Student engineers win awards for orthopaedics and farming projects
12 June 2013
An innovative project analysing ‘bottle neck’ locations in manufacturing processes has scooped the top prize at this year’s Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards 2013, sponsored by Siemens.
Patrick Byrnes, a student at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and a native of Patrickswell, Co. Limerick, beat stiff competition from four other finalists to win the coveted award. His Level 8 project, entitled ‘Automation of Ultrasonic Cleaning and Blast Processes at Zimmer Orthopaedics’, revealed a process solution to solve Zimmer’s bottleneck problems, which is now set to be integrated into the company’s improved manufacturing process.
Alistair Chambers from Carlow town and a student at IT Carlow, won the Level 7 category. In his project, entitled ‘Digital in-cab bale moisture meter’, Chambers devised an instrument that allows straw moisture and quality to be easily assessed at all stages, from the field to the end-user. With the capacity to be retro-fitted to any tractor-mounted or loader-mounted bale handler with removable tines, the device can ensure a quality product for sale in livestock and equine markets or emerging markets in green energy.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Engineers Ireland director general John Power said there was a consensus among business and industry leaders that the innovative skills that engineers possess would be increasingly valuable over the next decade in Ireland. “The growing take-up of higher-level maths in the Leaving Certificate is positive recognition amongst our school students of the possibilities a career in engineering can offer,” he added.
“The Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards are designed to further encourage and reward the young ingenuity that’s the hallmark of our engineering third-level students across Ireland. As always, creativity and innovation has been so noticeable in the submissions for this year’s competition.”
Liam Mulligan, Siemens sustainability manager, said the 2013 entries showed students’ ability to develop new ways of thinking that could help the everyday workings of society. “Innovation is all about tackling the world’s toughest questions. From health projects that explore improvements in orthopaedics and heart wellbeing to innovations relating to renewable sources of energy such as wave and wind, this year’s entries once again embody original thinking, technical excellence and hard work,” he said.
The ‘Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards’ sponsored by Siemens aims to promote and showcase excellence in engineering degrees across Ireland. The competition is judged on the merit of final year projects. Final-year students of Level 7 and Level 8 engineering degree programmes, accredited by Engineers Ireland, are eligible to enter.
Other students shortlisted in the Level 8 category included John Roberts, CIT; Darragh McCoy, Dublin Institute of Technology; Sean McMahon, NUI Galway; and Adam Przedpelski, NUI Maynooth. In the Level 7 category, Aoife Hegarty, Stephen Gibbons and David Healy, all from IT Sligo, and Darren McKenna, Institute of Art, Design and Technology were all also shortlisted.
The Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards took place in Engineers Ireland HQ, Clyde Road, Dublin 4 on 11 June. For further information, see www.engineersireland.ie. For more details on Alistair Chambers’ project, click here:
To hear more about Patrick Byrnes’ project, click here:
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