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Design student wins national prize

Kayleigh Dobson’s AirBaby creation wins second prize at Design Innovation in Plastics competition

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student has been awarded a trip to Germany after scooping second prize in the prestigious 2017 Design Innovation in Plastics competition.

Final year product design student Kayleigh Dobson, who designed a new seat to help parents carry babies securely on plane flights, will travel to Germany to visit competition headline sponsor Covestro, along with the overall winner, Ellen Britton.

The competition, which is organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, had a brief of ‘Products for Independent Travel.’ It challenged students to design an innovative product, primarily in plastic, that will provide a more comfortable and less stressful travel experience.

Kayleigh, from Clitheroe, came up with ‘AirBaby’ a portable, inflatable lap seat which enables parents to hold babies securely and comfortably during a flight.

Kayleigh’s is a very simple idea well executed with good safety features, and the judges felt it could be used not just in an aircraft but also at home, making it a multi-use child seat.

She said: “I'm delighted to have come second in the competition, I was overwhelmed just to even be recognised out of more than 160 students from around the country to begin with!

“The competition has opened a lot of doors for me in terms of product development and a future career. I'm really grateful to have been given the opportunity to attend the Covestro headquarters in Germany for a week along with a week placement at HellermanTyton Ltd, in Manchester, where I hope to gain valuable industry experience.”

Covestro design engineer Mike Stuart, who was part of the judging panel, said: “Kayleigh’s is a very simple idea well executed with good safety features, and the judges felt it could be used not just in an aircraft but also at home, making it a multi-use child seat.”

The prestigious Design Innovation in Plastics Award is the longest running student plastics design competition in Europe, having been established in 1985.


Kayleigh Dobson with Graham Hill and Steve Blanks

Rachel Atkinson | 06 July 2017