LIA Strengthens Commitment To Emerging Talent With Loughborough University Student Design Initiative
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As part of its ongoing commitment to nurturing the future talent of the lighting industry, The LIA recently completed a successful collaboration with Loughborough University and Holophane Europe Ltd.

A joint effort, representatives from both organisations visited the university to broaden 150 students understanding of the lighting industry, with the aim to encourage them to consider the sector as a potential career path.

The initiative focused on a product design brief, tasking the students to design an exterior lighting product, and encouraging them to research the different aspects of standards, regulations, existing products, and niche markets, further exposing them to the myriad of opportunities the lighting industry has to offer. They submitted their individual design briefs, accompanied by extensive research to showcase their rationale and thinking.

A panel of judges representing Holophane, and The LIA, assessed the submissions and selected the top three.

“This was no easy feat, as all of the students submitted outstanding product designs and all were worthy winners,” said LIA CEO, Ayça Donaghy.

In third place was Lauren Adams. With a keen interest in night fishing, Lauren designed a lamp that attracted carp, as well as illuminating the fishers’ area. She ensured it was safe for wildlife and the environment. The second winner Oscar Warman designed a sustainable, solar-powered streetlight that encourages birds to nest, with a built-in area for them to do so.

Aaron Varghese Abraham was announced as the winner for his genius solution of a lantern for use in the desert that uses UV rays to illuminate scorpions.

The three successful designers have been invited to attend the Spring LIA Technical Forum in April to present their product designs to key stakeholders in the industry. This will further embed them into the lighting community and members of The LIA will be able to discuss the lighting industry with them in more detail. The winners can also use the opportunity to network and even explore potential job opportunities.

Ayça added: “This was a fantastic initiative, and I am grateful to everyone involved in making it such a success. The design work from all of the students, and especially the winners, was so impressive. The lighting industry has a bright future if these talented individuals are an example of who may join the sector over the next few years.”

The LIA takes pride in supporting emerging talent and newcomers to the lighting industry. One of its flagship schemes is the Young Industry Group, part of its Talent Supply and Development strategy, which aims to empower and develop emerging talent in the lighting industry by providing opportunities for growth, leadership and learning.

This dynamic programme will help to tackle the challenges posed by an ageing workforce; that without a succession plan, as skilled workers retire there is a real risk of losing invaluable expertise. There are several initiatives currently underway to assist members of The LIA.