The 2023 James Dyson Award global winners have been announced. The prizes have gone to three different student teams, each of which offers novel solutions to modern issues including global warming and providing care in war and disaster zones.
Since 2007, the James Dyson Foundation has given engineering students a deceptively simple challenge: create something that solves a problem. Those who’ve taken up that challenge and won include the American designer of a paper bike helmet; a Canadian team that came up with a cheap skin cancer detector; a UK team that gave us an omnidirectional urban wind turbine; and an engineer from the Philippines who invented a way to convert waste crops into panels that turn light into electricity.
This year’s winners were no less inventive, with their designs addressing the concerns of a planet that is seeing more wars, natural disasters, and climbing temperatures. Each of the winning designs will receive £30,000 from the James Dyson Foundation to further their work.
Humanitarian Winner: The Life Chariot
As he watched the wounded get transported over difficult terrain in the Ukrainian Russian conflict, Polish engineer Piotr Tłuszcz felt he could provide a better stand-in ambulance than the trunk of a car. Already a pro at creating hitchable rescue trailers, he took his design skills to the next level with the Life Chariot, a towable trailer with an adjustable hitch that can accommodate one person on a removable stretcher as well as two other passengers who could be medics, or other wounded people.
Two of the vehicles have already been given to the Ukrainian Medical Military Unit and a Polish voluntary medic unit where they have performed admirably in caves, forests and mines. Tłuszcz plans to use the money from the award to create further iterations of the Life Chariot based on feedback from the field and develop more rescue trailers for other applications.
“This year the James Dyson Award gives a special Humanitarian prize to Piotr, who has designed an ingenious way of recovering injured people from challenging terrain,” said Dyson. “The Life Chariot can be towed by anything – allowing medics to do their life-saving work with the resources they have at hand.”
You can see Dyson inform Tłuszcz of his award and see the Life Chariot in action in the following video.
James Dyson Award 2023 Humanitarian Winner
International Winner: The Golden Capsule
Also inspired by chaotic, life-threatening situations, this year’s international winners created what they’ve called the Golden Capsule, a portable IV dispenser that doesn’t require gravity or power to deliver fluids into the seriously wounded.
The team members from South Korea says they were inspired to create their design after seeing the way in which people needed to walk beside the wounded carrying bags of IV fluids after the Turkish-Syrian earthquake earlier this year. After interviewing medical personnel and confirming the difficulties inherent in delivering life-saving liquids this way, they created a capsule that could get the job done more efficiently.
The device, named the Golden Capsule, uses a low-pressure chamber to squeeze fluids out of a pre-filled balloon. Because the low-pressure is built into the device when it is manufactured, medical personnel need only remove a safety latch and insert a needle into the bottom of the cylinder to start the flow of fluids. The device can then be clipped onto a patient’s stretcher, held at any height, or placed in any position to continue delivering either saline or glucose without interruption.
You can learn more about the Golden Capsule and see the team’s reaction to winning the International category in the following video.
James Dyson Award 2023 International Winner
Sustainability Winner: E-Coating
When coming up with their entry for the 2023 Dyson Awards, Hoi Fung Ronaldo Chan and Can Jovial Xiao looked around their home city of Hong Kong and decided to tackle the fact that air-conditioning accounts for about one-third of the city’s total energy use. While we’ve seen reflective coatings that aim to bounce the sun’s heat off of buildings to keep them cooler before, the students added a novel twist to their coating. They made it from recycled glass bottles.
According to the duo, they predict that using the coating on exterior walls and roofs could slash cooling costs about about 30%
“We invented E-Coating with a desire to help tackle the serious environmental problems our planet is facing,” said Chan and Xiao. “The prize money will allow us to further our research and development goals and start a company to take our invention to the next level.”
You can hear from the Sustainability winning team in the following video.
James Dyson Award 2023 Sustainability Winner