The Lubrizol Corporation’s Engineered Polymers business announced its premiere TPU DesignFEST challenge, held in collaboration with the newly chartered Outdoor Product Design & Development (OPDD) department at Utah State University.
TPU DesignFEST was created by Lubrizol to help students gain real-world design experience, working in teams to apply creativity and practical research to the design of performance-oriented sports and outdoor recreational applications that incorporate Lubrizol’s innovative TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) material solutions. Student teams will compete for cash prizes and publicity intended to assist with education and future career development.
Beginning this month, Lubrizol will partner with the OPDD Department at Utah State to introduce students to TPU, a highly versatile elastomer with unique properties ideal for a wide variety of outdoor applications. Using TPU as the primary material, student teams will propose new designs for demanding, high-performance applications like footwear, apparel, sporting goods/equipment/gears and accessory components.
TPU DesignFEST entries will be judged by a panel of industry experts who will assess each design on the basis of performance, practicality, aesthetics and sustainability. The top three designs will be awarded first, second and third place prizes.
“We are excited to announce this collaborative competition with the students at Utah State to continue exploring the boundless opportunity of Lubrizol’s innovative TPU technologies such as BounCell-X(TM) TPU high-performance foams and Estane TPU TRX high traction, high abrasion resistance resins,” said Kenneth Kim, global sports and recreation market development manager of Lubrizol Engineered Polymers.
Utah State University’s OPDD program is the first such four-year bachelors degree of its kind, having been guided by input from industry leaders such as Black Diamond, Cabelas, Patagonia and Northwest River Supplies. Launched in 2016, the program trains tomorrow’s leaders in soft and hard goods, with an emphasis on hands-on learning, internships, and a mix of design, materials and business training. OPDD is proud to partner with Lubrizol in hosting TPU DesignFEST and challenging students to envision and explore the exciting possibilities for TPU in the next generation of outdoor products.
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