Innovative student engineer of the year winners announced

Innovative student engineer of the year winners announced

11 June 2013 at 12:49

Patrick Byrnes, a student at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and a native of Patrickswell, Co. Limerick, has won first prize in the Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards 2013, sponsored by Siemens, it was announced today.  Alistair Chambers from Carlow town and a student at IT Carlow, won the Level 7 category.

Titled ‘Automation of Ultrasonic Cleaning and Blast Processes at Zimmer Orthopaedics’, Patrick Byrne’s Level 8 project analysed the ‘bottle neck’ locations in the existing manufacturing practices to find a process solution now to be integrated into Zimmer’s improved manufacturing process.  

Liam Mulligan, Siemens Sustainability Manager, said the 2013 entries again showed students’ ability to develop new ways of thinking that could help the everyday workings of society.  “Innovation is all about tackling the world’s toughest questions.  From health projects that explore improvements in orthopaedics and heart wellbeing to innovations relating to renewable sources of energy such as wave and wind, this year’s entries once again embody original thinking, technical excellence and hard-work.  The ‘Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards’ challenges students to think conceptually and strategically. Engineers will play a vital role in Ireland’s economic revitalisation and Siemens supports this competition as part of our programme to engage and encourage young people to consider careers in engineering.  Congratulations to all of the finalists here today and particularly Patrick Byrnes for winning the Level 8 category and Alistair Chambers for coming out on top in this year’s Level 7 category.  I firmly believe the creative and technical skills all these students involved here today are now honing will stand to them hugely in their long careers ahead.” 

The Level 7 category winner, designed by Alistair Chambers, is a device that allows straw moisture and quality to be easily and efficiently assessed at all stages from the field to the end-user. With the capacity to be retro-fitted to any tractor-mounted or loader-mounted bale handler with removable tines, the device is a simple and cost-effective way of ensuring a quality product for sale in livestock and equine markets or new emerging markets in Green energy.

“There is a consensus among business and industry leaders that the innovative skills which engineers possess will be increasingly valuable over the next decade in Ireland,” said John Power, Director General of Engineers Ireland.  “The growing take-up of higher-level maths in the Leaving Certificate is positive recognition amongst our school students of the possibilities a career in engineering can offer.  The Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards are designed to further encourage and reward the young ingenuity that is the hallmark of our engineering third level students across Ireland.  I would like to once again this year praise the creativity and innovation that has been so noticeable in the submissions for this year’s competition.”

The ‘Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards’ sponsored by Siemens aims to promote and showcase excellence in engineering degrees across Ireland.  The competition is judged on the merit of final year projects.  Final year students of Level 7 and Level 8 engineering degree programmes, accredited by Engineers Ireland, are eligible to enter.

Other students shortlisted in the Level 8 category included John Roberts, Cork Institute of Technology, Darragh McCoy, Dublin Institute of Technology, Sean McMahon, NUI Galway and Adam Przedpelski, NUI Maynooth.  In the Level 7 category Aoife Hegarty, Stephen Gibbons and David Healy, all from IT Sligo, and Darren McKenna, Institute of Art, Design and Technology were all also shortlisted.
The Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards took place in Engineers Ireland HQ, Clyde Road, Dublin 2.  For further information about Engineers Ireland and the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards visit

Photo caption: Patrick Byrnes (centre) Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year with Margie McCarthy Engineers Ireland and Liam Mulligan Siemens.