Young Engineer Wins Silver Award for Surfboard Innovation

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.

The Silver Award of £2,000 went to Duncan Lyster, an engineering physicist from Exeter University who has created a superior quality, environmentally friendly surfboard and the technology is being patented. The business aims to reduce the environmental damage of the surfing industry while providing a beautiful product that works exceptionally in the water. The boards are comparable in weight and build time to a standard polyurethane foam board.

Commenting on his success at the Grand Final awards ceremony Duncan said: “The £2,000 prize money is going to make a huge difference over the next few months. I’m going to use it to build up some stock boards to give to shops which will increase my presence in the market. It’s great to have the business validated by judges who really know what they are talking about and I feel that I’ve had some really positive feedback. Winning the award gives me great confidence going forward and I’m really happy to have been here.”

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. Duncan won the silver award for his ingenuity and passion in tackling an environmental risk in the surfing industry, while still crafting a beautiful, high performance product.

“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 Duncan’s environmentally friendlier surfboards to technology that will improve medical research! We wish Duncan every success as he moves forward with the challenging and exciting phases of developing Lyster Surfcraft.”