Engineers’ snowboarding invention wins Irish James Dyson Award
13 September 2013
Two mechanical engineering students from Trinity College Dublin have won the Irish category of the James Dyson Awards for their invention of a new binding system for snowboards.
Alberto Cañizares and Aoife Considine, both 22, are now in contention for the overall James Dyson Award for 2013, which comes with a prize pot of €35,000. The inspiration for Boundless came from Cañizares, a skier, who became fed up when skiing with friends at how long it took his snowboarding friends to travel along flat areas.
As snowboarders do not have poles for providing push-off, and with little means of propulsion apart from gravity, they depend on either their skier friends to drag them along flat-areas once momentum has been lost, or else to unstrap their back foot from its binding and ‘skate’ along.
The students decided to work on a solution to the problem as part of their third-year ‘Engineering Management’ module in TCD. The result is Boundless – a snowboard binding system designed to give full freedom when snowboarding, as well as being a comfortable solution for a large number of problems that conventional snowboard bindings present.
By means of a bearing system, Boundless offers a 360° rotational binding attachment that goes between board and binding that enables bindings to be unlocked, quickly adjusted and re-locked into another position.
Generic snowboard bindings are fixed in one position to the board by screws that need to be adjusted using a screwdriver. Boundless technology removes the necessity of tools, enabling smooth transition between different stances – giving the ability to skate along flat surfaces as one would on a skateboard. This allows for easier, more comfortable lift riding and greater scope for freestyle tricks.
As Irish winners, Considine and Cañizares receive €2,400 from the James Dyson Foundation, as well as progressing to the international stage of the James Dyson Award and the chance of the €35,000 overall prize.
The James Dyson Award is open to product design, industrial design and engineering university level students (or graduates within four years of graduation), who have studied in the following 18 countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.
More than 650 entries were received for the 2013 international prize and the winner will be announced on 7 November.
For more Irish success stories from the James Dyson Awards, click here.http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2013/09/13/engineers-snowboarding-invention-wins-irish-james-dyson-award/http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/dyson-irish-winners.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/dyson-irish-winners-300x288.jpgNewsawards,innovation,Trinity College Dublin