Limerick’s Cotter Brothers win Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award

Limerick’s Cotter Brothers win Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award

25 October 2019 at 12:23

Limerick brothers Jack and Nick Cotter have been awarded the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2019, sponsored by Siemens, for their innovative lamb handling system, the Cotter Crate.

Now in its 21st year, the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award competition focuses on showcasing innovation excellence amongst engineering third-level students across Ireland. Five student finalists were invited to present on their projects, which ranged from medical to housing and agriculture innovations, to a panel of judges at the competition final in Dogpatch Labs, Dublin.


The Cotter Crate, developed by Jack Cotter (21), a student of Limerick Institute of Technology studying Process and Management Engineering, and younger brother Nick (18), a first-year student of Law and Business at UCC, was deemed the best innovation by the Engineers Ireland judging panel. 

The Cotter Crate is 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 innovative crate assists by safely and comfortably restraining lambs, allowing a farmer to administer multiple treatments quickly and accurately. The Cotter brothers have estimated that when using the Cotter Crate a farmer can dose 400 lambs an hour on one dose and dose 200 lambs with 4 treatments, lowering labour time and costs when compared with current methods.


In addition to being awarded the title of Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award, the brothers also received a €2,000 prize fund.

Commenting on the students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society, Caroline Spillane, Director General of Engineers Ireland said: “The initiatives shortlisted for the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award competition are a testament to the talent and creativity that exists in our third-level education institutions. Today’s engineering students will soon take the role of Ireland’s future engineering leaders and will be at the forefront of developing innovative solutions for communities in Ireland and overseas. Congratulations to the Cotter brothers and each of the shortlisted finalists and I wish each project team every success with their future studies and engineering careers.”

Gary O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of Siemens Ltd., said “ 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.

“We are proud to partner with Engineers Ireland to provide a unique platform for Ireland’s most innovative engineering students.  The innovative and creative projects which have been showcased today at the competition final in Dogpatch Labs have each taken a unique approach to challenges faced by communities throughout Ireland. Congratulations to all of the finalists here today, particularly to Jack and Nick Cotter for winning the award outright, and based on the quality of submissions we have seen, I have every confidence each finalist will enjoy great success in their respective careers ahead,” Mr O’Callaghan concluded.

Nick and Jack Cotter will soon join Ireland’s best engineering leaders and teams on 15 November at the 2019 Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, held in association with ESB, where they will be joined by over 400 engineering professionals to celebrate and showcase Ireland’s best engineering talent. For more information, visit:


More about the Cotter Brothers

Jack Cotter (21) is a student of LIT studying Process and Management Engineering and a previous student of Salesian Agricultural College, where he studied Agricultural Mechanisation and Agricultural Engineering. Nick Cotter (18) is in first year studying Law and Business in UCC and is a Quercus Innovation/Entrepreneurship Scholar.

More about Siemens

Siemens is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of efficient power generation and power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. With its publicly listed subsidiary Siemens Healthineers AG, the company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT.