Students Take Top Honors in 2013 Designs for Safety Competition

Industrial Design majors Arielle Cardone, Noemi Nagy and Pablo Moscoso receive awards for innovative designs

Photo: Dominick Totino Photography

Award-winners Pablo Moscoso (second from left), Arielle Cardone (center) and Noemi Nagy (second from right), are flanked by officials at the World Traffic Safety Symposium.

For the second year in a row, Montclair State University students won the grand prize in the Designs for Safety competition sponsored by the World Traffic Safety Symposium. Sophomores Arielle Cardone and Noemi Nagy received the grand prize for their submission, “protectaRail.” Pablo Moscoso was the winner of the annual competition’s second prize. The winners, who were selected by a panel of industry experts, were announced on April 5 during the New York International Automobile Show held at Manhattan’s Jacob Javits Center.

“I feel particularly honored to have won in two successive years,” says Denis Feigler, director of the University’s Industrial Design program. “It is a big achievement for students to submit entries to national competitions – let alone win them.”

“I didn’t expect to win, but it feels great to succeed,” says Highstown, N.J. resident Nagy.

Cardone and Nagy’s winning “protectaRail” design came about when they realized that metal guardrails often exacerbate the severity of an accident. Seeking to minimize the impact of a crash, the team designed vacuum-sealed silicone pouches filled with a mixture of cornstarch and water that attach to guardrails. When mixed with water, they explain, cornstarch forms a thick liquid. But on impact, the mixture reacts as a solid and absorbs the force of the crash. This protective buffer could reduce injuries to cars and drivers – and ultimately save lives.

The Industrial Design department received $1000 of the $5000 grand prize: Carbone and Nagy split the remaining $4000.

“Winning this prize means a lot. The major requires tons of effort, time and skill, so to be recognized for that means a lot more than the money,” says Carbone, who is from Boonton, N.J. “To be seen as the best, even if only in one competition, provides a lot of hope and excitement for the future.”

Moscoso, an Industrial Design major from Passaic, N.J., won second prize for his “Rhino Guard” design. He describes his design as “extending the crumple zone to increase front and rear energy absorbing areas in sub-compact vehicles the moment before impact in a high-speed crash.”

“I am very excited about this year’s results, for the program and for the students,” says Feigler. “Students like Arielle, Noemi and Pablo set the bar for others in quality of work and attitude and exemplify commitment, dedication, drive and passion for industrial design.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that Montclair State students have placed in the prestigious national competition. Last year, Robert Passaretti won first prize for his “Inertia Re-Routing Cabin” design for forcing the cabin upright when the front section of a vehicle presses in after a collision. In 2011, Antonio Giannattasio, won third prize for his “Safety Shade” design. Brenda Villegas took fourth place in 2010 for a design that detects and corrects a car’s hydroplaning.

Feigler, for one, is hoping to continue his department’s winning streak. “We are already looking forward to participating next year with new ideas,” he says.