TU Dublin Student shortlisted for James Dyson Award 2023

Published: 23 Oct, 2023

TU Dublin Product Design graduate, George Clarke, has been shortlisted for the prestigious James Dyson Award for his invention Ergotech. The award calls on students and recent graduates to create a design that solves a problem. The global shortlist of 20 pioneering inventions was announced in October, with George in with a chance to become a global winner and receive €34,000 to support the next stages of his invention. 

George's invention, ErgoTech, is a medical device that addresses the problem of “excessive flexion of the wrist”, which can cause repetitive strain injury in surgeons using current tools. ErgoTech allows for a more neutral hand position which reduces the pressure on the radial digital nerve of the thumb and the palmar branch of the wrist.

ErgoTech allows for a more “neutral” hand position, aiming to reduce pressure on the radial digital nerve of the thumb and the palmar branch of the wrist.

Talking about his inspiration for the product, George, said, “During the summer of 2022, I embarked on a month-long internship shadowing a medical device design. This experience uncovered an inspiration to design in the medical device space. I learned that medical devices were designed by male engineers for male hands,” Clarke explained.

“I wanted to design a device that improved the overall ergonomics of surgery but also to improve patient outcomes and prolong a surgeon’s surgical career. An interview with a cardiovascular surgeon who performs laparoscopic surgery uncovered the poorly designed tools in this area of laparoscopic surgery.”

Great ideas spring from diversity of thought and experience. The 14 Dyson engineers forming the panel for this year’s Top 20 work across Dyson R&D centres in Singapore, the UK, Malaysia and the Philippines, and specialise in engineering fields including sustainability, electronics, manufacturing, acoustics and energy storage. They were joined by undergraduates from the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology to share their insights, challenging conventional design processes.

The panel analysed, debated and reviewed all the national finalists and runners-up, coming together to whittle down the entries to create this year’s Top 20 shortlist.

“The James Dyson Award provides a platform for young inventors to showcase their innovative ideas on a global stage. It was refreshing to see so many inventions offering solutions ranging across medicine and sustainability,” said Hong Fei Hu, Head of Electronics at Dyson.

The global winners of the competition will be announced on 15 November - best of luck, George! 

Are you interested in studying Product Design? You can find out more about the courses on offer in TU Dublin at our Open Day on Saturday, 02 December 2023, in Grangegorman.