5th annual James Dyson Award

This summer, regional judges across the world are deciding which student inventions will make it on to the shortlist of the James Dyson Award. Each of the 18 participating countries will name a national winner. The shortlist then goes before a panel of Dyson engineers, and finally James Dyson will announce the 2010 winner in October. Entries have included a buoy that uses ultrasonic technology to warn wildlife away from oil spills, a human powered car battery charger and a bumpless speed bump.

Over 500 ideas from 18 other countries are competing to claim the £20,000 prize.

The award, run by the James Dyson Foundation, aims to celebrate young designers and inspire the next generation of design engineers. Current perceptions of engineering in Britain are reflected in the numbers who study it. There are only 24,000 engineering graduates a year and 58,000 engineering vacancies.

The James Dyson Award works with universities across the globe and will be open for entries from the 2nd February to 1st July 2010. Half of the prize money is invested directly in the winner’s university or college faculty and £10,000 goes directly to the winning students to help them make their design a reality.

James Dyson says: “We need to do more to support and celebrate the engineers of the future. Making things is not about grime and grease, but solving real life problems.”

Out of more than 400 entries, last year’s winner was Automist, an attachment for a kitchen tap that can detect fires and put them out by using mains water to create a fine mist. The project was developed by British students Yusuf Muhammad and Paul Thomas from the Royal College of Art in London.

Yusuf Muhammad comments: “Winning the James Dyson Award has enabled us to transform our idea from a prototype into a viable product – which we’re now close to being able to sell. The Award gave us two advantages – cash and recognition. The prize money has been crucial to keeping our small business going, but the interest we’ve received through coverage has been priceless. We’ve had emails from all around the world, both from big companies and from individuals who want to know when they can get hold of the Automist to install in their kitchen. We’ve just put it through another round of testing at the Building Research Establishment - specialists were impressed by the way our invention tackled fire effectively in such a different way. One of the best things is having the recognition of James Dyson, probably the best known inventor in the country.”

James Dyson will announce the global winner on 5th October 2010.