A celebration of student innovation at IT Sligo has opened doors to engineering jobs for some students graduating later this year.
The inaugural ‘Engineering Expo’, which included a careers fair, showcased nearly 80 projects and was a hugely successful networking event for engineering students and employers in the region, according to academics who organized the event.
“This has been our first Engineering Expo – the first to display together projects by students from all the engineering disciplines at IT Sligo, “said Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical & Electronic Engineering. “It has been a resounding success.”
“We were trying to connect our students with the companies and possible job options for when they finish their studies here shortly. Already, I hear that a number of students have been offered opportunities and others were asked for future interviews. So, the response has been very positive indeed.”
More than 120 undergraduates showcased a wide range of novel and enterprising work, including prototypes, based on their studies and research in civil, mechanical and electronic engineering, mechatronics and environmental engineering.
The projects on show at the day-long May 7th event ranged from an oyster shell crusher, pneumatic go-kart, a mini robot to an automated rain water harvesting system, a study on hydraulic fracking and an assessment of hydro systems for the Shannon.
Representatives of around 25 companies inspected the displays during the morning and talked to the students. Later it was the turn of the students to tour the companies’ stands and learn more about firms’ operations, and career prospects.
“It was more than just a celebration of the education and skill of the students we teach. It was an opportunity for the students and potential employers to learn more about each other. We are extremely grateful to the companies who demonstrated such a high level of support for engineering at IT Sligo by sponsoring and participating in the careers fair,” Ms Parsons said.
“Industry has a great need for graduates and we have highly skilled students who are looking for employment. We are tremendously proud that ‘Engineering Expo’ seems to have achieved its goal of marrying the two imperatives, all under one roof.”
The projects on display were an endorsement of the dedication and commitment of the academic and technical staff of engineering programmes in the School of Engineering & Design. Ms Parsons also complimented the work of lecturer Ms Mary Nolan who championed the coordination of the Engineering Expo.
An additional novel feature of the Expo was a poster competition in which students were judged on which project had the best based on structure, understanding and visual effect. IT Sligo President, Professor Vincent Cunnane, presented certificates to the winners in various categories.
Timmy Hayes (centre) of Optel Vision, one of the companies at Engineering Expo, with a team of Year 3 Mechanical Engineering students who have built a prototype pneumatically powered go-kart, using compressed air to drive the motor. (L-R) Stephen O’Toole, Ballina, Co Mayo; Patrick Kelly, Castlerea, Co Roscommon; Jamie Shevlin, Geesala, Ballina, Co Mayo; Anthony Smyth, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co Galway. Looking on is Úna Parsons, Head of the Department of Mechanical & Electronic Engineering.