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Nottingham student scoops top prize for new ice cream pump mechanism

A student's ingenuity in redesigning the internal gear pump mechanism inside whipped-style ice cream machines has earned him top prize in a prestigious innovation award.

Second year BSc Product Design Nottingham Trent University student, Alexander Bordino, has won the annual Design Innovation in Plastics competition organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) and the Worshipful Company of Horners.

The competition's headline sponsor is Bayer MaterialScience, one of the world’s largest producers of polymers and high-performance plastics, with sponsor support from market leaders in the fields of design and innovation.

Alex wins a week with Bayer MaterialScience, in Leverkusen, Germany, to see the company’s manufacturing facilities and talk to the people behind the products. In addition to a cash prize of £1,000 he will also have a work placement at PriestmanGoode, the leading global design and brand experience agency specialising in aviation, transport and product design.

Chairman of the judging panel, Richard Brown, Managing Director of G&A Moulding Technology, said: "Alex took a product that has remained untouched for years due to the dominant market position of the manufacturer. The judges were impressed by his approach of re-engineering the product by reducing the part count and changing the components to suitable polymer materials.

"Alex’s research of the market demonstrated an understanding of the challenges the end users faced and he took account of this in his redesign. His use of material selection and approach to manufacturing to provide a total solution was well thought through and executed."

Mike Stuart, Technical Service Engineer at Bayer MaterialScience, added: "Overall the standard of entries this year was very good, and many students came up with creative ideas. However we were not just looking for great ideas: we wanted to see if they had given careful thought to manufacturing method and costs. Our six finalists did this, and these were among the factors which helped to ensure they made the final shortlist."

Commenting on his new product, Alex said: "My family has been involved in ice cream sales for quite a long time, so the pump is a device I was familiar with. I could see it was bulky and I felt something could be done with it. Also, because the competition brief was so broad, I wanted to design a niche product which the vast majority of people won’t have come across."

It is now possible that some of the finalists will want to take their ideas further. All of them are offered post-award mentoring support with the goal of helping them take their design ideas closer to commercial realisation, along with a year’s free membership of IOM3.

Nottingham student scoops top prize for new ice cream pump mechanism

Published on 17 July 2015
  • Category: School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment

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