Claremorris student wins top innovation award at Wood Marketing event

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 Press Office
Press Release

Furniture design & manufacture student wins award for designing process to produce curved forms

The flexibility of wood was demonstrated by students throughout Ireland at the 2015 Third Level Student Wood Awards hosted by the Wood Marketing Federation (WMF) in Dublin recently. The top innovation award went to GMIT Letterfrack student Sean Burns from Claremorris for designing a process that can produce curved forms.

Sean, who is in the final year of a Bachelor of Science honours degree in Furniture Design and Manufacture, was presented with his prize by Minister of State Tom Hayes at the formal awards ceremony in the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin earlier this month (July).

Sean dispelled any preconceptions that wood might be too rigid for flexible applications when he designed the process that can produce curved forms. This he achieved by utilising modern technology such as advanced CAD software “to unfold curved and organic 3D computer models” as he put it “so that wood can be used in a variety of bowed and rounded applications in design”.

Another GMIT Letterfack student, Paul Sweeney from Mountbellew, was awarded the title ‘Highly Commended in Design’ accolade for his wood product ‘’Woodbows’, a fashion accessory made from wood. Paul won the GMIT Student Innovation Award earlier this year for the same product.

Dermot O’Donovan, Head of GMIT Letterfrack says the students’ achievements at this awards event reflect so positively on their abilities and skills and also on the expertise of the lecturers at GMIT Letterfrack.


Paul Harvey, Chairman WMF, says: “The objective of the awards is to encourage students to explore functional, aesthetic and design aspects of wood and wood products. Judges Duncan Stewart, director Earth Horizon  (chairman), Simon O’Driscoll, O’Driscoll Furniture and Des O’Toole, business development manager, Coillte, are top professionals in the fields of architecture, engineering and design and provide excellent feedback to all students whose work made it to the adjudication process.”