Modular running shoe & electric tractor among student innovations to be shown in Bournemouth

Lewis Broughton with his modular running shoe, ModuRun. All images: Bournemouth University.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: June 6, 2024 | Updated: 6th June 2024

More than 100 final-year students are set to show off their designs and prototypes later this month at Bournemouth University’s Festival of Design and Engineering.

Bournemouth University logoIntroduced back in 1992, the festival is one of the longest running annual events in the university calendar and is free to enter for the public.

Many of the innovations this year address issues such as environmental sustainability, improving people’s lives and tackling marginalisation.

Product design student Chloe Davey’s product, Hear Me Roar, is a wrist wearable designed to empower women in their everyday lives and reduce feelings of isolation and vulnerability.

The device features a strobe light, high-pitched siren and communication function for exchanging reassuring vibrations between users.

“During my placement year in London, I felt scared walking from the tube to my flat”, said Chloe.

“I felt like my independence was stripped from me as I was forced to rely on someone else for my own safety.

“After researching safety products, I saw the market was underdeveloped, inspiring me to design Hear Me Roar.”

Sophie Dorrington is the designer behind Nutrify, a portable food preparation device aiming to improve the lives of adults with dysphagia – difficulty swallowing – helping them prepare and heat their food wherever they are.

“Typically, preparing puréed food confines individuals with dysphagia to their homes,” Sophie explained.

“After seeing loved ones struggle with the condition and recognising how central food is to social situations, I was motivated to find a solution.”

Design engineering student Archie Evans has designed E-Tractor – a fully electric agricultural machine that features modular battery packs and high-performance electric motors, which recharge using solar power.

His design aims to provide affordable agricultural support to rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, improving food security.

“Growing up on a dairy farm in rural Surrey, I’ve always had a passion for tinkering and coming up with ideas to make farming life easier,” said Archie.

“With 80 to 90 per cent of rural sub-Saharan farmers still relying on manual labour to cultivate land, more needs to be done to promote agricultural and economic growth.

“The E-Tractor aims to provide off-grid farmers with affordable access to modern farming technology, which can be used to increase farm efficacy and profits.”

Then there’s Lewis Broughton, who’s looking to support sustainable consumption by reducing the amount of waste going into landfill from the footwear industry.

ModuRun is a modular running shoe where each part can be replaced and recycled when they wear out, eliminating the need to buy a new pair and throw the old ones away.

“I’ve always been into shoes and after completing my placement year in footwear design”, he said.

“It sparked a real interest in finding a way to innovate in an industry that hasn’t changed the way footwear has been produced and used for years.”

Other products to be showcased include a device for emergency first responders to monitor the respiratory rate of casualties; an AI-driven device to detect fatigue in drivers; and a product to reduce wind interference in hearing aids for cyclists.

The festival is open to the public, local businesses and industry representatives and will take place at the university’s Talbot Campus between 21 and 23 June.

Those wishing to attend can register here.

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