University of Derby students invited to design the future of civil engineering

“This is an exciting time for the civil engineering sector, with huge infrastructure projects in the pipeline that will be built using a range of innovative new products. It is important that highway ironwork and geosynthetics evolve to meet the challenges of the future.

Now we’re asking students to help us by bringing fresh insights to product design. Our design challenges for the University of Derby allow a level of freedom to spark new ideas. Whether they discover the next breakthrough in ironwork design, or they cleverly engineer marginal gains that further improve whole-of-life performance for customers, we’re very exciting to see the results.”
Simon Gibson, Technical Director, Wrekin Products

A new partnership with the University of Derby is reinforcing the commitment of Wrekin Products, manufacturer of intelligent products for civil engineering, to explore the future of manhole covers, gully grates and geosynthetics.

Wrekin has invested significantly in innovation in recent years, with major initiatives such as an in-house Industrial Design team and customer training centre.

Wrekin is sponsoring the Design Management module for students taking the B.A. in Product Design and the B.Sc. in Product Design Engineering. Throughout the autumn, students will work in teams to carry out market research and create conceptual designs on a series of challenges set by Wrekin.

The four design briefs are based around its core products. This gives students the chance to flex their design muscles on issues ranging from helping contractors with ironwork maintenance to improving road safety for cyclists.

The module ends with the teams submitting a report and presentation on their work. As well as contributing to the students’ final grades, Wrekin will also be judging the results and will reward a prize to the winning team.

Samantha Evans, Industrial Design Engineer at Wrekin was a graduate of the University of Derby and it was her idea to put Wrekin and the University together. “I took the Design Management module, which was a brilliant chance to apply everything I learned in the classroom to a practical, real-world example. It’s fantastic to be able to come back to help inspire today’s Product Design students by showing them some of the work that’s being done.”