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Hongik Univ. students win top James Dyson Awards

Sept. 7, 2022 - 13:22 By Lee Seung-ku
The first place winners of South Korea's 2022 James Dyson Awards pose with their prototype. (Dyson)

The James Dyson Foundation, global home appliance company Dyson's charity arm, announced Wednesday the local recipients of the James Dyson Awards 2022, an engineering competition held both locally and internationally to provide opportunities for young engineers to showcase their ideas on a global stage.

Of the 125 entries, a team of students from Hongik University took first place for designing a rotating safety hook.

When temporary scaffolding is raised at construction sites, there are points where the vertical and horizontal members overlap. Workers who reach this point while moving along the structure must detach their safety hook and reattach it in the correct orientation.

The Rotary Safety Hook uses the same principles as a revolving door to allow workers to move freely between structures without having to detach their safety hook, explained the team from Hongik University.

“I was shocked to learn that the main cause of falls was the misuse of safety hooks due to its discomfort, and thought it was a problem that must be solved,“ said team leader Yim Jung-hyun.

“We could tell sufficient research was done on the sites the students wanted to apply (their prototype) to,” said Dyson engineer Lee Soo-jeong, one of the judges at the competition. “The piece excelled in functionality and revealed the students’ consideration of different market aspects,” she added.

The team received a 5,000 British pound ($5,739) cash prize and will move on to the upcoming international competition. The team was chosen for the project’s excellency in problem-solving, operation mechanism, design method, creativity and applicability, according to the foundation.

Two other teams -- one who showcased a power strip featuring rotating sockets, and another who created a personal mobility helmet that featured turn signals -- were also recognized.

The foundation will announce the 20 teams moving onto the international competition on October 12.

The James Dyson Awards has been hosted annually since 2005 with local versions of the competition held in 29 countries.