Fourth-year mechanical and biomedical engineering students from MTU Cork who developed a new medical device to increase cervical cancer detection rates by making the examination process more comfortable for practitioners and patients have been awarded the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2022 by Engineers Ireland.

The student team, comprising of Mary O’Riordan, Daineadh Power, Sean O’Shea, Eoin McGrath, Joe O’ Reilly, Andy Leahy, Ali Rezk, Jamie O’Hanlon were awarded the prestigious accolade for the development of the Tulipa device. 

Tulipa is a modern, universal take on the vaginal speculum designed not only with the patient in mind but also the practitioner. The device aims to restore comfort, reduce fear, increase the attendance of women at these vital exams, and will provide a sterile solution for speculums in Third World Countries.

Commenting on behalf of the winning team, Mary O’Riordan, said: “We are incredibly proud and honoured to be awarded the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2022 by Engineers Ireland. The Tulipa device has the potential to transform the lives of women across Ireland and globally and we would like to thank both Siemens and Engineers Ireland for recognising our hard work and the potential of this medical device. We look forward to bringing this product to the next stage of development and we hope that Tulipa will soon play a key role in combatting cervical cancer globally.”

Pictured (L-R): Joe Walsh, General Manager of Siemens Ireland, Dr Paul Keane, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering Lecturer at MTU Cork,  Andy Leahy, Mary O’Riordan and Sean O’ Shea representing Tulipa and John Power, President of Engineers Ireland.

The winners were announced at the 2022 Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award final at Engineers Ireland’s headquarters at 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin on Thursday evening, 3 November. 

The winning project was selected by a panel of judges, including Joe Walsh, General Manager of Siemens Ireland, Aisling Hahessy, Engineer Ireland’s Engineer of the Year 2021 and  Senior Structural Engineer with Arup, Barry Bowen, Manager of Engineering & Senior Recruiting Consultant, Morgan McKinley and Mia Fahey McCarthy, Head of Sustainability, SSE.

The student team were also joined by finalists Aine Kane from Atlantic Technological University Galway who presented on her project, the Endosteal Dental Implants with Cellular Architecture and Sam French, Beverly Jones, Olin Hennessy, Harry Sweetnam, Philip Healy, Niall Marley, Dylan Hogan, Ben Donovan from MTU Cork who presented on their product, Honeyroam, which helps to help combat losses of bees by bringing the beehives and their colonies online.

Commenting at the event, Joe Walsh, General Manager of Siemens Ireland, said: “At Siemens, we are passionate about innovation, ingenuity and creativity. Since 1999, we have been proud to partner with Engineers Ireland to celebrate Ireland's most innovative engineering students and graduates. 
"On behalf of Siemens, I would like to offer a warm congratulations to the MTU student team who created the Tulipa device on being awarded the prestigious title of Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year. This innovative device has the potential to transform the lives of women globally and will help to support early medical intervention and diagnoses of cervical cancer worldwide.

“I would also like to sincerely congratulate both Aine Kane from ATU – Galway and the Honeyroam team from MTU Cork who demonstrated innovation, creative thinking, technical excellence, and hard work at today’s competition final. I have every confidence that our winner and those shortlisted for this much-valued and respected award will enjoy great success in their respective careers ahead."

John Power, President of Engineers Ireland, added: “The initiatives showcased at the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award competition are a testament to the talent and creativity that exists in our third-level engineering institutions. Today’s engineering students will soon assume the role of Ireland’s future leaders and will be at the forefront of developing innovative and sustainable solutions for communities in Ireland and overseas.

“ I would like to offer a sincere congratulations to the Tulipa team and each shortlisted finalists who truly demonstrated ingenuity and engineering excellence. I wish each project team every success with their future studies and engineering careers - they are  the leaders of the future.”