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DaVinci Awards seek the creative and innovative in universal design
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May 6, 2003 -- Each year, the Engineering Society of Detroit recognizes individuals and corporations in the engineering and technical realm for creative and innovative contributions in universal design. The conduit for honoring award winners is "Dinner with da Vinci," a gala black-tie celebration. This year's event will be held on September 19, 2003 in Dearborn, MI.

The deadline for the daVinci Award nominations is May 23. Companies can nominate themselves. "End-users of products/facilities and/or services are encouraged to seek nomination support from their area society/agency, or suggest nomination to the manufacturer or developer of said product/facility," says the society. Suggested nomination categories include, but are not limited to, Assistive Technology, Commercial Facility, Electronics & Information Technology, Materials, Personal Mobility, Residential Facility, and Vehicular Mobility. Facility entries must be completed projects. Preference will be given to facilities developed since 2001, and products that have recently entered into the marketplace, says the group.

The awards are the brainchild of Michael J. Rokosz, now a research scientist with Ford Motor Company who has been actively involved with both the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and The Engineering Society of Detroit. He had an idea "that would draw on the strengths of each organization and create a venue for highlighting architectural and engineering achievements which result in improved accessibility for people with disabilities." Rokosz's vision of creating a prestigious, nationally recognized event that celebrates advances in barrier-free design and technology has evolved into "Dinner with daVinci," held for the first time in September, 2001.

Founded in 1895 as the Association of Graduate Engineers of the University of Michigan, The Engineering Society of Detroit has evolved into the nation's largest multi-disciplinary engineering and scientific society of its kind. With thousands of members, ESD unites engineers, scientists, architects and those in related technical fields." The Society's programs and services are dedicated to the enhancement of professional development, the advancement of technology and the promotion of the engineering and scientific professions, thereby enabling positive contributions to society," says the group's website

For more information on the group and the awards, including an online nomination form, visit the da Vinci Awards site at

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