This website uses cookies to store information on your computer. Some of these cookies are used for visitor analysis, others are essential to making our site function properly and improve the user experience. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Click Accept to consent and dismiss this message or Deny to leave this website. Read our Privacy Statement for more.
Print Page | Sign In | Join
Design Competition: 2019 Student Winners
Share |

More than 90 entries from high school, university and design school students around the world were received in the 2019 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. The ET Foundation and the Aluminum Extruders Council congratulate the winners and thank all of the students and their faculty advisors for advancing aluminum extrusion education by supporting the Competition.

The entries were reviewed and evaluated by Design Competition judges, including David Asher, Process Optimization Manager for Bonnell Aluminum; Dr. Joseph Benedyk, Editor of Light Metal Age magazine and aluminum industry veteran; and Todd Boyer, Director of Sales & Marketing for Mid-States Aluminum in Fond du Lac, WI.

Five students were recognized for designs that showcased the versatility and advantages aluminum extrusion.

To learn more about how the aluminum extrusion industry supports schools, follow AEC on Campus under Academic Resources. And, be sure to follow the ET Foundation International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition Facebook page at for news and information on future competitions.

First Place: "NEST BED" - Bed for Refugee Camps by Åse Lilly Salamonsen, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design; Oslo, Norway

Second Place: “STORM SHIELD - Hurricane Shutter System" by Kenny Adams, Benjamin Siperek, Matthew Retault, and James Jaraczewski, Texas A&M University, Texas, USA

Third Place: "LOFT - Lifting equipment for use in sea rescues" by Kristoffer Steen Langvik of The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway

Sustainable Design Challenge Winner: "PYRAMID GROWING - Space-saving Greenhouse" by Johanna Sofie Brämersson of The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway

Honorable Mention: “Tool-changing Pen Plotter" by Joshua Vasquez of University of Washington, Washington, USA

First Place - $3,000 Scholarship
"NEST BED - Bed for Refugee Camps"
Åse Lilly Salamonsen
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Oslo, Norway

A second year student from The Oslo School of Architecture & Design in Oslo, Norway won First Place in the 2019 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition for her “Nest Bed” for refugee camps. The bed system consists of two main extruded components – the corner piece and the side rails, as well as the nylon fabric cloth that acts as the mattress, which is attached with a spring mechanism from the corner extruded profile. In addition the bed has telescopic feet for adjustment depending on the substrate, according to the student. The bed is modular, making it possible to stack the beds on top of each other for convenience and space constraints.

“This clever design uses a compact erector set concept for construction of the bed,” said competition judge Todd Boyer.

“The drawings included good detail. It’s a great idea and very timely considering the refugee crisis around the world,” said judge David Asher. “This was a contender for the Sustainable Design Award but we felt this student’s idea deserved First Place.”

Back to Top

Second Place - $2,000 Scholarship Award
"STORM SHIELD - Hurricane Shutter System
Kenny Adams, Benjamin Siperek, Matthew Retault, James Jaraczewski
Texas A&M University
Texas, USA

A team of students from Texas A&M University won Second Place for their hurricane shutter system, which they named Storm Shield.  The students explained in their entry summary, “Our design addresses the problem of home protection for windows/doors in the case of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or tornado. Solutions that have already been created include high-impact glass, shutter installation, and plywood. However, these designs can be expensive or have a very cumbersome installation process as well as being permanent or having nails driven into the walls of the structure. The design we’ve come up with is a compression system that holds plywood or other material securely in front of the area it is protecting.”

The students noted that their hurricane shutter system is “the most inexpensive, least invasive, and best one-size-fits-all option” compared to alternative hurricane shutters on the market today. “The extruded pieces we created apply pressure to the upper and lower window/door frame, as a result, the compression created will allow the system to support plywood or sheet metal. This design allows for quick and easy installation letting the homeowner install the system with no mistake.”  They also explain that their system would be in high demand in areas prone to storms and high winds.

Their design consists of an extruded aluminum window bracket, extension rod and compression handle all proposed to be made with 6063 aluminum alloy because “it’s easily extruded, has high strength, and high resistance to corrosion.”

The window brackets, in contact with the window frame, have an “L” shape design to fit the corner of most any window/door frame. An extension rod slides into a track system on the back of the window brackets. The extension rods can be adjusted to fit the length of the frame by turning the handle located in the middle of the system that has inner female threads so that the extension of the rods can compress against the window/door frame until the system is stable. The compression handle is also tapped to give the option to screw in the material, for extra security.

“This product solves a real problem and there is a big market for it,” said Joe Benedyk. “It appears lightweight, collapsible, and quick and easy to install.”

David Asher commented, “It would take me a day-and-a-half to get my hurricane protection in place on my house. This product would reduce installation time significantly and it doesn’t need to stay on the windows like other more expensive systems. Storm Shield can be easily removed and put back up when the need arises.”

The students acknowledged that their design as it is currently configured could use some fine tuning. “The speed of installation can be improved. While it is faster than nailing boards into the house, storms can pop up fast without warning so future models could have a crank that would allow it to be installed in less than a minute.”

Back to Top

Third Place - $1,000 Scholarship Award
“LOFT - Lifting equipment for use in sea rescues"
Kristoffer Steen Langvik
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Oslo, Norway

Kristoffer Langvik won Third Place for his design of a sea rescue system utilizing extruded aluminum.

He explained in his entry that the lifting equipment “aims to use the high strength and corrosion resistant properties of aluminum to provide a tool for people in dangerous situations. It requires minimal post processing and is made up of two different profiles, making it an economical and practical solution to rescue.”

Refugees traveling at sea, as well as the people volunteering to save them, are faced with huge dangers,” explained the student. His main motivation for his design was the difficulties in rescuing children. “Equipment that is lightweight, robust, and versatile may help in these difficult situations.”

Langvik specified aluminum alloy 5052 for his project. Competition judge Dr. Joseph Benedyk, who is also Research Professor--Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, noted the student’s choice of alloy as a good one. “The 5052 (2.5% Mg) alloy is extrudable and is one of the non-heat treatable alloys offered ... in extruded form, especially for marine applications due to its superior corrosion resistance relative to 6xxx alloys. Sea water averaging ~3.5% NaCl can cause severe inter-granular corrosion in extruded 6061 within a year or so depending on temperature (I've seen it). Actually, 5052 tubes can be drawn to strength levels equal to 6063 and 6061 in heat treated tempers. “

The triangular nature of the design allows for the equipment to be stored as a compact unit, and be readily available in case of emergency. A slot in the top rail provides the possibility of different attachments making it adaptable for various scenarios. The heavy duty structure, as well as the different configurations, allows for LOFT to be used in situations of varying heights.

The judges were impressed with the design and the creative way the student used extrusions for his product. 

Back to Top

Sustainable Design Challenge Winner - $2,500 Scholarship Award
"Pyramid Growing" Greenhouse System
Johanna Sofie Brämersson
The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
Oslo, Norway

Johanna Brämersson, a second year Master in Design student won the Bonnell Aluminum Sustainable Design Award for her Pyramid Growing design, a space-saving greenhouse system “that makes it simple for people to get together and grow in small spaces like rooftops and courtyards,” according to the student. The design is adaptable, can be as big or compact as needed and can be used in warm or cold climates.

The plant containers form the base of the pyramid, supported by each other and an aluminum profile in the window. Wheels are mounted on the bottom of the profile allowing the containers to slide out half way to be accessed. 

“To optimize the growing area and make it more [efficient], compost containers are included in the bottom of the pyramid that can provide heat for plants in colder seasons,” explained the student. The aluminum profile also includes rails for plant LED light strips that disconnect when the house is opened and containers are pulled out, and reconnect when the containers are pushed back in. The profile can also accommodate an automatic water system.

“In a compact growing environment you need more ventilation, therefore there is a gap in each end were the air can flow and holes in the doors make the air draft throughout the pyramid,” noted the student.

The advantages of aluminum extrusions make this pyramid growing system possible, explained the student.  “The 6063 aluminum alloy gives the greenhouse a high resistance against all kinds of weather and doesn’t corrode much, which gives it a long service life and a low environmental impact. The high specific strength makes it possible to stack the growing containers on top of each other without deteriorating,” explained Brämersson.

“Although the extrusion is too big, this design can be tweaked for practicality,” explained Todd Boyer.  “I can see this being used for commercial growing applications; if your business expands, the Pyramid Growing system expands with it.”

Back to Top

Honorable Mention - $500 Scholarship Award
"Tool-changing Pen Plotter"
Joshua Vasquez
University of Washington
Washington, USA

Joshua Vasquez, a graduate student from the University of Washington in Seattle, was recognized with an honorable mention for his design of a tool-changing pen plotter for multi-tool motion platforms.  “The Tool-changing Pen Plotter is my answer for a future world where 3D printers transform into multipurpose motion platforms,” explained Vasquez. “It is intended as a reference design for machine builders eager to create multipurpose machines with many heads.” The student notes that the open source design minimizes expensive fabrication processes and, as a result, “almost every part in the design is either an open stock component or can be laser-cut or 3D printed.”

The gantry for the platform is built from standard off-the-shelf aluminum extrusions, while the tool-changing pen plotter is “built from an ecosystem of parts and processes that are familiar to the maker community,” noted the student.  Hoping to inspire other creative machine builders, Vasquez has made his machine design available for anyone to create and has released the design with assembly instructions and a list of materials so that others “can begin producing their own variants.”

The judges appreciated the student’s design and willingness to share his work. “Although the design that he has built uses basic extruded shapes for a platform, that’s the point of this machine – to use materials that are readily available in order for anyone to build their own version,” said Asher. “I really like what the student has done here. It took a lot of ingenuity to build it and we wanted to recognize that.”   

Additional information about this design can be found at the student’s website at

Back to Top