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People.Planet.Product. Student Design Challenge - Applications Closed



Submit an idea to our latest competition, in partnership with The Washing Machine Project (TWMP), and you could win £1000 towards prototype development as well as:

  • £250 RS Basket, product to support your idea
  • Access to a Product Designer, to help you bring your idea to life
  • Access to a Graphic Designer, create a logo
  • A pitching masterclass, to help you prepare for the live final
  • Free add-on modules for DesignSpark Mechanical (worth £943.91!!)


The Washing Machine project was created to help alleviate the burden of handwashing clothes by providing displaced and low-income communities and households with an accessible, off-grid washing solution. For the People.Planet.Product Student Design Challenge, we want your ideas to help solve real-world problems.

Entering is simple:

1. Choose your challenge, will it be People, Planet, or Product?

Don't forget to access all of the resources at the bottom of this page :-)

2. Hit "Enter Now" and head over to our submission portal

3. Complete your entry by answering 2 questions & upload a short video or audio file

Deadline: Monday 18th October, 10 am (BST)


Information Video:

TWMP Founder, Nav Sawhney, hosted a live competition briefing and Q&A session, watch it back here.




1. PEOPLE: Design a solution that encourages and empowers people to use the Divya Washing Machine around existing cultural norms. Your solution can be based on a specific cultural environment, and/or can be about the improvement of the technology or the implementation of it.


2. PLANET: Design a low tech solution that filters out greywater and microplastics before water is drained out of the Divya Washing Machines, enabling users to maximise water reuse/recapture (washing, cooking, cleaning, agricultural farming).


3. PRODUCT: Design a solution that encourages better posture and interaction of the Divya Washing Machine. Your solution could include overall improvements of efficiencies of the product such as weight, portability, maintainability and usability, or focus on a specific design point.


What are the judges looking for?

For the written part of your entry, the judges want to see; creativity, originality, and feasibility.

For the video/audio, the judges want it to be well articulated and engaging.


Finalists will be announced on Wednesday 27th October and you will be invited to create a DesignSpark article and pitch at our live virtual final.

This is where we really help you bring your idea to life, as a finalist you will get:

  • £250 RS Basket
  • Access to a Product Designer
  • Access to a Graphic Designer
  • A Pitching Masterclass
  • Free add-on modules for DesignSpark Mechanical

DesignSpark article to include detail such as Ease of Implementation, Cost, Manufacture, Materials, Supply Chain, Originality, Adoption, Cultural Relevance & Sustainability. Your DesignSpark article will need to be live by Friday 19th November.

For the live final, you will pitch your idea to a high-profile judging panel.

Live final: Friday 26th November 2021

The Winners, awarded to the TOP 3:

  • £1000 in RS parts or cash equivalent to support prototype development
  • Access to a business mentor
  • A session with The Washing Machine Project Founder, Navjot Sawhney


To enter this competition, you must be:

  • Aged 18 or over, if entering as part of a team, all members must be 18 or over
  • A Student, studying a full or part-time course

And you must read, and accept the Terms and Conditions below.


To help you understand The Washing Machine Project a little more, here are some useful resources:

There are a number of downloads found at the bottom of this page:

The Washing Machine Project & Electrocomponents are passionate advocates of the United Nations Sustainability Goals:

DesignSpark Software


Can a team enter?

You can enter as an individual, or as part of a team.

How many team members can I have?

A maximum of 5 team members, who must be registered as part of your initial application for round 1.

Do I have to be a STEM student?

No, you can be a student from any discipline to enter this competition. Multi-disciplinary teams are welcome.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes, if you wish - you can enter once per challenge, i.e. once for People, once for Planet and once for Product.

I have questions, who do I contact?

You can ask any of your questions in the comments box below, or email

Does it matter what part of the world I am in?

This is a global competition; however entries must be provided in the English language. Unfortunately, applicants located in Italy, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, Cuba, or North Korea are ineligible to participate (see terms & conditions).

How old do I have to be to enter?

You, and all of your team members, must be aged 18 or over.

Proudly supported by:

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RS Grass Roots is the Education & Community Impact team at RS. Grass Roots champions young engineers with exciting opportunities to nurture the next generation of outstanding innovators! Industry now demands graduate engineers with not only the knowledge but crucially the skills and practical experience to solve real problems and create new designs. Whether you are an academic working to enhance the educational experience or a student tackling your latest project - RS is here to help.