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Tom Griffin

BSc Product Design

I'm a versatile and driven designer who is constantly looking for problems to solve. I thrive in the research and development stages, especially when working with a diverse range of people. I look to create highly functional designs that meet the needs of people today, without compromising future sustainability.

Ricshield, Rifle-Mounted Ballistic Shield

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The war in Ukraine has brought into question decades of military doctrine and spending as Western countries invested in Middle Eastern, asymmetrical combat are faced with the realities of peer-to-peer conflict in Europe. The Ricshield was inspired by the re-emergence of close quarters urban and rural trench fighting and the subsequent lack of modern military equipment built to defend soldiers in these situations. Whilst statistical data on the Russo-Ukraine conflict is limited, research suggested shell fragments and bullet wounds as the leading cause of death. Historically, in military settings, penetrating head injuries carry a mortality rate exceeding 90%; as a result, the shield is designed to protect the unarmored gap between a soldier's helmet and chest plate.

Transparent ballistic materials traditionally require significant thicknesses to prevent penetration, however, are necessary to maintain a soldier's situational awareness. Rather than absorbing the full impact of a projectile, the Ricshield uses an angled composite plate designed to deform projectiles (7.62 x 39mm FMJ) and cause them to ricochet around an infantryman, significantly reducing necessary weight. Replacement of damaged plates extends the design's service life and, whilst developed for use on standard NATO picatinny rails, a custom mount also allows for adaptation to AK-variants.

ECO Hive

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Livestock farming and its associated practices currently account for up to 20% of total human greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts global sustainability further through land degradation. Insect farming offers a significantly more environmental solution to protein and fertiliser generation - using 15,000 times less water, producing 0.1% of the emissions and using 182 times less space than cattle to produce the same quantity of protein.

Whilst the insect farming industry is expected to exceed US$6.3bn by 2030, limited resources are available to start-up businesses. These DIY operations are difficult to set up, expensive to operate, and hard to develop. ECO Hive offers prospective farmers an affordable system that allows farms to be established quickly. The automatic thermostat-hydrostat allows users to experiment with profiles to maximise yield, whilst the insulative frame of the unit maintains the internal climate and improves energy efficiency. Modularity allows the design to be scaled vertically and horizontally to any available space, adapted for forklift use, and equipped for a variety of different insect species to allow businesses to grow into medium-scale operations easily.

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