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Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2017

12/06/2017

Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the YearAn Institute of Technology Carlow engineering student has won the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2017 with an innovative device designed to meet the needs of the agricultural and construction sector.

Aron Purser, from Ballycrogue in Carlow and who is in his third year of a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree, was announced the winner of the prestigious competition, sponsored by Siemens, at an event held last Friday in Engineers Ireland’s headquarters in Dublin.

Deemed the best innovation by the Engineers Ireland judging panel, Purser’s project was the Forklift ‘Bucket Bagger’, a device designed to meet the requirements of the agricultural and construction sector. The ‘Bucket Bagger’ is an attachment which is placed on the front of a forklift and used to fill bulk bags.  Previously, no bucket existed for forklifts, other than those for teleporters, which are unsuitable for use as they limited driver visibility during operation. A market first, Purser’s innovative product is currently being used by Kildare-based commercial and residential paving company RDC Contracts.

Aron’s win marks the third time an Institute of Technology Carlow student has won the Engineers Ireland Award. Previous Institute winners include Nigel Morris in 2012 and Alistair Chambers in 2013.

Two of Aron’s lecturers in the School of Engineering at Institute of Technology Carlow – Justin Townsend and Martin O’Brien - worked closely with him on the project. The idea for the project came about after a conversation between Just Townsend and RDC Contracts in which the company expressed its need for a device that could lift bulk bags but which was not on the market. Aron decided to design and construct such a device as his third year project with supervision from Justin Townsend and Martin O’Brien.

Commenting on Aron’s win, Justin Townsend said, “Using his skills honed here in the mechanical engineering department, Aron has designed a very useful, unique piece of equipment, based on user requirements, which has led to this prestigious award and national recognition”.

Sponsored by Siemens, the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award is an annual competition that focuses on showcasing innovation excellence amongst engineering third-level students across Ireland.  Six finalists were invited to present their projects, which ranged from medical to logistic and environmental innovations, to a panel of judges at the competition final last Friday.

Commenting on the students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society, 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.

“Congratulations to Aron Purser from Institute of Technology Carlow on winning the 2017 Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award and also to each of the participants in this year’s event, who are an example of the engineering talent that exists in Ireland today.”

Gary O’Callaghan, Chief Executive of Siemens Ltd, said; “The Young Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Awards is a valued initiative as we seek to position engineering as a fascinating, relevant and dynamic career for any young person. It is a fundamental element of our programme of engagement with young people around the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) agenda and indeed of our relationship with Engineers Ireland.

“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,” he continued.

PIC CAPTION: Aron Purser (centre) winner of the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2017. The 3rd year mechanical engineering student at Institute of Technology Carlow is pictured with two of his lecturers Martin O’Brien (left) and Justin Townsend (right) who supervised his project, the Forklift ‘Bucket Bagger’. The ‘Bucket Bagger’, a market first, is an attachment which is placed on the front of a forklift and used to fill bulk bags

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For reference: Alma Feeley, Comms Office, Institute of Technology Carlow
E: alma.feeley@itcarlow.ie t: 059 9175098