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BYU wins second straight top industrial design student award

A national award granted to a Brigham Young University design student represents a two-year winning streak for BYU's industrial design program.

Each year, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) honors the top two undergraduates in the field. This year Ke "Nico" Li, of Guangzhou, China, received one of the two 2008 IDSA undergraduate scholarships.

BYU's Spencer Nugent received the same award last year.

"Clearly, the work from BYU has been seen as exemplary, and that says something good for the program," said Larry Hoffer, IDSA's deputy executive director and COO. "They were chosen from undergraduate design students from across the country. They were the best of the best."

Paul Skaggs, a BYU industrial design professor, agrees that recently BYU's design program has become more recognized.

"We have more internship offers than students to fill them and 90 percent of graduates are going to the most prestigious consulting firms and Fortune 500 companies," Skaggs said. "We were really happy when Spencer won it, and now Nico."

Li's design portfolio included a futuristic Ultra-Mobile Personal Computer with an integrated fingerprint reader. He also incorporated twists on everyday objects, such as a food-functional checkerboard made for parties, and household clothes hangers that double as tissue-box holders, flower vases or lamps.

"Design can make our lives better; designs can make progress," said Li. "BYU definitely has given me a starting-off point with a different perspective of thinking. BYU offers a well-rounded skill set compared to other schools."

Writer: Crystalee Webb

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