Martin Evans, a student at Cork Institute of Technology, has won first prize in the Level 8 category of Engineers Ireland’s 2012 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards. Evans won for his design and development of a scrum machine, which he is now testing out with Munster Rugby.
Evans won at the awards in Dublin yesterday for his innovation to increase the functionality of the Munster Rugby existing intermediate level scrum machine. His aim is to achieve better performance measurement capabilities via the machine.
Meanwhile, IT Carlow student Nigel Morris won the level 7 category for his briquette carousel project that he designed for the SME sector. His innovation aims to automatically bag wood waste briquettes for resale – five bags at a time.
In all, 11 students from third-level institutes across Ireland had been shortlisted for this year’s Engineers Ireland Innovative Student of the Year Awards, which were sponsored by Siemens.
Final-year students of Level 7 and Level 8 engineering degree programmes accredited by Engineers Ireland had been eligible to enter.
Level 7 winner Nigel Morris from IT Carlow (centre), with Margie McCarthy from Engineers Ireland and Michael O’Connor from Siemens
Students shortlisted in the Level 8 category represented DIT Bolton Street, Trinity College Dublin, Cork IT, NUI Galway and Dublin City University. In the Level 7 category, the shortlisted students represented IT Sligo, DIT Bolton Street and IT Carlow.
Speaking yesterday, Michael O’Connor from Siemens said this year’s entries exhibited real creativity, with the potential to have a real-world impact.
"Innovation is about more than just creativity. It is about better or more effective products and systems, improving services or the application of new technologies," he said.
Maths and Irish students
Engineers Ireland’s director-general John Power also spoke yesterday about the hike in students taking on higher-level maths in the Leaving Cert paper. This is the first year that a new bonus system has been implemented for higher-level Leaving Cert maths. It means that any student who gets a D3 or more in their higher-level maths paper this year will get an extra 25 points.
"The increase in the number of students taking higher-level maths in the Leaving Certificate is extremely encouraging," said Power yesterday.
"It suggests students are finally starting to grasp the importance of maths and the sciences and how these subjects are a springboard to successful careers in dynamic areas such as engineering," he said.