Engineers Ireland West Project Award

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Cian Dalton, an Engineering student at GMIT won the Engineers Ireland West Project Award at the annual GMIT Mechanical and Industrial Student Expo (2021). Cian won for his prototype of a water surface waste cleaner which can be used to safeguard against ecological degradation.

Cian Dalton’s project, titled “The Design and Development of a Waste Removal Robot for Marine Waters and Rivers”, was one of 85 projects presented in poster format and virtually exhibited from Wednesday, 28 April to Friday 30 April to a team of external judges.

Cian said“Research has shown that only 8% of Irish beaches and harbour rivers are deemed to be clean, and Irish fishermen have hauled over 190 tonnes of litter in the last 3 years. For my project I designed a novel robot to remove litter from water.

Cian’s winning project has now gained him direct entry into the Engineers Ireland – Innovative Student of the Year competition. 

Engineers Ireland West Project Award

The runners-up were students Shauna Keaveney, Dunmore, Co Galway; Owen Hennelly, Ballinrobe, Co Mayo; Francis Barron, Ballintra, Co Donegal; Brendan Coughlan, Clonfert, Co Galway; Patrick Forde, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo; Alan Ciweck, Athenry, Co Galway.

Shauna Keaveney, Biomedical Engineering category winner for “Design of a Lumbar Implant based on the Gyroid Model using Additive Manufacturing” says: “The Lumbar spine is a common location for disease and pain complaints. Research has shown that 50% of females and 20% of males over 50 will experience at least one osteoporotic related fracture. For my project I developed and designed a porous lumbar implant using the Gyroid and Schwarz Primitive triply periodic minimal surfaces to aid in the management of lower back pain caused by osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases”. Since the event’s inception, Shauna is the first female winner, and additionally will be one of the first cohort of graduands to receive the L8 Biomedical Engineering degree”.

Owen Hennelly, Energy Engineering category winner for “Design and Analysis of a Ranque-Hilsch Vortex Tube for Cryosurgery” says “Cryosurgery is a surgical technique that employs liquid nitrogen freezing to destroy unwanted tissue such as warts and lesions.  For my project I proposed that the -40oC cooling necessary could be achieved via vortex tube; a vortex tube is a static mechanical device that can split a compressed air stream into separate hot and cold air streams. Using literature, thermodynamic and CFD analysis, I performed a preliminary investigation into the feasibility of such a device for cryosurgery.”

Francis Barron, Agricultural Engineering category winner for “The Mechanical Design of an Industrial Belt Conveyor for Transportation of Crushed Rock in a Quarry Chip Plant” says “I engineered and designed an Industrial Belt Conveyor for a chip quarry plant using BS 8438 standards and thereafter produced a set of parametric drawings for its manufacture”.

Francis will be one of the first graduands of this programme and has already secured employment with Harrington Concrete in Kilkelly, Co Mayo on foot of his project. “I enjoyed the innovative engineering programme and having the Qualified Young Farmer Status embedded is a huge bonus.”

Brendan Coughlan won the Mechanical Engineering Product Design specialisation category for his project “The Design and Development of a Battery Testing and Separation System”.

Patrick Forde won the Mechanical Engineering  Energy Specialisation category for his project, “Designing an Innovative Quick-Acting Hydraulic Coupler for Agricultural Vehicles”.

Alan Ciweck won the Mechanical Engineering Biomedical specialisation category for his project, “Investigation into the viability of manufacturing a cast using 3D Printing Technology”.

GMIT’s online Engineering Poster Competition was adjudicated by 14 industry representatives: Niall Kelly, Engineering Manager, Medtronic; Donal Collins, R&D Manager, McHale; Alan Heneghan, Production Unit Manager and Hubert Creaven, Manufacturing Engineer, Boston Scientific; FengNan Fang, Staff R&D Engineer, TE Creganna Medical;  Dr Willian Finnegan, Engineers Ireland West Representative;  Kieran Kelleher, Maintenance Engineer and Michael O Malley, Business Unit Leader, ZimmerBiomet; Declan Long, Chief Solutions Architect and Tom O’Farrell, Engineering Manager, Hollister; Mícheál Gallagher, Community Engagement Executive, Engineers Ireland; Dylan Farrell, Design Engineer, Thermoking;  Dean Devaney, Project Design Engineer, Harrington Concrete; and John Butler, Mechanical & Operations Engineer, Bord na Mona.  All these companies kindly sponsored the various awards for the event.

Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, says: “GMIT is one of the largest providers of STEM education in the State, and it was very heartening for me to see the range, relevance and quality of the projects being showcased in this exhibition. I was particularly pleased to see the strong engagement with industry and I want to thank all involved: industry sponsors and judges, academic and technical staff, exhibition organisers and especially our student participants.”

Dr Oliver Mulryan, Department lecturer and Expo organiser, says: “We know the Covid situation has been very difficult, psychologically, on some of our students who have been taught online throughout the past year. Hopefully, an event like this, which acknowledges their abilities and efforts, will help them stay motivated, and assist the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department in growing further collaborative links with industry. We can all take something positive from our students’ resilience, and they should now look forward to things getting much better. I would like to thank the industry experts for their time, advice, and guidance, and all the local industries who continually support and enhance the learning of our engineering students. In these difficult times, your support is greatly appreciated.”

Professor Graham Heaslip, Head of School of Engineering, says: “The combination of creativity, engineering design and technological solutions on display in the exhibition was very impressive. Engineering requires an ability to think outside the box and visualise several alternative solutions and scenarios. The student projects showcase the students’ technical ability, engineering knowledge, creativity, and the societal impact of the discipline. A big thank you to our industry partners who were the judging panel, their ability to assess the breadth and depth of talent being developed in GMIT, ensures our curriculum is industry relevant. The student projects signal the School’s strong commitment to developing the skills and knowledge required by industry.”

Academic Excellence Awards were given to the following students for their achievement in their chosen discipline: Qistina Binti Ab Halim, Renmore; Oisin Lyons, Ballinalsoe ; Alexander Chan Kai Foong, Selangor, Malaysia; Michael Harte, Gort; Roy Sheridan, Castlebar; Paul Molly, Craughwell; Amy McNulty, Enniskillen; Aine Kane, Castlepollard; Julia Berglar, Lippstadt, Germany; Oisin O’Cualain, Inverin; Tadhg Fogarty, Nenagh; Aoife Earnor, Headford; Niall Jordan, Athenry; and Patrick  O’Sullivan, Clarinbridge.

What the judges had to say

Donal Collins, R&D Manager McHale, says “There was a great variety of posters covering a broad spectrum of engineering. It was good to see Ansys being applied to most of them. I always enjoy reviewing the posters and seeing what the students have been doing for the year. Also, it is great to see the relevance in some of the work, e.g.  ventilation systems in educational settings due to COVID.”

Alan Heneghan, Production Unit Manager, Boston Scientific says, “The level of innovation, novelty of ideas, and application of engineering skills demonstrated by the students with their final year projects is a credit to GMIT and its lecturers.”

John Butler, Mechanical & Operations Engineer, Bord na Mona, comments “Year on year the projects completed by the students never cease to amaze me. The technical aptitude of the students was clearly evident in the work displayed. In the current pandemic situation, we find ourselves in, it is a credit to the staff and students to see the standards attained in this year’s projects, both from and academic and practical aspect. The high standards set us a very difficult task when adjudicating; all the students can be proud of their work which was completed to a very high standard.”

Niall Kelly, Engineering Manager, Medtronic, says “The vast majority of the posters were completed to a high calibre and there were a good few exceptional examples. It wasn’t easy picking out the winners.”

FengNan Fang, Staff R&D Engineer, TE Creganna Medical, comments “The work displayed was great, very interesting.”

Kieran Kelleher, Maintenance Engineer, ZimmerBiomet, says “Very impressive project posters illustrating the commitment to deliver some remarkable projects while navigating through a very difficult time.”

Interested in studying Engineering? Take a look at our list of courses around the country.

Steven Galvin

Student Achievement Awards Ireland 2021
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