Young Engineer wins Bronze Award for Creating Expandable Prosthetic Limbs for Children
The Engineers in Business Competition, which inspires engineering students and graduates to develop life changing business innovations through university business competitions, culminated in the Champion of Champions Grand Final at the Royal Academy of Engineering on 28 October 2019. Ten teams that won their university heat of their innovation competitions reached the final where they competed for a share of £10,000 and mentoring to help them take their business idea forward.
Ten teams that won their university heat of their Dragons’ Den style competitions reached the Grand Final where they competed for a share of £10,000 and mentoring to help them take their business innovation to the next step, be that developing a prototype, product testing or marketing.
The Bronze Award of £1,500 went to Kate Walker, a Product Design and Manufacturing graduate from Loughborough University. Kate has created a new company, ExpHand Prosthetics which manufactures 3D printed prosthetic arms for children aged 3 to 10 years old. The prosthetic arms are adjustable and customisable, so can ‘grow’ with a child. The prostheses have interchangeable hands and adjustable sockets, so will never be too small and they cost less than £50 each to produce.
Commenting at the Grand Final awards ceremony Kate said: “I am so happy to have received this award. There were lots of great ideas and businesses in this competition so I’m incredibly grateful to have been awarded a prize by the judges. Winning the award is a big boost as it shows that other people believe in ExpHand Prosthetics as much as I do. It’s great to have the backing of fellow engineers who can see the potential in the product I’ve designed. I will be using the prize money to continue developing the ExpHand by manufacturing prototypes for testing and getting ready for a user trial.”
David Falzani MBE, President of Engineers in Business Fellowship which runs the competition with universities throughout the UK, said: “Contestants presented a range of high-quality innovations and it was an incredibly difficult decision to select the winners. Kate won her award for her ingenuity and passion in tackling the lack of access to prostheses, especially on the grounds of cost. A bonus of her design is that ExpHand is lighter in weight than conventional prosthetic arms.
“Our Engineers in Business Competition promotes the importance and value of business education for engineers to enable them to create products and services that improve people’s lives, the environment and the economy.
“Research shows that introducing business education to young engineers and technologists makes them better engineers, makes them more employable, more effective in the workplace, and is better for the engineering profession and the UK economy.
“We provide universities with funding for a dedicated engineers prize and this has resulted in a 25% uplift in the number of engineers taking part in business innovation competitions at the universities we sponsor.
“The Champion of Champions Grand Final competitors have shown incredible imagination in the development of diverse ideas, from ExpHand’s prosthetics limbs to environmentally friendly surfboards! We wish Kate every success as she moves forward with the challenging and exciting phases of developing her company.”