With the brief ‘design something that solves a problem’, there’s a huge scope for a student design engineer to get creative with this one.

The James Dyson Award (JDA) is challenging you to take your idea to the next level with its competition. And why should you take them on? Well, aside from the possibility of being promoted on a global platform, you may just win £30,000 to develop your product idea.

“If people respond to your prototype and say, ‘that’s brilliant, why hasn’t it always been made like this?’, then you’re definitely going to do well”


It’s all about celebrating and inspiring the next generation of engineers by illustrating how your ideas can be implemented in the real world. If you’re a current or recent design engineer student, then you can sign up to the James Dyson Award today as an individual or a team – you have until 20 July 2017 to do so.

Designing a reality

The JDA is looking for an idea that can be readily applied to everyday life – something that is practical, commercially viable and sustainable.

The award is being held by the James Dyson Foundation. The team are immensely passionate about getting young people excited about the prospects that design engineering can unfold.

“A project should engage real users”


International Runners up in 2014, Derek Jouppi and his team, offer some pearls of wisdom for 2017 applicants: “Projects that do well in the JDA are ones that solve the problem at hand in the design of the product – not necessarily the advanced tech or features. If people respond to your prototype and say, ‘that’s brilliant, why hasn’t it always been made like this?’, then you’re definitely going to do well here.”

Loren Lim, National Singaporean winner, adds, “A project should engage real users. An interview with a real user can help to improve a design, rather than just using the insights of the designer.”

Handpicked by James Dyson

Entrants will come from across the globe to enter the competition, but the team behind JDA don’t want students to be deterred. They say, “Even if you don’t win anything, there’s still a good chance that your design will receive some great exposure through the international media and design community.”

When the closing date for entries passes, local judges will select 5 products from each region. Then, Dyson’s own engineers will analyse each idea to narrow the pool down to the top 20 finalists, who will be judged by James himself. After he has determined his favourite, an international winner is announced!

In this case, the winner doesn’t take it all: National winners will also receive a £2,000 prize, the International Runners-Up will receive £5,000 and the University of the overall International Winners will receive £5,000.

So if you have an idea at any stage of designing, manufacturing or marketing, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

For more information visit the James Dyson Foundation’s website, you can even get some inspiration from the JDA page. To keep up to date you can also give them a follow on Twitter: @JDF.