Miami University Interior Design Students Win Lighting Design Awards

Lila Wengler Lighting Presentation

Miami University interior design students Lila Wengler and Leah Gray both received recognition from the Robert Bruce Thompson Annual Student Light Fixture Design Competition. Wengler was awarded 3rd place in the competition and Gray won Honorable Mention for presentation. Their competition faculty sponsor, associate professor Mary Ben Bonham, integrated the lighting design project into this year's Interdisciplinary Design studio.

About the competition

The RBT National Student Light Fixture Design Competition is the largest student lighting fixture design competition in US and requires that entrants must be full time students, enrolled in an accredited academic degree program in the United States.  Approved programs include architectural engineering programs, architecture programs, interior design programs, theatre, or industrial design programs. Because of the high level of competition, the competition sponsors recommend that entrants be undergraduate seniors or graduate students. 

Bruce Thompson was a twenty-five year veteran of the lighting industry.  He had a broad background in the profession having worked in theatre, retail, as a factory representative, and concluding his career in manufacturing as vice president of sales and marketing. Throughout his career Bruce emphasized design and innovation. He was also an accomplished light fixture designer. He established this independent competition to encourage creativity and education in light fixture design and manufacturing.  The competition is administered by The Robert Bruce Thompson Trust, which was formed solely for the purpose of conducting the competition. 

To learn more about this competition and this year's design problem, visit

Leah Gray