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Catholic Secondary Student wins Top Design Award for High Tech Fire Detection

Posted on 31 March 2019
Catholic Secondary Student wins Top Design Award for High Tech Fire Detection

Above: A photo of the FADER system.

Ten years ago on Black Saturday, Lorimer Marshall's family were forced to evacuate their Gippsland home as fires ravaged nearby properties.

The family home was spared, but the memory of that day still burns deep in 18-year-old Lorimer's mind.

When he began researching his year 11 school design project, he set about using "modern technology to find a modern solution" to the issue of early bushfire detection.

"Living in the bush, it's always on your mind, it's always on your family's mind," said the year 12 student at Lavalla Catholic College.

Lorimer's creation was the Fire, Analytics, Detection and Emergency Response (FADER) system.

The FADER system not dissimilar in shape to R2-D2 uses various apparatuses to measure wind speed, wind direction, smoke and infrared to detect the early signs of bushfires, before sending a text message to the nearest fire station detailing the weather conditions. This allows fire crews to make an informed judgment on the likely extent of the fire's danger.

Lorimer says it's the only product of its type in Australia, and though it hasn't been used by emergency services yet, Lorimer envisages it being used in future.

The final prototype is the result of "hours of late nights researching and watching YouTube tutorials on electronic subsystems", according to Lorimer, who wants to study design or engineering when he graduates from high school.

The FADER system is on show alongside 85 of the state's best student designs at the annual Top Designs showcase at the Melbourne Museum, which runs from this week and ends on July 14.

Show curator Sia Smyth says the works are selected by subject specialists and judged on relevant criteria in categories including engineering, systems engineering, design, industrial design and graphic design.

Only students who receive an A or A+ in their design-based VCE course including visual communications design, film, and creative and digital media are eligible to have their designs displayed, which provide "brilliant examples of top-level work for other students", according to Smyth.

"The showing of the folios is actually more valuable than the final work, because it shows the process of how these students have arrived here they look into the mind of the designer, finding out how they arrived at the final product, the research they did and all the ideas they threw out."

Smyth says the Top Designs program facilitates solid links between design-interested students. Zoe, the woman responsible for the graphic design of the Top Designs showcase, was a former student entrant in the program.

Smyth emphasises the prototypes aren't pie-in-the-sky ideas. Students need to submit a detailed "production plan", including research on whether there is a market for the product, who their end user is, and everything in between.

"A lot of these kids will be the designers and advanced manufacturers of the future," said Smyth.


From: The Age 1/4/2019

By: Paul Sakkal

Tags: Awards



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