IT Carlow student’s clever Bucket Bagger idea solves age-old problem

13 Jun 2017

From left: Shirley McDonald, associate membership director of Engineers Ireland; Aron Purser, student at IT Carlow; and Gary O’Callaghan, chief executive of Siemens. Image: Julien Behal

IT Carlow student Aron Purser was named as the winner of a national student engineering competition for his simple solution to an age-old problem.

When it comes to solving problems that have existed for decades, sometimes all it takes is the simplest of ideas to make a difference.

That was the case for third-year mechanical engineering IT Carlow student Aron Purser, who was named the winner of Engineers Ireland’s Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2017.

Sponsored by Siemens, the award asked students to put forward some of their best engineering ideas to solve real-word problems.

Purser’s winning project was the ‘Bucket Bagger’, an attachment placed on the front of a forklift to be used to fill bulk bags.

Previously, no bucket existed for forklifts other than those for teleporters, which were unsuitable for use and also limited driver visibility during operation.

A company called RDC Contracts in Kildare has already begun using the Bucket Bagger for its forklifts.

Six finalists were invited to present their projects on 9 June – ranging from medical to logistic and environmental innovations – to a panel of judges at Siemens’ headquarters in Ballsbridge, Dublin.

Highlights role of engineers in society

Congratulating all of the finalists, Dr Kieran Feighan, president of Engineers Ireland, said: “Engineering is not only at the heart of our day-to-day lives, it is transforming how people work, live and experience the world.

“The diversity and creativity of contemporary engineering is very much reflected in each of the innovative projects presented at the competition final today and highlight the incredibly vital role of engineers in society.”

Siemens chief executive Gary O’Callaghan added: “All the projects on show today have taken a unique approach to a challenge through original thinking, technical excellence and hard work.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists here today, particularly to Aron Purser 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.”

The other project finalists included:

  • Alan Cullinane, Darragh Donovan and Padraig Flynn (CIT) – Uroflow Home Test Kit
  • Dylan Dooley and Conor Ryan (TCD) – TowBot
  • Luke Pardy, Shaun Donnelly-Murphy and Michael Grimes (CIT) – Boot Buddy
  • Hugh Weldon, Ahmad Mu’azzam, Harry Crowley and Max Hickey (TCD) – Counting Carbon
  • Eoin Sheerin, Barry Harkin, Julius Silkaitis and Darren Woods (IT Sligo) – Standing Frame

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic