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  • What is the UK Dyson Award?

What is the UK Dyson Award?

Sep 07 2018 Read 369 Times

The UK Dyson Award has hit the headlines recently as the national winners are revealed. The award makes the news every year with their announcement of the latest creative inventors. But, many of us remain in the dark about what the award is? Who can enter? And who are the winners? Read on as we look at the award itself and the man behind it all - James Dyson himself.

James Dyson Award

The UK Dyson Award is part of the larger, international James Dyson Award. With winners dating back to 2007, the award has given grants and funding to countless projects.

The award is open to design and engineering students and recent graduates across 27 countries. A panel of judges selects one national winner and runners up from each country, with each winner receiving £2000. The list of finalists is then whittled down to just 20 international competitors, with the overall winner being chosen by James Dyson.

It is all run by the James Dyson Foundation, established in 2002, with the aim to excite young people about design and engineering. Operating in the UK, US and Japan, the foundation works with schools and universities to boost interest in the complex world of engineering.

The man himself

So, we’ve looked at the award and the foundation, but what about the guy behind the scenes? Who is James Dyson? And where did his avid interest in engineering come from?

Well, perhaps rather surprisingly, Dyson studied furniture and interior design in London before his interest in engineering took hold of him.

It wasn’t until 1983 that Dyson launched his first vacuum cleaner - the ‘G-force’. The cleaner was centred around the idea of using cyclonic separation as opposed to disposable vacuum bags.

It was actually a flop in the UK, though, as no manufacturer was willing to lose out on the large profits of disposable bags. So, instead, Dyson took his product to Japan and sold the vacuum in catalogues.

Fast forward 35 years and Dyson is a household name, with hand dryers, fans and hair dryers adding to his product list. His foundation and award offer a slice of his success to other budding designers and engineers, with the overall winner of the James Dyson Award receiving a substantial grant, and an additional monetary prize for their university.

The winners

So, the benefits of winning the award are huge - money for both the inventor and the university. But what happens after you win the UK or international award? Are the designs created and manufactured? Check out part 2 of our Dyson series for a look back at the previous winners of the UK Dyson award and their inventions.

To find out more about organisations working to promote novel techniques to monitor and improve the environment, take a look at the article ‘CEM 2018 builds trust and reliability in emissions monitoring’.

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