Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer Awards 2011

Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer Awards 2011

21 June 2011 at 00:00
Fiona Griffin from NUI Galway has won first prize in the Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer Awards 2011, sponsored by Siemens, for her pioneering design of a revolutionary heart valve. In the Level 7 category Cork IT students came in first for their project which focused on the automation of prosthetic shoulder stem blasting process.
 
NUI Galway student Fiona Griffin’s project was based on a 3D model of the mitral valve, a key valve in the heart, designed to facilitate treatments in the cardiac area.  Cork IT students Richard Childs, Daniel Allen and Patrick Byrnes partnered with bio-medical manufacturing plant Croom Precision Medical to design a ceramic blasting process for a prosthetic shoulder stem. 
 
Speaking at the announcement, John Power, Director General Engineers Ireland, praised Fiona as a worthy recipient of the award. “I strongly believe that the long-term growth in Ireland will be fuelled by innovative companies so it is very encouraging to see such home-grown engineering creativity among our students today.  It is imperative we can bring new techniques, processes and skills across all sectors so that we can compete on a global stage with our competitors.  I would like to congratulate all of the participants in this year’s awards which embodied the creativity that will underpin Ireland’s recovery and sustainable economic success.”
 
A landmark result from research around pyritic infill in Irish houses was the runner up submission from David Sutton from NUI Galway. Other runners up in the level 8 category included Nigel O’Neill, from Athlone IT, who created a computer program using Visual BASIC, a high-level programming language, to assist the preliminary design of post-tensioned concrete beams while Rian Edman, a final year mechanical engineering student in Cork IT, explored the development of a more efficient six stroke internal combustion engine designed to better harness waste heat energy. An investigation that was carried out by Patrick Kavanagh from DIT on how to reduce energy consumption in an office building located in an extreme climate was also named runner up in this category. 
 
According to Michael O’Connor, Communications Manager Siemens, integral to Ireland fulfilling its potential as a knowledge economy fuelled by innovation will be the supply of qualified and skilled science and technology graduates. “A higher level of engagement of science and technology subjects at primary and secondary school level is now critical in helping to increase the level of graduates in the area. I am delighted to see that 13 years on, the standard of submissions for the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer Awards shows that there is no shortage of talent in this country. I’d like to congratulate all of the finalists here today and particularly Fiona for being named this year’s winner in the Level 8 category and the team from Cork IT in the Level 7 category. I wish them the best of luck in the future and hope they’ll continue to foster their innovative minds.”
 
IT Sligo students were named runners up in Engineers Ireland Level 7 Innovative Student Engineer Awards 2011, sponsored by Siemens. As part of their mechanical engineering course in IT Sligo, the third year students designed an ‘easy shear’ to be mounted on the front loader of a tractor to ensure farming duties can take place without having to step outside the tractor.  As well as having the winning entry in the Level 7 category a second team from Cork IT was named runner up for their entry entailing the design of an experimental rig which could potentially be used to test applications for wind and ocean power developers. 
 
The Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer Awards took place today in Engineers Ireland HQ, Clyde Road, Dublin 2.