Students shine in development of safety textile solutions

2010 Safety Products Student Design Challenge Winners Announced

(Roseville, MN -Sept 13, 2010) - The seventh annual Safety Products Student Design Challenge winners were announced today by the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).

The annual contest is developed and supported by two divisions of IFAI, Safety and Technical Products and the Narrow Fabrics Institute, 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.

The 2010 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 IFAI Safety and Technical Products committee overseeing the 2010 Challenge.

Safety and Technical Products will bring the first-place team to Orlando, FL, to present their project to the industry at the IFAI Annual Meeting on 27 October, to the Safety and Technical Products Business Meeting the same day; and to attend IFAI Expo Americas 2010, taking place 27-29 Oct. The top three designs and their schools are also awarded cash prizes.

The winning designers and their projects are:

First Place: Aircraft Marshaller's Safety Jacket

Designers: Matthew Bartels, Sara Deshone, and Armine Ghalachyan
Instructor: Dr. Maureen MacGillivray
School: Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI - USA

The aircraft marshaller's safety jacket, a two-layer cold weather system, incorporates LilyPad Arduino technology, electronics designed for e-clothing and e-textiles.

The jacket follows the safety requirements and standards for this type of garment to safeguard the wearer in unfavorable visibility conditions and to provide protection from adverse weather.

It is innovative and original in integrating LED lights into the sleeves of the garment eliminating the need for handheld lighted wands used by aircraft marshallers. The lights on the jacket can be switched on and off and are controlled and powered through the LilyPad Arduino.

Second Place: Mountain Bike Armor for Females

Designer: David De Courcy
Instructor: Adam DeEyto
School: Institute of Technology Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland

The Mountain Bike Armor is an innovative answer for female mountain bike riders, fulfilling the needs of comfort, support and protection.

Working with two major suppliers of flexible, breathable materials, the garment provides breast support, abdominal protection, cervical and clavicle guards without restricting body movement.

Third Place: The Flyer - High-Rise Escape Garment

Designers: Kurt Anderson, Jessica Bjorgum, Brooke Burch
Instructor: Dr. Gindy Neidermyer
School: University of Wisconsin, Stout - USA

This rescue system, based on the idea that people can fly with proper aids, is designed to allow people to jump from high-rise buildings and to land safely.

An easy-to-don jacket with attached wings similar to the membranes which allow a flying squirrel to coast between trees offers added safety with a deployable parachute.

Entry pictures are posted on the Safety and Technical Products website, where information about the 2011 Student Design Challenge will be available on or before 1 Oct. High-resolution images of the projects are available from Melissa Dill, +1 651 225 6954.

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 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 $120 billion in 2010. We support nearly 2,000 members in 11 defined market niches and three country sectors; sponsor the largest industry trade show in the Americas, IFAI Expo; and publish seven trade magazines and buyers guides.