Product Design Student Wins Second Prize in Design Innovation in Plastics Competition

Published: 2 Jul, 2021

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TU Dublin Product Design student Christopher Farrell has come second in the annual Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition, which is fought out annually among universities all over the UK and Ireland.

Answering the brief of ‘Design for a Natural World’, Christopher created his product, ClearWater, a handheld, quick, simple and user-friendly water quality testing device for the presence of nitrates, phosphates and sulphates.   Large quantities of these in water provide excess nutrients to plants – known as eutrophication -  causing algae overgrowth and increased water toxicity, which can result in plant and animal death.

Christopher’s product provides quick and accurate testing of more than one of these chemicals at a time and a user-friendly method of taking results through a companion app.

Chairman of judges, Richard Brown, said: “The judges felt that the solution presented was practical, innovative and intuitive, providing a way that farmers and environmentalists could undertake testing of watercourses in the natural environment.  This design demonstrates the importance of plastics in product design to protect the environment and, with fine-tuning, could provide a commercial solution to mobile water testing.”

Christopher said: “It’s a huge honour to have been in the final six, in such a prestigious competition.  I wanted to really show the benefits that plastic can have by utilising its unique characteristics to deal with a problem within our environment. So it gives me a lot of confidence in the future, knowing that something I have produced is of the high standards expected by the judges.”

This competition, supported by the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, and headline sponsored by polymers manufacturer, Covestro, is the longest standing plastics design competition for students, originating in 1985. More information about the competition is available here

Would you like to design products that offer innovative solutions to all sorts of problems? Read more about our Product Design programme here