IT Sligo students win Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award

IT Sligo students Colm Morley, Shane Timoney, Caolan Treanor and Conor Walsh have won the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2016, sponsored by Siemens, and a prize of €2,000.

Their innovative design, titled ‘Automatically fed post driver’, allows tractor operators to drive posts without having to dismount their tractors, significantly improving the safety and efficiency of the process, and was deemed the best innovation by the Engineers Ireland judging panel.  Previously there had been no post drivers that are able to hold, feed and drive a post without the operator having to dismount the tractor.

A human-powered washing machine, an advanced limb prosthesis, a clean-energy inflatable tower, a flexible robotic arm and a safe-release building hook were other projects also short listed for the final, which was 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.

Dermot Byrne, Engineers Ireland President, said the innovative skills which engineers possess were becoming increasingly valuable in a world of rapid change.

“Engineering is transforming how people work, live and experience the world.  In energy, transport, health, water, the digital economy and more, engineers are at the heart of the endeavour to improve lives and living standards in complex environments.  It is imperative Ireland can bring new techniques, processes and skills to all sectors so that we can compete on a global stage with our competitors.  I believe the diversity and creativity of contemporary engineering is very much reflected in this year’s projects which span areas such as robotics, clean energy and mechanical engineering.  Congratulations to Colm, Shane, Caolan and Conor for winning the 2016 Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award and praise to all of the participants in this year’s event who have acquitted themselves so well.”

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Michael O’Connor, Corporate Communications Manager, Siemens Limited said: “All the projects on show today have taken a unique approach to a challenge through original thinking, technical excellence and hard-work. Developing close links with leading educational institutions and industry partners is a key part of Siemens’ innovation strategy.

“The Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award is a valued initiative in this regard and challenges students to think conceptually and strategically.   Competitions such as this are invaluable to companies such as Siemens, helping us to reach tomorrow’s talent.

“Siemens is very pleased once again to support a competition that engages and encourages young people to develop their engineering expertise for commercial use and the good of society.  It is a fundamental element of our programme of engagement with young people around the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) agenda and of our relationship with Engineers Ireland.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists here today, particularly Colm, Shane, Caolan and Conor for winning the award outright, and based on the quality of submissions we have seen, I have every confidence they will enjoy great success in their respective careers ahead.”

The runners-up in the competition were:

  • Aisling Lee (DIT) – ‘Actuation and Control of Transradial Upper Limb Prosthesis’
  • Antara Barbara, Ahmed Kone, Sebastien Course (CIT) – ‘Haelios Solar Technologies – Solar Updraft Tower Development’
  • Ben Frost (DIT) – ‘Design and build of a Human-Powered Washing Machine’
  • Darren Kingston (CIT) – ‘Construction Sector Safety Hook Design and Development’
  • Noel Frisby (Trinity College Dublin) – ‘The design and development of a under-actuated, compliant anthropomorphic hand capable of dexterous grasping for a Service Robot’

The Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award final took place in Engineers Ireland HQ, 22 Clyde Road, Dublin 4.