Excellence Awards Spotlight: Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award

Excellence Awards Spotlight: Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award

23 October 2019 at 16:35

The Excellence Awards Spotlight series showcases and celebrates each engineering project, organisation, third-level institute and engineering leader shortlisted for the 10th annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, held in association with ESB. Today, the Excellence Awards spotlight series focuses on the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award.

Sponsored by Siemens,  the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award, now in its 21st year, provides a platform for third-level students to showcase their engineering innovation excellence to a panel of professional engineers, industry leaders and entrepreneurs.

The five student teams and projects shortlisted for the 2019 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award are:

  • The Cotter Crate by Jack Cotter and Nick Cotter
  • The Quick Home by Tiernan Brennan of TU Dublin
  • Deepseek AI by Ciarán O'Mara and  Eoghan Mulcahy of University of Limerick
  • Lily Devices: A Novel Electrical Method of Preventing Chemotherapy Induced Hair Loss by Aaron Hannon, Mark Caffrey, Eoghan Dunne of NUI, Galway
  • Automated Frill Breaker by Ciaran Cassidy, Fergus Collins, David Doherty, Sam Elliott of IT Sligo

Congratulating the shortlisted student teams, Gary O’Callaghan, CEO , Siemens Ltd, said: “Siemens is proud to partner with Engineers Ireland to provide a unique platform for Ireland’s most innovative engineering students to demonstrate innovation and showcase creative thinking.

Our current third-level engineering students will soon become the engineering leaders of tomorrow and will play a core role in developing innovative solutions to overcome issues in industry and society. Siemens is committed to ensuring that young people have the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in and meet the challenges of a technology-led future and I look forward to meeting our future engineering leaders at the competition final later this afternoon at Dogpatch Labs.”

The winner of the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award, sponsored by Siemens, will be announced at Dogpatch Labs on Thursday, 24 October and will also be presented with their award at the black-tie Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards on Friday, November 15, 2019.

Find out more about each project

Project: The Cotter Crate

By:  Jack Cotter - Engineering at LIT and Nick Cotter - Law and Business at UCC.

The Cotter Crate by Cotter Brothers Jack and Nick Cotter is a lamb handling system that facilitates the quick, safe, easy and accurate administration of vaccines, doses and drenches to lambs from 3 weeks of age. 

The innovation lies in how the lambs are safely and comfortably restrained in the crate, allowing the farmer/flock owner to administer multiple treatments quickly and accurately. With the crate a farmer can dose 400 lambs an hour on one dose, dose 200 lambs with 4 treatments. With the Cotter Crate, it is estimated that a farmer can complete the work in half the normal time, and it will also reduce the number of times a farmer will have to handle their sheep, resulting in lower vet bills and higher animal performance. 

Project: The Quick Home

By Tiernan Brennan of TU Dublin

The Quick Home is a house that will offer a solution to the global housing crisis and is designed to be easy-to-assembled, mass produced and transported in bulk to help Governments in times of crises. This Quick Home can be used for an entire family lifespan in tough weather conditions and can be easily modified to suit any climate.  A water catchment feature and solar panels can also be added to the final product.

Project: Deepseek AI

By Ciarán O'Mara and  Eoghan Mulcahy  of University of Limerick

Ciarán O'Mara and Eoghan Mulcahy  from the University of Limerick were inspired to create Deepseek, an automated aerial water rescue system, having witnessed a search and rescue mission in Limerick City.

Through the development of Deepseek, the project team are exploring the development and deployment of a deep learning- based  computer vision algorithm to an embedded system for marine-based aerial rescue efforts. The UL student team hopes to build upon the technology within Deepseek to develop a fully automated UAV rescue system which could be developed and used by water rescue crews. This would provide for an accelerated rescue attempt and thus increase the chances of a successful rescue.

Project: Lily Devices: A Novel Electrical Method of Preventing Chemotherapy Induced Hair Loss

By Aaron Hannon, Mark Caffrey, Eoghan Dunne of NUI, Galway

Lily Devices aims  to reduce chemotherapy-induced hair-loss by limiting unnecessary additional drug delivery to the hair follicles using electrical stimulation. The underlying mechanism involves using electrical signals to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and reducing blood (and drug) flow to the scalp. Existing therapies based on cold-cap technologies release norepinephrine from the sympathetic nerve endings through alpha receptors, and therefore cause vasoconstriction. While effective, these devices are very painful for patients.

The project team from NUI Galway aims to achieve this same effect using microsecond electrical pulses which will eradicate pain felt throughout treatment. To initiate vasoconstriction the nerves must be activated by specific wave parameters, which is the core of the research. Lily Devices will offer patients an empowering, comfortable and portable treatment, while providing clinics with a new gold standard in care that eliminates infection transfer risks and lengthy waiting times.

Automated Frill Breaker

By Ciaran Cassidy, Fergus Collins, David Doherty, Sam Elliott of IT Sligo

The Automated Frill Breaker aims to assist oyster farmers with labour intensive farming practices that are currently completed by hand. As the shell of an oyster grows much faster than the meat inside, an oyster will consist mainly of shell with very little meat if left to grow unattended.

Therefore, during the growth phase, the oyster bag must be shaken to remove excess shell. The shaking of oysters is one of the top priorities of every farm as it gives the oyster the best chance at becoming a premium oyster which therefore increases profit per oyster.  This practice, however, is mainly done by hand and is very labour intensive.

The Automated Frill Breaker, a machine developed by Ciaran Cassidy, Fergus Collins, David Doherty, Sam Elliott of IT Sligo, will help to speed up the shaking process and help to reduce labour and workplace injuries.