DCU students scoop top award in applied engineering competition

22 Dec 2021

Image: © sergign/Stock.adobe.com

Mechatronic engineering students Eric Redmond and Eamon Kilheany developed a safer way to do pressure tests on closed piping systems.

Two Dublin City University (DCU) students have scooped the top prize in the undergraduate category in this year’s Applied Student Engineering Project competition.

The competition was held by Engineers Ireland in collaboration with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Republic of Ireland committee. This year was the third year it was held.

The 2021 undergraduate winners, Eric Redmond and Eamon Kilheany, are in their fourth year in DCU studying mechatronic engineering. Their project focused on pressure testing closed piping systems, which are primarily designed to test fire sprinkler systems.

The duo came up with a new, safer way to carry out testing using a device connected to the cloud. The device is connected to a monitoring system that records pressure fluctuations automatically and continuously. During a test, pressure drops are monitored and will automatically and instantly release the pressure safely if a rupture or large leak is identified.

Redmond and Kilheany won a cash prize of €500 and an opportunity for a placement at Science Foundation Ireland’s research centre for advanced manufacturing, I-Form. They also received a certificate and a custom-designed medal made at I-Form.

Second and third place winners received cash prizes of €300 and €200, respectively.

The two DCU students received their award at a virtual ceremony held on 30 November. There was a total of six finalists across the postgraduate and undergraduate divisions.

The competition is designed to encourage students to undertake complex projects with practical applications in the real world, and competitors presented their projects to a panel of judges who asked them a series of questions about their work.

Earlier in the year, David Deneher, Tim Farrelly and Omar Salem won Engineers Ireland’s Innovative Student Engineer of the Year award for their Field of Vision device. This haptic device uses an advanced computer vision model to enable visually impaired people to experience football games in real time.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.