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TU Dublin student wins design competition for breast cancer examination kit

Posted: 8 July, 2019

Daniella Kaligorsky, Product Design student from Technological University Dublin, has won the annual Design Innovation in Plastics (DIP) competition. The results were announced at the final awards ceremony at Painters Hall, London, on Friday 05 July.


Danielle came first in the competition for creating a kit to help women understand how to examine themselves for signs of breast cancer.  CHECKKIT shows how to conduct a self-examination for breast cancer and includes models that simulate the breast and the physical symptoms of breast cancer.  It also has a brochure to explain what to do and how to recognise 12 possible symptoms, along with a notebook to log results.

Sponsored by Covestro, DIP is the longest running student plastics design competition of its type, and is held every year to encourage university students to come up with brand new products made primarily of plastic.

Competition organisers, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Worshipful Company of Horners, this year set the challenging brief of ‘Healthy body – healthy world’ inviting ideas for improving health, wellbeing or encouraging exercise, with a product which could demonstrate longevity and sustainability.

Commenting on the winner,  chairman of judges, Richard Brown, said the panel was extremely impressed with Daniella’s thorough research into the medical and practical need; her comprehensive review of materials to get the right texture and touch for her product, along with her analysis of manufacturing methods, costs, end user experience and sustainability. She had also given due consideration to competitor products.  “We felt very strongly that this was a product that would enhance wellbeing and was market-ready to meet Daniella’s vision for it,” he added.

Another member of the panel, technical engineer, Mike Stuart, formerly of Covestro, said the well thought out manufacturing and practical presentation would help de-stigmatise the subject of breast examination and make it useable even in schools.  “This product could be put into production fairly quickly, and we feel a possible future application could be a similar kit for testicular cancer,” he explained

Daniella said losing a member of her family to breast cancer had inspired her to look deeper into this subject and try to address the problem. “It is a great opportunity to be able to pursue product design and be recognised and acknowledged by such a great competition and I am proud that the significance of the problem with cancer is recognised,” she said.

“I’ve learned a substantial amount about plastics and the manufacturing process. There is still so much to learn, and I am excited to take a step further to discover more about the world of plastics and the benefits that it can provide.”

Daniella, who lives in Dublin, was among five finalists, and an original field of 149 entries from all over the UK and Ireland. She will receive a cash prize and short work placement with one of the competition sponsors:  Brightworks; Innovate Product Design; PDD and RJG Technologies.  She will also visit industry headline sponsor, Covestro, in Germany, as part of her prize.

The full results are:

First: Daniella Kaligorsky – 3rd year product design student, Technological University Dublin. Product name: Checkkit  -  A kit for raising breast cancer awareness by promoting self-examination.

Second: Kai Wang –  4th year integrated product design student, Brunel University.

Product: POTLUCK - A combined cooking and storage device that encourages and simplifies the production of stock cubes using avoidable food waste. 

Third: Christopher Kay – 4th year product design student, De Montfort University.

Product name: EnviroJect – a re-usable syringe system, providing a safe and sustainable method of administering medications.

Highly commended:

Louis Farnsworth, 3rd year product design student, De Montfort University

Product Name: Air - A smart breathing aid for asthmatics to reduce asthma flare up and irritation to the lungs and airway when exercising.

Namgyun Ryu – 1st year MSc Integrated Product Design student, Brunel University

Product name: Tri Walker – A walking assistant product for enhanced mobility and health for the elderly, adding improved functionality to conventional walking aids.