Innovation in Industrial Design for Technology Inspiration Day

Colfe’s welcomed innovation strategist and product designer Roger Gray as guest speaker for this year’s Technology Inspiration Day.

Mr Gray specialises in innovation in sustainable design and green technology, and gave an absorbing lecture on Industrial Design to students from Year 7 and 8 and to those from Years 9-13 studying Computer Science.

His talk gave an insight into how he has used technology in the development of a wide range of products, including SwimAR (augmented reality goggles), which provide a holographic heads-up display for swimmers. He discussed the use of CAD (computer aided design) and 3D printers to build the prototypes, and the programming and electrical engineering involved in displaying the hologram in the water.

Another of his products that is currently in development is a high-speed rail cleaning system that uses plasma to clean leaves and other debris off train tracks. Students were keen to hear how the system uses plasma technology to blast the Teflon-like compacted coating of leaves, the comparison to a light sabre helped us to visualise it.

The biggest gasp of all was reserved for the Gravity jet pack that can transport a person through the air in the style of Iron Man. Mr Gray worked on developing goggles with a holographic HDU so that the user can see data such as how much time has elapsed.

Designed to help students explore different career paths that they may not have previously considered, Technology Inspiration Day is an annual event which includes a guest speaker to talk about how they use technology in their career.

Head of Computer Science Katy Walsh said, “It was very interesting for students to see the vast array of products that Roger has been involved in developing, and the many ways different technologies are used in development.

Computer Science and its related fields are some of the most in demand skills in the workplace and it is growing in popularity at Colfe’s. It is useful for students to see how these skills can be used in the real world and alongside other skills such as innovation and industrial design. It certainly is a career that is both interesting and well rewarded, especially if you can solve a real-world problem that affects so many of us such as clearing leaves off the train lines.”

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