Highlights from BU’s Festival of Design and Innovation


A range of gadgets and technological advances designed to make an impact on society were showcased during Bournemouth University’s Festival of Design and Innovation.

The exhibition showcased the work of final year Design, Engineering and Creative Technology students.

This year, displays included a tunnel boring machine for laying cable, an atmospheric respirator, a trailer for use with hovercrafts and a product for treating jaundice in babies.

As part of their projects, students were encouraged to think about market needs, functionality, engineering, sustainability and style when creating their products.

Final year Music and Audio Technology student, Asha Blatherwick, spoke about her product, known as the SenseEgg.

“It’s basically an egg shaped device with loads of sensors that wirelessly communicates with the computer and is aimed at children with special needs. The idea is to provide them with another way to interact with music, rather than just using traditional instruments.

When asked about her inspiration for the creation, Asha said, “I did my placement in a special needs school so I think my inspiration came from that. I wanted to find a way to make it easier for students and teachers to communicate. The Festival has provided a good platform for lots of different people to see the product and interact with it.”

Alongside technology like the SenseEgg, were games reminiscent of Pokémon. Static Games Gameplay Programmer, Ryan Pinfield, spoke of his team’s contribution to the Festival – Mendel’s Farm.

“I’m part of a team of seven Games Technology students on our placement year at BU. We are a new company, just started in July 2013, which makes video games and is also client based as well.

“Our game is a resource management game that puts the player in charge of a failing farm. Their task is to keep the farm afloat, but there is a twist in that the animals can breathe fire or have other such mutant powers.

“As you progress through the levels, you unlock more mutations. We’ve been working on it for a year now and it is constantly updating. Hopefully the game will be released by the end of the year and we are looking forward to people’s responses.”

Speaking about the festival and the opportunity it provides students like Asha and Ryan, Professor Jim Roach, Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, said, “The Festival of Design and Innovation is where education meets industry and commerce, providing a showcase for our students’ skills in design and innovation. We take great pride in the quality of the project work and the ability of our students to employ the latest technology in the design of solutions to real problems.

“Many of the projects are the direct result of industrial collaboration, a successful placement year or are linked to one of our research centres. It is great to see our students working on a huge range of exciting, innovative and creative projects.”

Intellectual property law brought to life in student collaboration


Students from the Business School and School of Design, Engineering and Computing (DEC) will work together on a project that aims to bring intellectual property to life.

Final year Law students, from the Business School will advise final year DEC students from across product design and creative technology-based courses, while they create a product or innovation to bring to market.

Intellectual property law – such as copyright, trademarks, designs and patents – is particularly important for design students as it provides a means of protecting the products they create.

Dr Dinusha Mendis, Senior Lecturer in Law and Co-Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy and Management (CIPPM) at BU said: “This project provides for real-life scenarios and brings intellectual property to life.  It is a very practical project which allows the law students to act as lawyers for the DEC students who are their clients.”

The project will last until March, and kicked off with an Intellectual Property Masterclass, where students from across the two schools learned more about the law and how it can be used.

Donal O’Connell, from Chawton Innovation Services spoke to the students about what Intellectual Property is, and how it can benefit businesses.

He welcomed the idea of the student project.

“It seems to be quite unique – I haven’t come across it before,” he said.

“Having this sort of collaboration helps breaks down barriers – the engineers understand that there is more to life than just creating a product.

“The fact that they are doing it at university, before they even get into industry, is absolutely great.”

Matthew Schrader, Head of Intellectual Property Law, at Kiteleys Solicitors in Bournemouth, also spoke to the students.

He agreed that the collaboration would be great experience for the students.

“From a law point of view, it is a good opportunity to find out what it is like to work with real clients,” he said. “It’s a very good idea.”

The students will work in teams to put the theory they have learnt into practice.

There will also be prizes for the best Law student, best DEC student and the best group, sponsored by Paul Turner, a retired Patent Attorney.