Irish mechanical engineering graduate shortlisted for European SET award

3 Sep 2013

Patrick Byrnes (centre) after winning first prize in the Engineers Ireland Level 8 Innovative Student Engineer of the Year in June, with Margie McCarthy, membership director, Engineers Ireland, and Liam Mulligan, sustainability manager at Siemens

Limerick native Patrick Byrnes, who has just wrapped up his mechanical engineering degree at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT), has been shortlisted for the European Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year (SET) Awards for his engineering project. Byrnes is the only Irish student nominated this year.

The finals of the SET awards will take place in London on 26 September.

Byrnes, from Patrickswell, Co Limerick, will be conferred with a first-class honours degree in mechanical engineering in this year’s autumn conferring at CIT.

Future Human

Apparently, he is the second CIT student ever to be shortlisted for the SET Awards.

He has been nominated in the Mechanical Engineering category for his project ‘Automation of Femoral Implant Ultrasonic Cleaning and Blast Processes’.

Already a winner in Engineering Ireland awards for orthopaedic innovation previously reported on Byrnes in June when he won the top prize in the Student Engineer of the Year Awards run by Engineers Ireland. At the time, he won over the judges for his solution to reduce bottlenecks in the manufacturing of orthopaedic implants.

As for the SET Awards that Byrnes has just been nominated for; they are one of Europe’s most well-known awards for science and technology undergraduates.

The awards are supported by industry, as well as scientific and technical institutions. Some industry sponsors include Laing O’Rourke, Airbus, Shell International and BP, while some of the institutions that are involved include the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications.

According to the SET Awards’ organisers, the goal of the awards is to be multidisciplinary, in order to reflect the wide range of degrees third-level institutions have to offer students.

A ‘major’ achievement for Byrnes – CIT president

Dr Brendan Murphy, president of CIT, said Byrnes’ nomination is a major achievement for both the engineering graduate and for CIT.

If he wins in his category in London, Byrnes will take home the accolade of ‘Best Mechanical Engineering Student’.

The other two contenders in his category are Rita Morgado da Silva, from University of Surrey, and Daniel Riszczuk, from University of Sussex. Da Silva’s project nomination is on ‘Early detection of cardiac autonomic neuropathy in diabetes’. Riszczuk’s project nomination is on ‘Constant-Power Continuously Variable Transmission’.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic