15 June 2017
By David O’Sullivan
Two student teams from Cork Institute of Technology have achieved runner-up status in the highly competitive Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2017.
Sponsored by Siemens, the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award is an annual competition that focuses on showcasing innovation excellence amongst engineering third-level students across Ireland. Six finalists were invited to present on their projects, which ranged from medical to logistic and environmental innovations, to a panel of judges at the competition final in Engineers Ireland’s headquarters in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
Students of Mechanical Engineering, Luke Pardy, Shaun Donnelly – Murphy and Michael Grimes, were shortlisted for their project, the Boot Buddy. The innovative product behaves similarly to an invert trap door – extending and retracting from the vehicle boot floor to aid the individual. The product is of universal benefit to all car users, but particularly eases the process and struggle for the disabled, pregnant women and elderly members of society.
Biomedical Engineering students, Alan Cullinane, Darragh Donovan and Padraig Flynn, were also shortlisted for their innovative product, the Uroflow Home Test Kit, which allows for the early detection and frequent monitoring of lower urinary tract voiding issues. The Uroflow Home Test Kit, through its portable design and simple intuitive interface, will allow for the test to be brought to the patient rather than requiring the patient to go to hospital for the test – thus reducing clinic waiting times and alleviating the anxieties and pressure caused to patients when travelling for hospital appointments.
Aron Purser, a 3rd year student of Mechanical Engineering at IT Carlow, was the overall winner of the competition final for his entry, the Forklift ‘Bucket Bagger’, which was designed to meet the requirements of the agricultural and construction sector having found that no such device was available on the market. The ‘Bucket Bagger’ is an attachment which is placed on the front of a forklift and is used to fill bulk bags. Previously, no bucket existed for forklifts, other than those for teleporters, which were unsuitable for use and also limited driver visibility during operation. Purser’s innovative product is currently being used by RDC Contracts in Kildare.
Commenting on the students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society, Dr. Kieran Feighan, President of Engineers Ireland said, “Engineering is not only at the heart of our day-to-day lives, it is transforming how people work, live and experience the world. The diversity and creativity of contemporary engineering is very much reflected in each of the innovative projects presented at the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award’s final and highlight the incredibly vital role of engineers in society.
“Congratulations to Aron Purser from IT Carlow on winning the 2017 Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award and also to each of the participants in this year’s event, who are an example of the engineering talent that exists in Ireland today.”
Gary O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of Siemens Ltd., said “The Young Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards is a valued initiative as we seek to position engineering as a fascinating, relevant and dynamic career for any young person. It is a fundamental element of our programme of engagement with young people around the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) agenda and indeed of our relationship with Engineers Ireland.
“Digitalization is transforming the engineering value chain allowing Irish industry achieve increased competitiveness, shorter time to market and increased flexibility of production. Industry players such as Siemens, third level institutions and Engineers Ireland must work together to ensure that the future generation of Irish engineers are skilled in both the domain knowledge and the use of ‘big data’ to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by Digitalization.
“All the projects presented by the students have taken a unique approach to a challenge through original thinking, technical excellence and hard-work. Congratulations to all of the finalists, particularly to Aron Purser for winning the award outright, and based on the quality of submissions we have seen, I have every confidence each finalist will enjoy great success in their respective careers ahead,” he continued.
For further information about Engineers Ireland and the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards, visit: www.engineersireland.ie