Former 3D Design student, Ahmed Salah, wins prestigious RSA Award

23rd June 2016

Former 3D Design student at Barking & Dagenham College, Ahmed Salah, has won the Sustainability Clean category in the 2016 Royal Society Student Design Awards with his Wudu Water Saver. Ahmed was presented with his £2,500 prize at a ceremony at the RSA?s HQ in central London in June.

Ahmed’s winning idea eliminates the need for Muslims to leave water taps running while they perform Wudu, a ritual washing before prayer. Made from polypropylene, the Water Saver fits onto a variety of sinks and baths in bathrooms and wash rooms. It holds one and a half litres of water, which is enough to perform the ritual washing without excessive water usage.

Former RSA winners

He is treading an illustrious path, with previous winners including Apple design chief Jonathan Ive, leading industrial designer Paul Priestman, GOV.UK mastermind Ben Terrett and renowned fashion designer Betty Jackson.

The Sustainably Clean design brief, sponsored by Unilever, asked for a product or system that would allow people to wash and clean themselves using less water or lower water temperatures.

Problem solving

Ahmed, 21, from Romford, completed his two-year Foundation Degree in 3D Design in 2015, before moving on to the University of East London. During his time at Barking & Dagenham College, Ahmed had the opportunity to develop his skills on real projects, winning the competition to design the College’s hot-desking enterprise hub for students who want to run their own business, The POD.

Fresh from his win, Ahmed said,

“For people like me who enjoy problem solving, product design is the best discipline. Inclusive design is also important to me. My work will be part of a university exhibition which is coming up and I hope I get talent spotted by an employer.

“The training I had at Barking & Dagenham College was great. I studied at Level 3 before moving on to the Foundation Degree. This meant I only had a further year to complete at UEL to get my full degree. It’s been a great route for me and I would recommend it to others.”

Sevra Davis, Director of the RSA Student Design Awards said,

“The judging panel was blown away by the amount of work that Ahmed did in response to the RSA brief, and he delivered an articulate and thoughtful presentation when he came for interview.”

“He won the Unilever Award because of all the short-listed students, he demonstrated the most thoughtful approach and had the clearest insights into the issues – and, he came up with a brilliant solution that is realistic, has a market and is commercially viable.

“It was clear that Ahmed put in many hours and much hard work into figuring out where water savings could be had and then set about solving a real issue.”

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