The joint Engineers Ireland Mechanical & Manufacturing Division and Institution of Mechanical Engineers Republic of Ireland committee held their second annual 'Applied Student Engineering Project' competition recently. 

Complex projects with real-world applications

The aim of the competition was to recognise the professional approach of students when undertaking complex projects with real-world applications, while raising awareness of the required characteristics of professional engineers and the opportunities offered by the two institutions.

University students from all accredited engineering courses across Ireland were invited to submit applications detailing their projects and describing their actions with reference to the Chartered Engineer competencies.

The many entries received were reviewed and the top six finalists, three for the undergraduate and three for the postgraduate categories, were invited to present at the event held on November 10.

The competition final was held virtually, akin to so many other professional and social events of the year, with members of Engineers Ireland and the IMechE in remote attendance.

The event, hosted by David Cook (committee education liaison officer), saw each of the six finalists present their projects within a strict 10-minute time limit before responding to 5 minutes of questions from a judging panel.

Dermot Brabazon, committee chair and member of Engineers Ireland's Editorial Board, also gave an engaging talk providing entrants and attendees with an overview of the activities of both institutions and the route to and requirements for Chartership.

Projects presented in the final covered a diverse array of engineering challenges across the automotive, agricultural, biomedical, civil and manufacturing sectors.

The undergraduate and postgraduate finalists all represented their work very competently giving six engaging and informative talks. After break out room panel review discussions, a unanimous decision was made and the winners were announced as below.

Winners of Applied Student Engineering Project Competition 2020

Postgraduate Category 1st Place: Robert Corbally, “A Machine Learning Approach for Drive-by Condition Monitoring of Bridges”

Postgraduate Category 2nd Place: Abhijit Cholkar, “3D Modelling and Biomechanical Analysis of Zygoma Implant for Additive Manufacturing by Finite Element Method”

Postgraduate Category 3rd Place: Rohan Powar, “Design of a Cobot (Collaborative Robot) for Flexible Manufacturing”

Undergraduate Category 1st Place: Tim Farrally, Omar Salem, David Deneher, “Field of Vision” (team entry)

Undergraduate Category 2nd Place: Conor Healy, “Active Stabilisation of Motorcycle Roll Dynamics at Low Speeds”

Undergraduate Category 3rd Place: Brendan Corry, “Vacuum Assisted Soil Sample Drying“

A special thanks go to this year’s judging panel of guest judges Michelle Looby, Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Technological University Dublin; John Oliver, centre manager at the I-Form, Advanced Manufacturing research centre; Claire O’Connell, well known science writer and regular contributor to The Irish Times; and committee judge John Heffernan, executive engineer at Dublin City Council.

Winners received a cash prize, with a maximum of €500 for 1st place in each category, an Engineers Ireland medal (pictured in header), and an opportunity for a placement within the I-Form, Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and certificate.