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Designers, engineers and problem solvers, wanted!

Last year's winner, Edward Linacre and his AirDrop

Last year's winner, Edward Linacre and his AirDrop

8 June 2012

The James Dyson Award 2012 is now open to students and alumni who have graduated in the past four years. If you're a designer, engineer or problem solver, with a big idea, then you could be in the chance of winning £10,000. The James Dyson Award is an international design award running in 18 countries created by the James Dyson Foundation.

James Dyson, a British industrial designer and founder of the Dyson Company, set up the charitable trust to encourage the next generation of design engineers to be creative, challenging and inventive. The James Dyson Award is part of that same mission, and is open to product design, industrial design and engineering university students and graduates within 4 years of graduation, everywhere.

James Dyson said: "Budding engineers and designers can use their fresh perspective to develop wonderfully simple solutions to baffling problems. I challenge applicants to think big and use the award as a springboard for your idea."

Why enter?

The award supports students not only with monetary prizes but also by promoting and recognizing good quality entries. Last year’s winner, Edward Linacre from Australia, designed 'Airdrop’, a low cost, self powered irrigation system that extracts water from thin air and then delivers it directly to plant roots. The Airdrop design was an easy-to-install solution to the problems of growing crops in drought affected regions, and works on the principle that even the driest air contains water molecules, which can be extracted by lowering the air's temperature to the point of condensation.

Application process

Entrants can submit footage, images and sketches of their ideas to the website,, along with stories detailing their design process and inspiration. A panel of leading designers, engineers and design critics will shortlist the top ten entries in each of the 18 participating countries and name the national winners. These chosen entries will then go to a panel of Dyson design engineers to scrutinise all the national projects and then select the top 50. In the final stage, an international judging panel of high-profile designers, engineers, academics and journalists pick 15 international finalists, who together with James Dyson, will name the winner and two runners-up.

The brief: to develop a problem solving invention. Past winners have included: Bazooka buoyancy aids, exploding taps, and crop irrigators inspired by desert beetles.

The prize: £10,000 to you and £10,000 for your university department.

Deadline: 2 August

To find out more about the award, and to see previous years’ entries, please see The James Dyson webpages, and good luck with your submission.