Nottingham product design students wow businesses at showcase event

18 Dec 2014 15:06:41.620
Product Design students at The University of Nottingham impressed business leaders with their design skills at a unique showcase event to demonstrate some of the outstanding work from their Product Design and Manufacture degree course.
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 Twenty five students from the course presented prototypes and posters depicting their work, which included mini-projectors, water purifiers, SD card holders, innovative furniture for elderly people and a number of other novel designs.

Talented product designers
The event also gave businesses the chance to preselect some of the top product design talent in the country. In addition, they also had the opportunity to submit a brief for a student to work on a specific product design project with them.

The University of Nottingham has one of the top Product Design courses in the UK, and unlike many other design courses, at Nottingham there is great emphasis not only on product aesthetics but design for manufacture, material specifications and ergonomic sciences. The resulting products are not only stylish and functional, they are also accurately costed and developed for manufacturing.

One of the business visitors at the event was Stewart Trewern, of Rapid Expansion Systems Ltd, a Kent-based business which manufactures innovative crowd control barriers for sports venues, policing and festivals. He said: “We were hugely impressed by the innovation, presentation and professionalism of the work displayed at the event.

Bringing high class designers into the market
"The passion and understanding with which the students discussed their projects revealed the depth of their skills and shows The University of Nottingham to be a clear leader in bringing high class product designers into the market. We are very keen to partner with one or more of the students we spoke to, to work on our projects, with the intention of bring new talent into our team at the end of the project period.”

One of the students at the event, Emma Hartley, created a light-weight portable seat which elderly people at a retirement village could use on stone benches. Emma invention provided arms to assist in standing up and sitting down, back support, and padding to protect them from the cold stone of the benches.

Speaking about the showcase event, she said: "The showcase was the first time we have ever exhibited our work to people outside of the university – it gave a real chance show our passion for product design, to network with businesses, and get our names out there as designers.

Impressed with the projects
“It was great hearing how impressed businesses were with our projects, and students have given glowing feedback about the event, commenting on the opportunities this has presented to them not only for the remainder of their degree but also after they graduate."

The showcase has already resulted in a number of students being offered the opportunity to work with businesses on various project briefs.

Speaking about the success of the showcase, Simon Harrison, Course Director, added: “There was a great buzz to the event and an eagerness on both sides to match projects with students.  It was a really successful morning for all involved.  The conversations I had with industrialists and students alike were always positive.  We have already agreed several projects and more requests are still coming in.” 

Businesses that would like to work with students on the Product Design and Manufacture course at The University of Nottingham should email Gemma Morgan-Jones in the Business Engagement team, or phone +44 (0)115 74 84783.


More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, University of Nottingham, +44 (0)115 82 32184, or email:

Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Story credits

For more details about working with Product Design students at the University, email Gemma Morgan-Jones or phone +44(0)115 74 84783
Nick King  

Nick King - Marketing and Communications Manager, Energy Research Accelerator (ERA)

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 74 86727 Location: Coates Building, Faculty of Engineering, University Park Nottingham

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