Mechanical Engineering students from IT Sligo have won a prestigious Engineers Ireland Innovation Award for 2016.
Colm Morley, Shane Timoney, Caolan Treanor and Conor Walsh collected the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by Siemens, and a prize of €2000 for their final year project which they designed to help improve farm safety.
Their project, entitled: ‘Automatically fed post driver’ (pictured below) 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 among other projects also shortlisted for the final.
The Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award is an annual competition that focuses on showcasing innovation excellence.
Professor Vincent Cunnane, President of IT Sligo, congratulated the students on their success,and paid tribute to the staff of the Institute’s School of Engineering & Design.
“For the past seven years students from IT Sligo’s Level 7 Mechanical Engineering programme have been shortlisted for the final, winning the competition outright on three occasions, in 2010, 2014 and again this year,” he said.
“This is a fantastic achievement and endorsement of the Mechanical Engineering programmes at the Institute and carries on the proud tradition of mechanical design which IT Sligo has forged since its inception.”
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 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.”
The 2016 Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award winners (L-R: Caolan Treanor, Shane Timoney, Conor Walsh and Colm Morley. All four have just completed their Level 7 degree in Mechanical Engineering at IT Sligo.