Atlantic Technological University Galway graduate Roy Sheridan has been awarded the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award by Engineers Ireland.

The Mechanical Engineering graduate was presented with the award having designed and manufactured a 3-Axis desktop CNC milling machine. Using a variety of engineering principles, Roy created a working prototype of the machine which has the potential to be used by educators and students for training and teaching science, technology and engineering (STEM) subjects.

Roy Sheridan is pictured with his 3-axis CNC milling machine prototype

Describing his project, Roy Sheridan said: “3D printing has revolutionised the way students are taught engineering, however one process that is continually overlooked due to the expense involved is CNC machining. CNC milling machines provide students with a practical, hands-on experience in engineering and manufacturing. 

“Incorporating CNC milling machines into STEM education programs can help students develop a wide range of skills and knowledge that are relevant to today's technology-driven world. It provides a bridge between theoretical STEM concepts and their practical applications, preparing students for a variety of STEM-related careers. By creating this 3-axis desktop CNC milling machine, I hope it will support educators to foster creativity and innovation in the classroom and help students better understand the principles of mathematics, physics, and engineering.”

Pictured at the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards at Engineers Ireland’s headquarters in Ballsbridge, Dublin are  Shirley McDonald, Membership Director, Engineers Ireland, Dr Edmond Harty, President, Engineers Ireland, Roy Sheridan Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award recipient, Aiden Cawley of Siemens Ireland and Dr Oliver Mulryan, Head of the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering at ATU – Galway.

The Castlebar native’s innovative prototype was one of five projects shortlisted for the 2023 Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award. Finalists shortlisted for this year’s award also included Luke McCormack, Sarah O’Callaghan, Adam Bruton and Kaela Linehan-Brady from MTU Cork whose project, Flexipedal, aimed to support those with total knee replacement surgery.  SETU Waterford students Richard Fenlon and Peter Murphy were also shortlisted for their all-terrain vehicle which was designed for wheelchair users. 

SETU Waterford students SETU Waterford students Richard Fenlon and Peter Murphy are pictured with their all-terrain vechicle.

Two student projects from the University of Limerick were also shortlisted for this year’s award. Adam Dooley, an Electronic and Computer Engineering Graduate was shortlisted for his virtual reality project and Biomedical Engineers Gavin Byrne, James Browne, William Cahill and Fredrick Crowley were shortlisted for their innovative filter medical device which aims to prevent blood clots stemming from deep vein thrombosis.

Biomedical Engineers Gavin Byrne, James Browne, William Cahill and Fredrick Crowley are pictured with their prototype medical devices.

The winning project was selected by a panel of judges, which included, Aiden Cawley of Siemens Ireland, Barry Bowen, Engineering Manager, Berkley Group, Mary Hurley Associate Director, Arup, Gerry Duggan, Founding member of Engineers Ireland’s Energy, Environment and Climate Action Division and Jack Cotter of Cotter Agritech, who was also the 2019 Winner of the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award.

Commenting on the students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society, Dr Edmond Harty, President of Engineers Ireland, said: “The students shortlisted for the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award are a testament to the talent and creativity that exists in our third-level education institutions. It was absolutely fantastic to see the range and diversity of projects demonstrating the innovative and methodical approaches taken to practical everyday problems.”

“This year’s finalists have not only demonstrated their technical engineering skills, but also their ability to work as a team, to think creatively, and to consider the impact of their work on the world. The 3-axis desktop CNC milling machine created by this year’s winner, Roy Sheridan, has the potential to make STEM education more accessible and help students to apply scientific and mathematical concepts in a real-world context through hands-on practical learning.”

Dr Harty added: “Congratulations to Roy and each finalist shortlisted for this year’s competition. I look forward to witnessing each finalists’ career growth and supporting these innovative projects which have the potential to push boundaries and create a positive impact globally. I would also like to thank Siemens for their ongoing support for this award.”

Aiden Cawley of Siemens Ireland added: “Siemens Ireland is proud to partner with Engineers Ireland to celebrate and recognise Ireland’s talented and creative third-level engineering students. Today’s engineering students will soon become the engineering leaders of tomorrow, and we are pleased to offer our support and showcase their inspiring and innovative engineering solutions through the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year competition.”

“Each project showcased at today’s competition has demonstrated innovation, creative thinking, technical excellence, and hard work. On behalf of Siemens Ireland, I would like to offer a warm congratulations to our five finalists, and winner, Roy Sheridan. I look forward to seeing today’s innovative solutions and designs being utilised by communities across Ireland and globally in the future.”

For more information on the Siemens Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award, visit: