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The winning entry to the Research as Art Award 2013.
Engineering postgrad, Laura North, from Swansea University has won a much-coveted award for her use of x-ray scanning and 3D printing.
The Research as Art 2013 award is open to all fields and the aim is to depict research as a story coupled with a striking image. The judging panel was made-up of judges from renowned institutes including NewScientist, Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Institue.
The eclectic mix of entries to Swansea University's competition involved research with names such as; New tools from insect poo, Older people on the move, Resisting temptation, Medieval disfigurement - a graphic guide and Finding needles in four-dimensional haystacks.
The winner was Project Surprise, in which Laura North attempted to recreate the toy inside a Kinder Surprise without breaking the shell, using an X-Ray CT scan and then a MakerBot Replicator 2. Ms. North presented her findings in a striking comic book form along with the following insightful quotes,
"The comic strip depicts the process of using both non-destructive testing and rapid prototyping techniques to replicate a toy found in a Kinder Surprise chocolate egg.
It may seem silly and insignificant to wish to replicate a toy from inside a Kinder Surprise without damaging the egg at all; however, the concept has many other exciting and broad applications.
These range from collaborating with the Egyptology department in identifying and reproducing mummified snake remains, to the concept being utilised in modern medicine, with perfectly fitting joint replacements."
A fascinating study presented in a marvellous way, the comic book form was the clincher for North as judge Dr Gail Cardew, Director of Science and Education at the Royal Institution, remarked:
"This entry took a complex idea and demonstrated quite simply how it would work, through comic strip form. An abstract area such as this would be difficult to communicate, but the researcher chose a very novel way of approaching it."
A cracking, or not so cracking as the case may be, piece of research. We salute you Laura North, one question though? Who ate the egg?