DIT students win national final of ‘Where There is no Engineer – Designing for Community Resilience’
22 June 2016
Clare Ruddy of Davies presenting Eoin Cummins, Evan Dowling, Daniel Morgan and Eoin Bracken with their cheque
DIT product design students Eoin Cummins, Evan Dowling, Daniel Morgan and Eoin Bracken have won the national final of ‘Where There is no Engineer – Designing for Community Resilience’.
Their project –‘Biochar Kiln’ – is a low-tech kiln to produce biochar. Biochar can be used to increase food security and cropland diversity in areas with severely depleted soils, scarce organic resources, and inadequate water by helping soils retain nutrients and water and discourage deforestation.
The overall winners received €5,000 sponsorship from Davies to travel to Nepal to implement their project in a specific community. In Nepal, the team will be facilitated on the ground by Concern Worldwide and EWB-Ireland.
The ‘Where There is no Engineer – Designing for Community Resilience’ design competition is a development education initiative funded by Irish Aid and coordinated jointly by the DTC Research Group and Engineers Without Borders Ireland. It is delivered in partnership with Engineers Ireland, and Concern Worldwide.
This year’s competition attracted more than 100 entries from students of engineering, product design and architecture, from UCD, UCC, DIT, TCD and IT Sligo. The competition focused on communities in Nepal post-earthquake. Participants were encouraged to develop creative solutions to real-life development projects under a number of themes including;
- Climate-resilient infrastructure;
- Self-supply water and sanitation;
- Community participatory health;
- On and off (micro) grid-energy systems;
- Food security; and,
- Applying Big Data in the community.
After a number of regional finals the top 11 entries went forward to the national final which was held at Grangegorman on Saturday June 11.
In addition to the main prize there were a number of Innovation Awards sponsored by the Arup Charitable Trust which allow teams to work with EWB Ireland to refine, test and develop their ideas to a stage at which they can be implemented.
The recipients of the Arup Innovation Awards were;
- Ciaran McSharry, Jonas Robineau, Rory O’Donnell, Joe McLean (DIT Civil Engineering) – Portable Biogas Unit for Sustainable Alternative Fuel Source;
- Ben Frost (DIT) – Human Powered Washing Machine; and,
- Joseph Bollard, Fiona Brennan, Conor Dempsey, Sinead Nolan (UCD) – A Waste Management System for Disease Control