Foamex Innovations (FXI) is looking for the next breakthrough in memory foam and 42 PhilaU students are competing in FXI’s design challenge that may ultimately be used in FXI production.
The competition, designed specifically for students, was created with the intention of enhancing education, providing hands-on industry experience, and preparing for future employment.
“This design competition is an innovative way for our students to learn about the changing face of textile manufacturing in Philadelphia and elsewhere and bring their studies to life with hands-on industry experience,” said Janet Brady, associate professor of Textile Engineering.
Those participating in the competition come from a wide range of majors including Textile Design, Textile Engineering Technology, Industrial Design, Graphic Design Communication and Fashion Industry Management.
Divided into 12 teams, undergraduate and graduate students are working together this semester to create new memory foam sleep products suitable for the retail market. As part of the competition, students must consider features and benefits, commercial viability, and innovation as they design.
Final presentations will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. in The Tuttleman Center Auditorium. Winners of the FXI competition will be announced in February 2010.
The top team will be awarded $1,000 and an all-expense paid trip to the International Sleep Products Association Conference in March 2010 in Charlotte, N.C., where their product design will be showcased and they will launch their product design. Second- and third-place winners will also receive cash awards, and the top five teams’ designs will be used in FXI products.