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Design Competition: 2020 Student Winners

2020 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition Winners

The 2020 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition attracted 25 professional entries and nearly 130 student entries from more than 18 countries around the world. The ET Foundation and the Aluminum Extruders Council congratulate the winners and thank all of the professional and student designers who submitted an entry, with special thanks to the students' faculty advisors for advancing aluminum extrusion education by supporting the Competition through the classroom.

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

To learn more about how the aluminum extrusion industry supports schools, visit the Academic Engagement page on this website. And, be sure to follow the ET Foundation International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AlExtDesignCompetition for news and information about future competitions.

Student Winners

Grand Prize - $5,500

Ippocrate - Portable Isolation Unit for Emergency Situation

Filippo Tomasi, Royal College of Art; London, UK
Paola Zani, Politecnico di Milano; Milan, Italy

Entry Details >>

First Place - $5,000 Scholarship

Quixet - Pool Starting Block

Emma Jacobs, California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California USA

Entry Details >>

Second Place - $4,000 Scholarship

HAUL Cargo Bike - Last Kilometer Delivery

Paul Poirier, Bastien Adam, Malo Sahores, Clément Moinardeau
L'Ecole de design Nantes Atlantique (Studio Montréal)
Montreal, QC Canada

Entry Details >>

Third Place - $3,000 Scholarship

Wissota - Hammock System

Jacob DeGroot, University of Wisconsin – Stout
Menomonie, Wisconsin USA

Entry Details >>

Sustainable Design - $3,500 Scholarship

Cart/Bed for Refugees

Alejandrina Hernández Zavarce, Dawson College
Montreal, QC Canada

Entry Details >>

Grand Prize - $5,500

Ippocrate - Portable Isolation Unit for Emergency Situation

Filippo Tomasi, Royal College of Art; London, UK
Paola Zani, Politecnico di Milano; Milan, Italy

Filippo Tomasi from Conegliano, Treviso, Italy, studying design at the Royal College of Art in London, U.K., and Paola Zani from Lumezzane, Brescia, Italy, studying design at Politecnico de Milano in Milan, Italy, won the Grand Prize in the ET Foundation 2020 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. Their "Ippocrate" portable isolation unit design was developed out of a desire to help provide relief for hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic, which affected their home country of Italy especially hard. The students will share the $5,500 Grand Prize award.

"As designers, we wanted to help in this situation by making a mobile intensive care unit that can be built and connected in any indoor space within minutes," explained the students in their entry materials. The system can be assembled by one person with no tools and ready in 15 minutes. Each unit is self-contained, becoming a negative pressure room when connected to a HEPA filter to assure that no viruses can escape and infect other patients.

The students referenced the AEC Aluminum Extrusion Manual to inform their profile design, coming up with an extrusion utilizing close tolerances and built-in features allowing for easy, quick assembly and channels for mounting equipment and accessories as needed, such as power sockets, IV drip bags, equipment monitors, and more. The students further explained, "The close tolerances made possible with the extrusion process are crucial for the joints between one profile and the other. The supporting structure is composed by 26 pieces, and 4 plastic angular joints. In the connections between each section, a steel tube is inserted in the two gaps of the profile and the precision guarantees that they won't collapse." Noting that they chose aluminum alloy 6005A for their design, they explained that using aluminum does not require any further coating to be corrosion resistant or machining to be assembled, making it perfect for building frames. Aluminum's light weight and the modular design makes the Ippocrate an easily portable and adaptable solution for hospital overflow environments and emergency situations. The units can be scaled up due to the modularity of the design by constructing the rooms side-by-side, removing the divider walls and joining the profiles with a clip.

The judges found the design to be quite timely. "In the age of ‘Covid' this is a great concept," said competition judge Todd Boyer. "Of all the Covid-referenced projects [submitted in the competition] this seems [to be] most applicable [and] real."

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First Place - $5,000 Scholarship

Quixet - Pool Starting Block

Emma Jacobs, California Polytechnic State University
San Luis Obispo, California USA

First Place in the Student Competition, with a $5,000 scholarship, was awarded to Emma Jacobs, Sherwood, OR, who is a biomedical engineering student at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. Explaining her reasoning behind her design, she noted that starting blocks are used by swimmers to dive into the pool for competitive swimming competitions. In 2008, the International Swimming Federation, which governs regulations on aquatic sports, approved a new starting block design that includes a slanted wedge on the back platform for the rear foot. The wedge, also known as a "kickplate," allows for a more powerful start into the water. Jacobs explained that "there are still many older pools that have not updated their starting blocks since 2008. Therefore, they still use the older version of blocks without the kickplate." Further, having been a competitive swimmer in high school, and now in college, Jacobs noted that her high school did not replace the starting blocks after the regulation change in 2008 due, in large part, to the financial burden. Suspecting a similar experience across the country with other schools, Jacobs decided to design an adjustable pool starting block that could be retrofitted onto an existing platform, saving schools the cost of replacing the entire starting block. "Additionally, buying a combination of new, plain starting blocks with the Quixet kickplate I designed is a more cost-effective alternative than buying blocks with kickplates that are currently available," she explained. Her design allows for easy installation by coaches or teams.

The design consists of two side rails, two inner wedges and an outer wedge, all made of aluminum extrusion. The inner wedge is secured to the outer wedge using a fastener along the bottom, similar to the way a T-nut is used in the 80/20 building system. The two wedges inside the larger wedge can be moved to adjust the width of the entire assembly. The outer wedge has a non-slip surface applied to it.

The rails act as the guides and support for the kickplate. The kickplate has two screw heads that slide in two slots along the length of the rail. The top slot has u-shaped cut-outs spaced every inch so that the position of the kickplate can be adjusted along the length of the starting block by the swimmer. The swimmer simply lifts up the back of the kickplate and moves it, which is similar to the way many current kickplates are adjusted, Jacobs noted.

"This is a real life solution to a real life experience," Boyer noted. The judges appreciated the student's excellent project detail and explanation of her design motivation and process.

Ms. Jacobs is a two-time student winner of the ET Foundation's Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. In 2018, Jacobs received an Honorable Mention for her "Alum Shoe" aluminum conveyor track.

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Second Place - $4,000 Scholarship

HAUL Cargo Bike - Last Kilometer Delivery

Paul Poirier, Bastien Adam, Malo Sahores, Clément Moinardeau
L'Ecole de design Nantes Atlantique (Studio Montréal)
Montreal, QC Canada

A team of students from L'Ecole de design Nantes Atlantique (Studio Montreal) in Montreal, Canada, won Second Place for their HAUL Cargo Bike. They will share the $4,000 scholarship award. The students collaborated through a partnership with Jalon Montreal, a non-profit organization founded by the City of Montreal that carries out a wide range of activities that support manufacturers of various backgrounds working to expedite innovative processes into practice. Their project focused around specific needs in Montreal and Quebec, including climate, road and traffic conditions, regulatory restraints, and the needs of delivery personnel and companies according to local mandates. Specifically, the City of Montreal hopes to reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

The team developed a cargo bike with modular crates to optimize the work of delivery people. The extruded aluminum forms the base of the bike and boxes filled with parcels rest on the base. The system allows rapid loading and unloading from small parcels to larger packages.

"The extrusion designs facilitate easy handling of various sized crates and packages," said competition judge Joe Benedyk. "And, by replacing delivery trucks, the design offers a pollution solution."

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Third Place - $3,000 Scholarship

Wissota - Hammock System

Jacob DeGroot, University of Wisconsin – Stout
Menomonie, Wisconsin USA

The Wissota is a hammock system that utilizes space efficiently for campers who want a new recreational experience using their vehicle. Jacob DeGroot, a student studying Industrial Design at the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Menomonie, WI, was awarded Third Place, earning him a $3,000 scholarship for his design. The collapsible hammock rack uses limited parts and simple geometry to offer a design that covers a rapidly expanding market, according to the student. The design is versatile in that it can also be used to transport large items and expand vertical space in a truck bed.

"This is a creative and well-thought-out camping assembly (collapsible) for use by campers with pick-up trucks," commented competition judge Joe Benedyk.

"This looks interesting and creative and has the basis of a product," said competition judge David Asher.

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Sustainable Design - $3,500 Scholarship

Cart/Bed for Refugees

Alejandrina Hernández Zavarce, Dawson College
Montreal, QC Canada

Alejandrina Hernández Zavarce, a student studying Industrial Design at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, won the Sustainable Design Award with a $3,500 scholarship prize for her Cart/Bed for Refugees. The multifunctional design provides a way to carry one's belongings and then converts into bed. "In the market there are products to carry belongings, such as backpacks, wheeled luggage and carry-ons, which are not very comfortable for long distances and do not the fulfill the role of a bed.," noted the student. Her cart/bed for refugees fulfills both tasks. The design uses one simple extruded tube profile for the support structure and the handle, making it a cost-effective solution.

The judges found Alejandrina's design to be innovative, practical and creative satisfying an international need. Read more about Alejandrina's story on the Dawson College website here.

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