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Alumnus is industrial design grad of the year

Alumnus is industrial design grad of the year

Vanessa Lam

24 July 2014: University of Canberra industrial design graduate Sam Tomkins, 27, has been awarded the Design Institute of Australia's (DIA) NSW/ACT Graduate of the Year award (GOYTA) for Industrial Design 2013.

"I felt incredibly honoured to be a finalist, let alone to have won, so I was pleasantly surprised," Mr Tomkins said.

Sam Tomkins

UC industrial design graduate Sam Tomkins was honoured to win the Design Institute of Australia award for the best industrial design graduate. Photo supplied

Mr Tomkins graduated in April and said his Bachelor of Industrial Design gave him the skills he needs as an industrial designer.

"UC has such a strong reputation in the quality of the course, in both content and teaching," he said. "The calibre and diversity of the lecturers and staff provide a broad and well-rounded perspective on the many facets of design. Considering the dynamic and ever-changing nature of the design industry this is such great advantage to have within the workplace."

For the award, Mr Tomkins had to present three pieces of his design work from his degree, including a plywood coffee table, rock climbing safety helmet and a hair-dryer, which are featured on his online portfolio, Tomkins Design. He is currently developing some of the designs for manufacture, which will eventually become publicly available through his website.

Although it has only been a recent ambition for Mr Tomkins to become a designer, he said that he has always "unwittingly followed curiosities or interests that lead to the path to that ambition" and that it was then a matter of transferring hobby to study.

"I've always been interested in making things, for no other reason but for the enjoyment of it. Once I was made aware of what industrial designers did, the transfer from hobby and interest to study was a natural progression for me," he added.

Mr Tomkins also received the Michael Bryce Award for Design Excellence last year for the best end of year project presentation in the design discipline. 

For now, Mr Tomkins is keen to develop his skills further as a designer and hopes to eventually combine his work with travel.

"Design is such a global language so it gives such a great opportunity to work practically anywhere," he said.