ET Foundation Recognizes Professional Designers and Students with $20,000 in the 2014 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition

(Wauconda, Illinois; June 26, 2014) -- A total of $20,000 was awarded to professional designers and students in the 2014 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. Ninety-five entries were received for the competition, including more than 80 designs from students at universities and technical schools. The awards, sponsored by Sapa Extrusions North America, included a Grand Prize, Professional Class prizes, and Student Class scholarships, which included the Sapa Sustainable Design Award.

The Grand Prize of $3,500, awarded across all classes and categories went to David Hornbach, Senior Product Designer for The Morel Company in Batesville, Indiana, for his design of the "Hercules" Patient Repositioner. The Hercules allows a single caregiver to reposition a patient in bed with a simple push of a button. The repositioner uses a special sheet that rolls into the aluminum housing, pulling the patient back up to the top of the bed. The unit is comprised of 7 unique aluminum extrusions that include two cavities, one that houses the roller that repositions the sheet, and one that houses the motor, clutch, circuitry, and power supply. Hornbach explained that the motor housing side of the unit, "This cavity was designed for easy service and creating a closure which could withstand our fluid ingress, EMC and grounding requirements."

Competition judge Joseph Benedyk, Editor of Light Metal Age magazine and Research Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, said of the design, "This entry is truly an engineered product made of multiple extruded components engineered to work together to solve a real world problem in the medical field. It's a great example of how extrusions can save time and money."

Prizes were also awarded to the following:

  • Professional Class - Engineered Products Category:
    • $2000 was awarded to Richard Hinkle, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and Joe Becknell, Sales Engineer, of Magnode Corporation in Trenton, Ohio, for an LED heat sink assembly for hazardous industrial lighting. The assembly is made of one extruded profile hub and 36 profile fins. The entire assembly weighs less than 30 pounds and is 15 inches in diameter. "The heat sink assembly provides safe, reliable heat transfer characteristics, simple installation and replacement, custom optics, and high efficiency and lumen output," explained Hinkle and Becknell in their entry.


  • Professional Class - Transportation Category:
    • $2000 was awarded to Stephan La Chevrotiere, an industrial designer at Service Precicad Inc. in Quebec, Canada, for his "Kargo" electric utility vehicle for light industrial use. The cab of the Kargo light utility vehicle was designed using aluminum extrusions to replace aluminum sheet and welded tubing. The Kargo, which is already in production, is used in the aluminum smelting industry. Although the use of aluminum in the design of such vehicles is not common, explained La Chevrotiere, "working in the aluminum business and the fact that the vehicle is 100% electric were two factors that led us to this choice [of using extruded aluminum for the design]."


  • Professional Class - Honorable Mention:
    • La Chevrotiere of Service Precicad Inc. also won an honorable mention for a retrofit parking sign for the City of Quebec. The city sought a distinctive look for its parking signs that fit the environment of the old city, that was discreet and met the standards of the UNESCO World Heritage site in which they were installed. The new design had to fit over the existing posts and ease of installation was a major factor. The city also wanted the new design to be installed on the existing post in less than one minute. The extruded parking sign design fit completely over the old post and was configured with a ribbed exterior making it harder to affix stickers. "The ribs also increase the rigidity of the structure without adding too much material," noted La Chevrotiere

Scholarships were awarded in the Student Class for the following designs:

  • $3,000 First Place to Adam Dowbnia, a sophomore studying Industrial Design at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana, for his design "Luminox". The Luminox is "an inexpensive, lightweight solution to provide protection for a solar-powered charging unit," Dowbnia stated.
  • $2,500 Sapa Sustainable Design Award to Nicholas Parent for his "Boardslide" wall bracket system to hold and display skateboards or to reuse old skateboard decks by mounting them to the brackets as shelves.
  • $2,000 Second Place to Yucen Liu, a junior studying Industrial Design at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois for the "Eco-Solar Sensor Road Sign".
  • $1,000 Third Place (tied) to David Warrick, a sophomore studying Industrial Design at Purdue University for his "reflecs" architectural light fixture.
  • $1,000 Third Place (tied) to Lee Clarke, a Senior Lecturer from De Monfort University in Loughborough, Leicestershire, England, for his concept of the "Comunity Rail", a customizable equipment rental system made with extruded aluminum.
  • $1,000 Third Place (tied) to Christopher Fusaro, an Industrial Design student at Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, Canada won a Third Place Scholarship Award for his "Caterpillar Case", designed to house and transport modular electronic music synthesizers.
  • $1,000 Third Place (tied) Charles Tyler Hopkins, a junior studying Mechanical Engineering Technology at the University of Maine in Orono, Maine, for his design of the Thermoelectric Exhaust-Alternator Replacement (T.E.A.R.) unit.
  • $1,000 Third Place (tied) to Maris Park, a sophomore studying Industrial Design at Purdue University, won a Third Place scholarship award for her design of the "Propel" wheelchair lift.

Visit for more details and to view the winning entries from the 2014 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. The ET Foundation will be inviting entries from students only for the 2015 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. The Call for Entries for the 2015 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition will be available in fall 2014 with judging and announcement of the winners expected in spring 2015.

Photos are available by viewing the entries at Click on the photo to load a high resolution image for saving.

About the ET Foundation
The Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation) was established by the Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes to develop, promote, provide, and fund education and research related to aluminum extrusion processes and technologies. Through programs such as the International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition and the International Aluminum Extrusion Technology Seminar and Exposition, the ET Foundation works to advance the knowledge and use of extruded aluminum profiles among academics, design and engineering professionals, as well as expand the expertise of aluminum extrusion industry professionals.

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