UNSW design students have triumphed over their competitors, placing first, second and third in the Dyson Student Award category of the prestigious Australian Design Awards.

Paul Owen, a 2006 graduate from the Faculty of the Built Environment's Industrial Design Program, won the Gold Award for his Powercleat design. Inspired by Paul's sailing experience, the Powercleat overcomes the risk that fine lines lying on the deck become tangled and a safety hazard for sailors.

The Silver Award went to designer Ringo Fan, also from the Industrial Design Program, for his project Viso, a set of handle-bar grips and gloves designed to promote greater rider safety during night cycling.

A third student from the Industrial Design Program claimed the Bronze Award. Wilson Du was recognised for Sentinel, an unmanned, fixed fire suppression unit developed to allow fire services to better utilise resources when at fire scenes.

According to the head of FBE's Industrial Design Program, Dr Oya Demirbilek, the UNSW students stood apart from their competitors because of the depth of their projects and their strong research.

"They were not only well presented, with appropriate drawings and renderings and models, but were solved to the last millimetre, ready for production, solving real problems, with real potential markets," she said.

As the Gold Award winner, Paul will now go on to represent Australia in the James Dyson Award 2008, an international student award scheme which has been running for the past two years and is open exclusively to winners of national student design programs.

Media contact: Victoria Collins, UNSW Media Office, tel. 9385 3263 or 0412 980 044.