QUB engineers win gold for their panic alarm necklace

  • Photo: (C) Business First Online

    Two Queen's University (QUB) students have won the UK-wide Engineers in Business Champion of Champions Gold Award for their smart safety alert alarm which resembles a piece of jewellery.

    Ben Lindsay (23) is a product design engineering graduate from Carlingford and Emma McQuiggan (23) is a mechanical engineering graduate from Carrickfergus. The pair designed the panic alarm, named BOLD after creating their new company, Stand as part of their joint course module.

    They won £3,000 as part of their award at a ceremony in London's Royal Academy of Engineering on Monday.

    It costs £149 and uses a new low-power mobile standard called NB-IoT, which allows the product to be much smaller and more discreet than previous technology.

    Ben and Emma were one of 10 teams that won their university heat of a Dragons' Den-style competition and reached the grand final. There they then competed for a share of £10,000 and mentoring to help take their business innovation to the next step.

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    BOLD automatically sends its wearer’s location and a text to pre-selected contacts without having to use a mobile phone, whenever the wearer presses it, for example if they feel at risk.

    In May 2019, the pair’s company Stand also presented an investors’ pitch at the Belfast Telegraph Business Awards in the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

    Ben said that the idea of BOLD arose when "two girls in our group, of which Emma was one, said that there is this persistent fear in the back of their heads when walking back from the library or walking home after working late at night.

    "The product is aimed at taking away that fear and uncertainty to give people piece of mind and confidence to go and do the things they want to do.

    "Initially it is aimed at young women, but in the future we want to look at other devices for men, lone workers and elderly people who live at home alone."

    RELATED: Students secure £15,000 at the QUB Dragons' Den

    Emma said that they looked up to many of those in the awards ceremony audience, making the event extra special.

    She continued: "It was crazy and we didn't expect to win it, but it felt amazing, especially in front a room full of such inspirational people.

    "We're really looking forward to the future and what this competition will do for our future and the future products we will develop."

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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