Imperial College & Dyson investing in the inventors of tomorrow

SOURCE: Christophe Archambaul/AFP
British industrial design engineer and founder of the Dyson company, James Dyson, poses with products during a photo session at a hotel in Paris on October 11, 2018.

By U2B Staff 

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After its official opening earlier this month, the Dyson School of Design Engineering at Imperial College London is nurturing the inventors of tomorrow and urging their first graduating class to turn their talents to solving the world’s big global issues.

Founded in July 2014 with £12 million from the James Dyson Foundation, the school officially opened its permanent home on May 13 with the promise of creating “a world-leading school for a new kind of engineer who will lead the next technological revolution.”

They are off to a good start as the first cohort of graduating students displayed their solutions to a series of modern global challenges at the new former post office building in South Kensington.


Their work aims to tackle major problems facing the world today, including food waste, reducing non-sustainable packaging, improving office well-being, and reusable resistant materials.

On display were some truly ingenious products. Among them was the world’s first sustainable thermal packaging made from feathers, designed to be a replacement for the damaging and ubiquitous polystyrene.

Design Engineering Masters students also created Embla, a smart office tool designed to create a more soothing workplace. The tool allows employers to track their workers’ stress levels through data collected from wearable devices and adjust the team’s workload accordingly.

Not forgetting the children, Global Innovation Design student Fernanda Dobal’s created a biodegradable woolly mammoth toy, she calls Circular Species. The animal contains seeds and a 3D-printed skeleton that can be “discovered” and excavated a couple of weeks after burying it in the ground.


The school’s new building gives a space in which to realise James Dyson’s vision of creating the engineers of the future.

According to Imperial, the first floor holds an Edwardian library and mezzanine which hosts multi-modal teaching activities. While the basement and second and third floors are dedicated to design studios, research labs, and open-plan working spaces.

Refurbished with design principles in mind, the School encourages collaboration and creative, entrepreneurial thinking.