries for the 2016 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition.  The 2016 competition is divided into two classes: Professional and Student.  Bonnell Aluminum is the sole sponsor for the cash awards, totaling $20,000, including a Grand Prize of $3,500 awarded to the best design across all categories and classes. The 2016 Design Competition will include a new student design category, the Bonnell Aluminum LED Lighting Design Challenge, which encourages students to think about aluminum extrusions as a holistic solution to a design problem.


Professional designers, engineers, and manufacturers along with students studying design and engineering at universities, colleges, technical schools and high schools around the world are invited to participate.  The ET Foundation will accept entries for the 2016 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition through March 7, 2016. Entry in the competition is free and judging will take place following the entry deadline. The Call for Entries, containing the details and entry forms, can be downloaded at


Winning designs from this and previous competitions will be on display at the Eleventh International Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar and Exposition – ET ’16, scheduled for May 2-6, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The ET Seminar is the longest running and most respected technical conference in the industry devoted to worldwide advancements in aluminum extrusion technology, equipment, processes, applications, and more. Visit for details.


The aim of the Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition is to promote the understanding and use of extruded aluminum profiles, as well as highlight innovations and recognize excellence in aluminum extrusion design.  Winning entries will be those that demonstrate the benefits of extruded aluminum—whether by inventing a new product or improving an existing one—by achieving the competition objectives of creativity, practicality, product/process advantage, market impact/potential and presentation and research. 


Professional Design Competition: More than $8,000 at Stake

Entries received in the Professional Class will be divided into four categories: Structural/Architectural, Transportation, Engineered Products, and Alternative Energy.  First-place cash prizes in the amount of $2,000 will be awarded to the best design in each category. Individual designers and companies are eligible to enter the Professional Design Competition. Aluminum extruders and their customers are encouraged to team up to enter their design in the Competition. Team and multiple submissions will be accepted.


Student Scholarship Awards Include New Category

Students currently enrolled in a college, university, or technical school, including graduate students, are eligible to enter the Student Design Competition.  Entries from high school students also will be accepted.  Student scholarships will be presented as cash awards to the top student designs, including $3,000 for First Place, $2,000 for Second Place, and $1,000 for Third Place. Students also may compete for the Bonnell Aluminum LED Lighting Design Challenge Scholarship Award of $2,500.  The LED Lighting Design Challenge tasks students with designing an LED lighting application that uses aluminum extrusions, while addressing some of the material's excellent advantages, including aluminum's superior heat dissipation properties, natural reflectivity, light weight, ease of fabrication and the designer’s ability to create complex integral shapes that are joinable with various methods and materials, to name just a few. Designers must also take into consideration the limitations of the aluminum extrusion process.


“Many of the student designs in previous competitions were clever ideas but they lacked practicality,” said Design Competition judge David Asher, Process Optimization Manager for Bonnell Aluminum. “With this new category we want to encourage students (and their instructors) to better understand the aluminum extrusion process and all of its advantages. Don’t design a part that is overly wide and will need to be manufactured on a 24” press. The reality is that there are very few presses that can handle that profile size, and the cost for extruding that part is simply not practical. Addressing issues such as this will impact the judging process. The winning design will really come down to whether or not the student has a good understanding of the aluminum extrusion process,” explained Asher.


Helpful Design Resources

To ensure students and instructors have a better understanding of aluminum extrusions and their unique design requirements, the educational presentation Designing to the Limits of Your Imagination is available to download free on the “Students” page of the website at  The presentation provides details on the material and design advantages of extruded aluminum, application examples, and more. 


The International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition is held annually for students and periodically for professionals.  More information on the 2016 Aluminum Extrusion Student Design Competition—including the Call for Entries, complete with the official entry forms, is available on the ET Foundation Design Competition page of the AEC website at   Visit the AEC website at to find a wealth of information and resources – from an overview of the aluminum extrusion process and choosing the right aluminum alloy, to design tips and useful publications.


About the ET Foundation

The Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation has been established for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes to develop, promote, provide, and fund education and research related to aluminum extrusion processes and technologies. For more information, contact the ET Foundation or visit 


About AEC

The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) is a progressive trade association dedicated to advancing the effective use of aluminum extrusion in North America. AEC is committed to bringing comprehensive information about extrusion's characteristics, applications, environmental benefits, design and technology to users, product designers, engineers and the academic community. Further, AEC is focused on enhancing the ability of its members to meet the emerging demands of the market through sharing knowledge and best practices.


About Bonnell Aluminum

Bonnell Aluminum is a subsidiary of Richmond, VA, based Tredegar Corporation.  With operations in Newnan, GA, Carthage, TN, Niles, MI, and Elkhart IN, the company produces soft and medium-strength alloy aluminum extrusions for nonresidential building and construction, automotive and specialty markets.  


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For more information please contact:

Nancy Molenda
Communications Manager
AEC/ET Foundation