(Roseville, MN -14 Sept. 2011) - The eighth annual Safety Products Student Design Challenge winners were announced today by the Safety and Technical Products Division of Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).
The annual contest is developed and supported by Safety and Technical Products and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, special interest groups within IFAI, and encourages post-secondary functional design training and the use of technical textiles in protective and safety applications. Students were challenged to design original projects which protect people or property from hazards.
Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar
The 2011 Challenge paired interested students with mentoring companies which supplied fabric and advice. The winning projects were chosen by a team of industry members who have extensive knowledge about the requirements of protective products. Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, Texas Tech University, chaired the committee overseeing the 2011 Challenge.
Safety and Technical Products will bring the first-place team to Baltimore, MD, to attend IFAI Expo Americas 2011, taking place 25-27 Oct. The students will present their project to the industry at the IFAI Annual Meeting on 26 October and at Safety and Technical Products and Narrow Fabrics Institute meetings held during the IFAI Expo. The top three designs and their schools are awarded cash prizes by the Narrow Fabrics Institute and the projects will be displayed during IFAI Expo Americas 2011 in Baltimore.
The winning designers and their projects are:
First Place: Underground Mine Safety Suit
Designers: Toni Sabelman, Alicia Mitchell, Jamie Bystrom, Jennifer Whelan, and Sarah Furnať
Instructor: Dr. Gindy Neidermyer
School: University of Wisconsin Stout, Menomonie, WI - USA
Coal mining is a major component of the U.S. economy but underground coal mining presents a multitude of safety concerns for miners. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, "Roof collapse and crumbling rock remains the greatest single hazard faced by underground miners...causing nearly 50% of fatal injuries."
Incorporating unique fabrics, foams, and reflective materials, this team of five students from the University of Wisconsin, Stout, designed and executed a unique two-piece suit to address the protective needs of underground mine rescue teams. In addition to the excellent material choices, the students were commended for their thorough market research and their technical pattern development.
Second Place: Protective Jumpsuit for Earthquake Rescue Crew
Designer: Elizabeth Hillmann
Instructor: Dr. Lucy Dunne
School: University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN - USA
In the past 25 years, more than 530,000 deaths have been reported from earthquakes, with countless rescuers involved in the aftermaths.Products designed to protect rescue team members from compressive impact during rescue efforts are an underserved market.
In this project, user needs were organized according to severity of injury and then divided into two broad categories: safety needs and mobility needs. Safety needs include protection from crush injuries, protection from sharp objects, and visibility. Mobility needs include protection from sustained compressive impact and ability to perform full range of motions while kneeling, crawling, and digging through rubble.
The coverall designed includes material that incorporates guard plates to give abrasion and cut resistance. Sustained compressive impact protection is provided with flexible, custom-shaped foam padding. Full range of motion is incorporated into the design with pleats and contour sleeve and pant patterns. Mindful of aftershocks, the designer included a "Triangle of Life" to create a buffer space to keep the rescuer from being crushed during subsequent collapses.
Third Place: Artemis Jacket
Designers: Anupama Sargur Ranganath, Casey Stannard, Cameron Moon, and Lisa Curwen
Instructor: Dr. Ajoy Sarkar
School: Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO - USA
Over 3 million women hunt in the United States, with the sport growing faster for women than for men. Functional yet fashionable women's hunting apparel is an under-served market. This team of students set out to remedy that, with their tribute to the Greek goddess of hunting, Artemis.
Their multilayer jacket incorporates odor blocking, water repellent stretch pile fabrics. Unique features designed into the jacket include rifle kick-back protection; smoke mask; blaze orange vest with integral signaling mirror and compass system; oversized hood and fleece-lined pockets. One of the ideas that impressed the judging team was the built-in waterproof sitting pad.
Additional 2011 Safety Product Student Design Challenge entry images are posted on the Safety and Technical Products website, www.safetyfabrics.com, where information about the 2012 Student Design Challenge is available.
Safety and Technical Products serves as the principal international resource providing members with the most current information on research, best practices, and innovation product knowledge to advance business opportunities in the safety, protective and advanced textile marketplace.
The Narrow Fabrics Institute is an active forum for narrow fabrics professionals to exchange information, discuss and solve common problems, and develop beneficial partnerships.
The Industrial Fabrics Association International is the only trade association in the world representing the entire specialty fabrics/technical textiles industry, a world market estimated at $127 billion in 2011. IFAI supports nearly 1,900 members in 11 defined market niches and three country sectors; sponsors the largest industry trade show in the Americas, IFAI Expo Americas; IFAI Expo Asia 2012, and publishes seven trade magazines and buyers guides.