Several college and high school students have benefited from a new program offered by igus which was designed to foster mechanical design ideas and inventions of students. Entitled Y.E.S. (Young Engineers Support) Program, it offers free product donations to students involved in various design competitions and school projects.

Teams of students from across the country have utilized a variety of igus products in various design projects over the past few months. One group at Texas A&M University used an igus Energy Chain on NASA's Reduced Gravity aircraft to test the effects of acceleration on spatial orientation of liquid and ullage in a scale model propellant tank. Another Texas A&M team created a revolutionary design to help paraplegics.

Up north, students and professors at Northwestern University used a DryLin T linear guide system in its wheelchair design, making the chair adjustable and useful by anyone. Chainflex continuous-flex cables have been used in the construction of a solar car by students at the University of Michigan. In addition, high school students at the Commonwealth Governor's School in Virginia used igubal pillow block bearings along with iglide G300 flange bearings to build a robot that met the specifications for weight, precision, and cost restraints in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The students advanced to the quarterfinals and received the Motorola Quality Award for a well-designed and constructed robot.

Most notably, the use of igubal spherical bearings helped support the steering shaft of an off-road vehicle designed by seniors at the University of Rhode Island. The vehicle placed 22nd out of 62 teams at the Mini Baja East Competition in Canada.

Igus plans to continue fostering young engineers and hopes that through this program, it will also build awareness of the advantages and merits of plastic components in real world applications. The company has dedicated a section of its website to showcase student designs. For more information, visit www.igus.com/yesprogram.asp.