A UNSW Industrial Design student has taken out the silver medal in the Australian James Dyson Award, the premier design award for tertiary students.

Jason Lam, from UNSW's the Faculty of the Built Environment, was given the award for his Solaqua, a water disinfection unit which can kill germs in drinking water and could help save lives in sub-Saharan Africa.

UNSW students took out five of the 13 finalist places in the awards.

Head of FBE's Industrial Design program, Associate Professor Oya Demirbilek, said the result carried on a tradition of high achievement for FBE students.

"Jason's was a really well thought through, nicely detailed project," she said. "It looked really good and it responds to a real need in Africa."

All of the finalists will now go on to compete in the international James Dyson Awards.

Media contact: Peter Trute | 9385 1933