Apparel design senior Lizzie Hillmann has won second place in the 2011 Safety Products Design Challenge for her Protective Jumpsuit for Earthquake Rescue Crew project. The Challenge, sponsored by Safety + Technical Products and Narrow Fabrics Institute - divisions of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, encourages students to pursue functional design for the purpose of safety.
"My idea to design a safety jumpsuit for earthquake rescue team members came about after watching the devastating aftermath of recent major earthquakes, including those in Japan, New Zealand, and Chile," said Hillmann. "From watching the news, I witnessed many rescuers that were not properly protected in their environment. These brave individuals must be well-protected from the elements so they can perform their job in the safest conditions possible."
Hillmann's professor, Dr.Lucy Dunne, also directs the apparel design program and the Wearable Technology Lab, at the University of Minnesota's College of Design. Hillmann's was the only solo project to be among the top winners.
"My jumpsuit design provides abrasion resistance and relief from sustained compressive impact during the strenuous activities of rescuers," Hillmann continued. "It is also designed to incorporate a simple, portable element that can be used in high-danger aftershock situations where impact from falling debris and collapsed buildings can occur. The unique features of the garment meet the core survival needs of earthquake rescuers while enhancing mobility to perform vital tasks."
More information on the project can be found on the Challenge's website here.
Hillmann has also launched a new women's clothing line with classmate, co-designer and fellow apparel design senior Silvia Guttmann, called Silvia & Elizabeth. The S&E line, consisting of elegant day-to-night garments, will be available in St. Paul's Allee Metro Chic clothing boutique this coming month. Check out S&E on their Facebook page.