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Industry Engages Next Generation with Innovation and Design Competitions

Companies from all parts of the glass and glazing industry have implemented innovative, out-of-the-box ideas to improve business from the ground up. Here’s an Idea showcases these sometimes small behind-the-scenes ideas that can make a big impact on a company’s bottom line. If you have an idea that you would like to share, contact Norah Dick, 

Roto Frank sponsors Invention Convention

Roto awards
Left to right: Chris Dimou, Roto North America’s president and CEO; David Souder, University of Connecticut Dean, School of Business; Adam Bristol, Roto Frank of America’s manufacturing engineer.

Even with distance learning throughout the 2020 school year, 587 young inventors participated in the 2020 Connecticut Invention Convention. Roto Frank of America was a contributing sponsor of the event, and Chris Dimou, Roto Frank of America’s president and CEO, sits on the Connecticut Invention Convention Board of Directors. Dimou and Adam Bristol, Roto Frank of America’s manufacturing engineer, judged the 2020 competition.

108 Winners from 76 Connecticut schools will go on to participate in the National Invention Convention and Entrepreneurship Expo. Finalists are eligible for awards, grants and sponsorships from corporations, foundations, individuals and academic institutions. 

The CIC is an internationally recognized, award-winning, 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational program that helps develop and enhance critical thinking and problem-solving in kids through invention, innovation and entrepreneurship, according to Roto Frank officials. The convention gives students an introduction to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Annually, more than 275 Connecticut schools and 17,000 students, grades K-12, participate in local CIC programs. 

AEC hosts student design competition through ET Foundation

Officials from the Aluminum Extruders Council announced the winners of the ET Foundation’s 2020 International Aluminum Extrusion Design Competition. The competition attracted about 130 student entries from nearly 20 countries around the world. Students were tasked with using aluminum extrusions to solve real-world problems. See the winners at

The Grand Prize of $5,500 was awarded to Filippo Tomasi, of Treviso, Italy, studying design at Royal College of Art in London, and Paola Zani from Brescia, Italy, studying design at Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, for their Ippocrate - Portable Isolation Unit for Emergency Situations.

Their design was developed out of a desire to help provide relief for hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic. Aluminum’s light weight and the modular design makes the Ippocrate an easily portable and adaptable solution for hospital overflow environments and emergency situations, according to AEC officials. 

“In the age of ‘COVID’ this is a great concept,” said competition judge Todd Boyer. “Of all the COVID-referenced projects [submitted in the competition this year] this seems [to be] the most applicable [and] real.” 


Norah Dick

Norah Dick

Norah Dick is the associate editor for Glass Magazine. She can be reached at