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Bio-reactive food expiry label inventor wins 2016 Hawley Award

Solveiga Pakštaitė named winner of the 2016 Hawley Award for her bio-reactive food expiry label

Published: 20/07/2016

The Engineers Trust has announced the winner of its 2016 Hawley Award for Engineering Innovation that benefits the Environment. Solveiga Pakštaitė has been awarded the £5,000 cash prize for her project “Bump Mark: the bio-reactive food expiry label”.

Bump Mark is a patent-pending food expiry labelling innovation, invented by Solveiga while studying at Brunel University London. It is currently being developed at Central Research Laboratory, in Hayes, West London, supported by U+I, Brunel University London and HEFCE. It is a bio-reactive solution calibrated to experience decay at the same rate as the food it is labelling to provide accurate, real-time indications of the product’s freshness. It will enable radical reductions in premature disposal of food by providing a more accurate indication of its “safe-to-use-by” date.

From a shortlist of four innovative submissions for this year’s award, the panel of experienced senior engineer Liverymen were impressed by Solveiga’s innovation, her successful trials to prove that Bump Mark works, and her plans for commercial application. She was presented with her award at the Worshipful Company of Engineers’ Annual Awards Dinner, held at the Royal College of Surgeons in London, on 19 July.

Solveiga said: “I am delighted that my design for a more accurate way of checking the freshness of food has been recognised by such a prestigious engineering organisation. I’m so pleased that the judges were open-minded enough to consider such an unusual project as the winner of this award. The award will help to carry out external lab tests that are needed to validate the technology before it goes out on the market.”

Barry Brooks, Hawley Award Co-ordinator for the Engineers Trust (the charitable arm of the Worshipful Company of Engineers), added: “As in previous years, this award attracted some fascinating examples of the innovative work that is being undertaken across the UK to apply science and engineering to solving problems that affect our environment. Whilst other submissions this year offer good prospects for the future, Solveiga’s case stood out as a perfect example of how our young engineer designers are developing their own ideas, using robust entrepreneurial skills, to overcome a huge unnecessary waste of food.”

Andrew Ward, Director of Corporate Relations, Brunel University London, said: “Sol is one of the outstanding entrepreneurs to emerge from Brunel recently. Her disruptive and socially necessary product is a great example of the value-driven but commercially savvy projects that are essential for Britain to maintain its position as the innovation centre of the world. We are grateful to the Hawley Award, the Engineers Livery Company and the Engineers Trust for making this award.”

The full press release is available to read here: 2016 Hawley Award winner

The campaign to find the 2017 Hawley Award winner will launch in September 2016. More information about the Engineers Trust and the awards run by the organisation is available here