A pupil from Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi has won a prestigious prize for his design of a product to detect malaria in a more efficient and economical way.

Jacob Davies, who is in Year 13 studying A-level design and technology product design, won the overall prize during the UK-wide Triumph Design Awards held at Triumph’s headquarters in Hinckley, Leicestershire on Saturday, 2 July.

The competition was open to 16 to 18-year-old UK students of relevant STEM subjects and entrants were challenged to design a product to solve a real world problem.

Jacob was praised for his project, called Porta LAB, which is a portable blood centrifuge to enable easier diagnosis of malaria in remote areas.

Jacob, who hopes to study computer science at university in the next academic year, said: “The portable blood centrifuge is a device that is designed to allow health professionals to more easily and cheaply diagnose malaria in remote regions. It is completely hand-powered, lightweight, and has a small form-factor which makes it cheap, portable, and means it can be used without access to electricity.

“The awards were a great experience. I enjoyed seeing the Triumph motorbike factory and witnessing British engineering and manufacture, together with meeting the other competitors and learning about their designs. I was surprised to win, as many of the other projects were very impressive.

“I have been offered assistance with filing a patent on the product, which I hope this will help me go further and make the product a reality.”

Emyr James, head of design faculty at Ysgol Uwchradd Aberteifi, said: “Jacob’s product is a simple innovative use of self-powered centrifugal forces. Following and iterative design process, Jacob identified the problem and then set about designing, modelling and testing his designs to enable him to come up with a functioning outcome.

“He showed excellent innovative thinking and an excellent work attitude to get his design to work.”

Cllr Wyn Thomas, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet member for schools, lifelong learning and skills, added: “Many congratulations to Jacob Davies for his fantastic achievement. Innovation and progressiveness in STEM is crucial and we are extremely proud of Jacob’s achievement on the national stage. I would also like to thank all our fantastic teachers who ensure our pupils get fantastic opportunities to develop and explore these subjects.”