In an effort to encourage, reward, and celebrate excellence in industrial design education, industrial design schools around the nation nominate their best senior design students for their local IDSA chapter’s Student Merit Awards. A panel of professional judges from each chapter selects one winner to represent the chapter at one of five regional design conferences held in the US each spring. On April 4, 2013, a local panel of judges selected Ethan Frier from CMU, who went on to represent the Western Pennsylvania chapter at the Central District regional conference.Ethan’s very compelling projects were Project Aura, a bicycle lighting system that improves safety while enhancing individual expression, and Radio, a wonderfully interactive update of a traditional table radio. It was an impressive crop of students this year, with Mike Bolster, Frankie Gaw, Chris Ioffreda, and Kelly Lau-Kee all making articulate presentations of impressive design work. Kelly Lau-Kee was also singled out for a special award by the Krithika foundation, founded by Vocollect’s Prakash Somasundaram. In addition to Matt Beale and Vijay Chackravarthy, this year’s judges were Mihai Hogea of Philips Design, Prakash Somasundaram of Vocollect, and Aaron Pizutti of Nike.