AEC News: Entries Sought for 2014 Aluminum Extrusion

Entries Sought for 2014 Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition

Educational resources available to students and instructors

(Wauconda, Illinois; December 16, 2013) -- The Aluminum Extruders Council and the ET Foundation, the educational and scientific organization devoted to promoting and advancing aluminum extrusion processes and technologies, are seeking entries for the 2014 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. The competition is divided into two classes: Professional and Student. Cash prizes and student scholarships are expected to total $20,000 - including a Grand Prize of $3,500. Cash prizes and student scholarships are sponsored by Sapa Extrusions North America.

There is no fee to enter the competition. Professional designers, engineers, and manufacturers along with students studying design, engineering and related fields at universities, colleges, technical schools and high schools around the world are invited to participate. Aluminum extruders are encouraged to team up with their customers to submit a design for the competition.

Submissions will be accepted through March 31, 2014. Entry forms can be downloaded at Winning entries will be determined by those designs that best demonstrate the benefits of aluminum extrusions and meet the four basic criteria of creativity, practicality, product/process advantage and market/impact potential. Winners of the 2014 Design Competition will be announced following the entry deadline and the winning designs will be posted on the ET Foundation website and promoted in the media.

Professional cash prizes and student scholarships to be awarded
In addition to a Grand Prize of $3,500 to be awarded across all categories and classes, professionals and students will compete in their own classes for the awards totaling $20,000. Entries received in the Professional Class will be divided into four categories: Structural, Transportation, Engineered Products, and Alternative Energy. First-place cash prizes in the amount of $2,000 will be awarded to the best design in each category.

Scholarships totaling $8,500 will be presented as cash awards to the top designs in the Student Class, including $3,000 for First Place, $2,000 for Second Place, $1,000 for Third Place and $2,500 for the Sapa Sustainable Design Scholarship Award.

Sapa Sustainable Design Scholarship Award
The Sapa Sustainable Design Scholarship Award will be presented to the student whose design best addresses societal and/or environmental concerns, in addition to meeting the basic criteria. Examples would be a device that helps improve conditions for refugees or an item that facilitates daily living for the handicapped or elderly.

Beyond the Competition, Into the Classroom
Innovation is a key objective of the competition, which encourages students to develop new and expanded uses for extruded aluminum. Instructors at universities, colleges, technical and trade schools are also encouraged to incorporate the competition into their curriculum as a way to develop further adoption of aluminum extrusions. The Aluminum Extruders Council's Academic Outreach Team has been fostering relationships with universities and technical schools across the United States and Canada as a way to get information about aluminum extrusions into the classroom.

Members of AEC visit engineering and design classes throughout the school year bringing real-world information about the process, applications, and technology to students and instructors. Some members have even opened their doors for plant tours to help instructors and students better understand the aluminum extrusion process.

"In order for our industry to make an impact, more has to be done to raise awareness of aluminum extrusions through academic outreach to engineering and design programs at universities and technical schools," said AEC Academic Outreach Team Leader Jared Bringhurst, Operations Director at Futura Industries in Clearfield, Utah. "Students get extensive exposure in the classroom to steel but virtually nothing is covered on aluminum, and especially extrusion."

As a teaching tool, AEC has developed the presentation, Designing to the Limits of Your Imagination, which covers the advantages of aluminum extrusions, including material and process benefits, practical applications, design tips and more. The presentation can be downloaded for free from the Student page of ET Foundation website at The presentation is available as a PowerPoint slide file or PDF file.

Further, AEC recently conducted a webinar that covers some of the material addressed in the slide presentation. It's About the SHAPE: Designing with Aluminum Extrusions, produced by AEC and hosted by Design News, provides an excellent overview of the aluminum extrusion process and applications, while addressing the unique challenges that the almost-infinite design flexibility of extrusions can present to designers and engineers. The webinar is available to view on-demand at by choosing "Library", then "Webinars."

In addition, as part of their sponsorship of the competition, Sapa will be offering winning students complimentary attendance to a Sapa Profile Academy aluminum education event in 2014.

Aluminum Extrusion Production Process
Aluminum extrusion is an incredibly versatile metal-forming process that engineers and designers employ to create a wide variety of products and components ranging from architecture and aerospace to solar power and medical equipment. Because it is highly recyclable, aluminum also offers many sustainable advantages. Its low weight-to-strength ratio and corrosion-resistant characteristics further enhance its appeal as a design material.

The aluminum extrusion production process can accommodate a broad range of profile designs, allowing for the creation of diverse or unique parts. In addition, aluminum profiles can be formed to facilitate manufacturing and assembly, increase product reliability and durability, simplify maintenance and repairs for the product's final use and build in an attractive appearance that can make the final product more appealing to the customer.

To date, more than $106,000 has been awarded to students through the competition. Scholarships are provided through the generosity of sponsors, including this year's exclusive Platinum Sponsor Sapa Extrusions North America.

About the ET Foundation
The Extrusion Technology for Aluminum Profiles Foundation (ET Foundation) has been established for charitable, scientific, and educational purposes to develop, promote, provide, and fund education and research related to aluminum extrusion processes and technologies. For more information, contact the ET Foundation at or visit

About the Aluminum Extruders Council
The Aluminum Extruders Council (AEC) is the international trade association dedicated to advancing the effective use of aluminum extrusion in North America. AEC is committed to bringing comprehensive information about extrusion's characteristics, applications, environmental benefits, design and technology to users, product designers, engineers and the academic community. Further, AEC is focused on enhancing the ability of its members to meet the emerging demands of the market through sharing knowledge and best practices.  For more information, visit




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Nancy Molenda, Communications Manager

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