Snow racer wins student design competition

A new craft designed for racing down snow covered slopes is the winner of this year’s Student Plastics Design Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and the Worshipful Company of Horners.

The winning design, called a Slegoon, was invented by Spike Reid of the University of Northumbria. It introduces a new sport somewhere between sledging and skidooing, being more exciting and competitive than the former and less harmful to the environment than the latter. Participants are strapped into bucket seats and can steer the Slegoon by weight and braking. The craft has a roll cage which allows it to continue downhill even when overturned, although an emergency brake is fitted. The Slegoon is built around an aluminium alloy chassis and roll bar, with polyurethane moulded around this core.

The second prize in the competition went to James Ryder, also of the University of Northumbria, for his Split Wheeler bicycle which allows children to learn to ride a bicycle more easily and in a safe, progressive way. In James’ design, the rear wheel can split in half to form two wheels that act as stabilisers. The design works effectively through the use of strong, lightweight plastics and the PU-RIM moulding process.

Third prize went to David O’Leary of Sheffield Hallam University for his Lean ‘n’ Clean Bather unit which combines the advantages of a bath and a shower, and has been designed to suit a wide age group.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony held at the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining headquarters in London on Friday 4th July. The winning designs, together with those of the runners up, are on display at the Institute from 9-13 July.

This competition is one of the longest running and most established student plastics design competitions in the UK. It was founded in 1985 by BASF and the then Institute of Materials to promote the use of modern plastics. This year’s headline industrial sponsor is Bayer plc, who provided each entrant with technical information and sponsored a plastics roadshow to demonstrate PU-RIM (reaction injection moulded polyurethane) technology.

For full details of the winners and their designs, click here.

Date Posted: 7 July 2003


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