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The Dyson Award, a cutting-edge competition perfectly suited to the skills and talents of UTC undergraduates

Every year, numer­ous design com­pe­ti­tions open to stu­dents are organ­ised. Com­pe­ti­tions that allow stu­dents to express their cre­ativ­i­ty, but also to acquire new skills, and even launch their own start-ups. 

Par­tic­i­pa­tion in com­pe­ti­tions for UTC-IDI stu­dents is not com­pul­so­ry, although one might think oth­er­wise, giv­en the num­ber of stu­dents award­ed prizes each year. It depends on the will­ing­ness of the stu­dents. “We took part with Vic­tor Che­ung for the chal­lenge it rep­re­sent­ed and because we already had a few ideas in mind before the com­pe­ti­tion,” con­firms Vin­cent Bih­ler, a grad­u­ate of the IDI pro­gramme in 2014. 

“Stu­dents who wish to take part in a com­pe­ti­tion ask us to open a Research Project course,” explains Emmanuel Cor­bas­son, head of the Indus­tri­al Design Engi­neer­ing (IDI) depart­ment. Once par­tic­i­pa­tion in the com­pe­ti­tion has been val­i­dat­ed, stu­dents and teach­ers meet for one hour each week to fol­low the progress of the project. But beware,” adds Emmanuel, “we only advise them! It is they, and they alone, who have to define their prob­lem and the means they envis­age to solve it.” To make their mod­els, they can also use the machines in our work­shop and the Daniel Thomas Inno­va­tion Cen­tre and ben­e­fit from the advice of all the work­shop managers. 

“How­ev­er, not all com­pe­ti­tions give the right to a CC. It must leave the intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty of the project to the stu­dents,” explains Emmanuel Cor­bas­son. “In addi­tion to the James Dyson Award, these com­pe­ti­tions include the Par­rot com­pe­ti­tion, the Braun Prize and the Ver­ralia Design Awards.” 

Even for those who do not pur­sue the devel­op­ment of their project in the midterm range, par­tic­i­pa­tion in these com­pe­ti­tions remains a strong and very enrich­ing expe­ri­ence. “The com­pe­ti­tion per­son­al­ly got me my first job, first as a trainee, then on a per­ma­nent con­tract with Par­rot, where I was able to devel­op some of the prod­ucts that are now on the mar­ket,” con­firms Vin­cent. “It was also a very good cre­ative exer­cise where the con­cep­t’s via­bil­i­ty becomes extreme­ly demand­ing. I now apply these same method­olo­gies on a dai­ly basis at the ‑entreautre design studio.” 

Le magazine

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