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Meet the James Dyson Award Top 20 judges.


Today marks the beginning of the international stages of the James Dyson Award 2021 as the global shortlist of 20 pioneering inventions has been announced. All have the chance to become a global winner and receive £30,000 to support the next stages of their inventions.

In August, the Award announced its national winners and runners-up, across 28 countries and regions. From a wood alternative made from Kombucha waste, to a redesign of the traditional inhaler. This was just the start of uncovering the world’s next brightest minds and young inventors.

The Top 20 shortlist.

15 Dyson engineers, scientists and designers from around the world have reviewed the 83 national finalists to curate this year’s global Top 20 shortlist of inventions.

At Dyson, we believe great ideas come from diversity of thought and experience. Our judges celebrate the wide range of knowledge and expertise within Dyson’s Research, Design and Development teams. They specialise across a broad range of engineering fields including Microbiology, Automation, Sustainability, Software, Motors and Technical design, Early Concepts, Healthcare, Manufacturing. They were joined by high-performing undergraduates from the Dyson Institute of Engineering Technology to share their insight, challenging conventional design processes.


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Meet the James Dyson Award Top 20 shortlist

Get to know some of the Dyson judges.




    The James Dyson Award for Australia, Project Flock

  • John McGarva

    Global Head of Design Engineering, Singapore.

    John is an experienced engineering leader with broad experience in technology, product development, and manufacturing. He has experience in healthcare, industrial and consumer goods industries, with a strong track record in leadership of large teams and delivery of complex projects.

    John joined Dyson in 2018, and today leads the design engineering team developing the next generation of hair care products.


    “I believe that competitions are an extremely effective way of encouraging entrants to focus hard on their ideas and move the designs forward quickly. The James Dyson Award provides a fertile starting ground for innovation to take root and get the support and recognition that teams and individuals need to succeed.”

  • Kay Yeong

    Lead Technology Scout, UK.

    Kay is a Lead Technology Scout at Dyson. He works to find outside expertise, technology and capabilities to help support engineering at Dyson.


    “It was interesting that there were several common themes that came through from diverse regions from around the world. I also hadn’t expected that many entries based on new materials. It came through clearly that there is considerable interest in disability aids, water purification and health/medical devices. In other words, inventions to improve and make a big difference to people’s lives.”



    The James Dyson Award winner for Austria, the Lune.




    The James Dyson Award for Belgium, the Eye Robot.

  • Yvonne Tan

    Dyson Digital Motor Senior Engineering Manager, Singapore.

    Yvonne is a Dyson digital motor Senior Engineering Manager, and she is one of many working on the patented Dyson Hyperdymium motor. She is also a teacher and engineering mentor for young budding engineers in Singapore. At the Dyson-Nanyang Technological University Studio in Singapore, she guides engineers and inventors-to-be on how to develop products that solve problems, and to commercialise them.


    “I’m motivated to encourage and show young people that they have the ideas and skillsets to solve real world problems. I am always inspired by the entries that we receive to the James Dyson Award, it showcases students’ passion in identifying a problem and taking on the solution as their own.”

  • Shohei Sugahara

    Senior Design Engineer, UK.

    Previous James Dyson Award Finalist.

    Shohei is a Senior Design Engineer in Dyson’s Floorcare category. He works on early concept designs for Dyson’s future vacuum technologies. Shohei entered the James Dyson Award in 2014, with his invention called Raplus: a device attached to conventional rehabilitation orthoses assisting movement of the knee. It achieved the acclaim of making the global Top 20 shortlist of the Award.


    “I entered the James Dyson Award a few years ago, progressing to the global Top 20 shortlist. This experience greatly helped my career into design engineering. Now I work at Dyson and so I wanted to support the Award to help the next generation of ambitious people.”




    The James Dyson Award for Canada, the Attentiv Catheter for Safer IVs




    The James Dyson Award for China, Start Now.

  • Eilenne Loh

    Design Engineer in Floorcare, Malaysia.

    Eilenne is a design engineer for Dyson’s Floorcare category. She works on technical design and development to bring new products to the market.


    “Being on the panel allowed me to be part of the wider goal of promoting a culture of innovation among youths all over the world.  It is very exciting to see how young talents are constantly striving to make the world a better place - it makes me excited for the future, as they have proven, with their inventions, that the possibilities are endless when we tap into young minds.”

  • Richard Drix Piatos

    Senior Automation Engineer, Philippines.

    Richard is a Senior Automation Engineer that leads the internal automation group of Dyson digital motor operations in the Philippines. He is responsible for designing and developing an automated process that would increase the efficiency of manufacturing operations. This role requires a diverse domain of engineering fields such as mechatronics engineering, electrical engineering, and computer engineering.


    “I believe in the goal of the James Dyson Award, which celebrates bright minds and great ideas. The Top 20 entries have a powerful, global impact in inspiring the next generation of problem solvers. This is why the entries are carefully reviewed by us, and we have experts from the different fields of engineering within Dyson.”




    The James Dyson Award for France, Tuli



    The James Dyson Award for France, Tuli

  • Tash Taylor

    Undergraduate Engineer, UK.

    Tash is a third-year undergraduate engineer from the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology. Whilst spending two days a week studying towards an engineering degree from the university of Warwick, she works three days a week in the aero-acoustics research team on turbomachinery projects.


    “I’ve always found the winners of the James Dyson Award to be really inspiring and interesting pieces of work. This year I wanted to spend time exploring some of those projects to see more of the work done by young engineers from across the world. I also feel that the undergraduate engineers bring a different perspective to the other judges, as we may have different experiences and interests.”

  • Alex Davison

    Undergraduate Engineer, UK.

    Alex is an Undergraduate Engineer, in his third year, at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology, which means he studies an engineering degree apprenticeship while working on live Dyson projects. Alex currently works in Dyson’s New Product Innovation team, designing early concepts for future Dyson technology.


    “As a student also working in a technology and manufacturing company, I know the benefits of being able to put knowledge into practice. The James Dyson Award is a significant opportunity to put your work on the global stage – to be seen and recognised for your ideas and achievements.”




    The James Dyson Award for Hong Kong, the ASIT.




    The James Dyson Award winner for India, the Earth Tatvia.
  • Jake Adams

    Undergraduate Engineer, UK.

    Jake is an Undergraduate Engineer at the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology. In this position he spends time during the week split between studying for an engineering degree and working in Dyson’s hair care research team, working to develop future technologies and improve fundamental knowledge in that category.


    “I noticed a considerable number of entries focused on improving the lives of the most vulnerable in society: Guided Hands, Enayball, Field of Vision, to name a few. I also saw great ideas designed as topical responses to problems we see in the news, most notably impacts of Covid-19.”

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