A mechanical engineering graduate of Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) has won an award in a national competition.
Brendan Corry scooped the prize of “Best Applied Student Engineering Project” in the 2021 National Student Engineering Competition.
Brendan applied for competition hosted by two of Ireland’s professional bodies for engineers, Engineers Ireland and IMechE and was successfully selected as a finalist with his innovative project. He created a vacuum assisted soil drying apparatus. The apparatus was developed to aid an ongoing LYIT research project and allows soil to be dried in 10 minutes, a process that was originally taking 72 hours. As a finalist, Brendan finished 3rd place in Ireland.
A skilful mechanic following an apprenticeship, Brendan became an expert technician for Hyundai. An interest in furthering his skills combined with a flair for mechanics saw Brendan return to study on the Mechanical Engineering programme as a mature student.
“I wanted to challenge myself, I wanted to improve my technical mechanical skills. I just graduated in January with a first-class honours degree in Mechanical Engineering. I really enjoyed the course. The return to education as a mature student went smoothly and the lecturers were supportive and always willing to lend a helping hand”, says Brendan.
“The programme started with the basics and brought you right up to speed and ‘The Curve’, which is a learning centre was available for extra help with Maths when required. The programme was fascinating. It ranged from traditional mechanical systems from back in the day to newer more modern machines like 3D printers and Computer Aided Design.”
Brendan continues his journey at LYIT and is currently undertaking a Masters by Research degree, funded by the Lin-Anderson foundation. The project is in collaboration with the North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing (NWCAM) and is focused on investigating the use of smart textiles to produce a cost-effective pressure sensor mat for children’s wheelchairs. The pressure sensor map can be used by clinicians, carers or parents and will show how weight is distributed to help reduce the risk of pressure ulcers in long term chair users. These occur with excess pressure or moderate pressure over a long period of time.
Dr. Nicola Anderson, supervising researcher on the project says: “I remember first meeting with Brendan a number of years ago to show him around the Department and give him more information on the Mechanical Engineering course – it was clear then that he was enthusiastic about machines and mechanisms and relished a challenge!
Brendan’s recent award in the Best Applied Student Engineering Project is a testament to his problem-solving skills and his work ethic. Despite the onset of the pandemic last year Brendan managed to deliver an exceptional solution in the form of his vacuum assisted soil drying machine to the LYIT research team.
Now, working with Brendan on the research project provides a different challenge in the Mechanical engineering discipline, one that Brendan is really embracing” says Nicola.
Brendan encourages people who are interested in mechanical engineering to enrol on the programme, he says; “I would happily recommend this course, the learning environment encourages you to ask as many questions as you need to and for mature students who are nervous about the return to education, there really is no need to be. All the supports are in place to help you succeed. Go for it”!
If you would like to find out more about the mechanical engineering programme at LYIT, visit https://www.lyit.ie/CourseDetails/D301/NEEDCODE22/MechanicalEngineering or contact Paddy.Hannigan@lyit.ie or Nicola.Anderson@lyit.ie