DIT student wins ?Innovative Student Engineer 2010? award

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Dr Gerry Woods (project supervisor), James O Meara,
Mark McGrath (Acting Head of Dept of Manufacturing & Design Engineering)

28th June 2010

  • Siemens and Engineers Ireland Award goes to ?Quicklink? inventor
  • Final year Manufacturing and Design project ready to license

James O Meara, a final year Manufacturing and Design Engineering student (DT023) has won the Innovative Student Engineer 2010 (Level 8) award with his final year project entitled the ?Quicklink?. Sponsored by Siemens and Engineers Ireland, this prestigious award is given to projects illustrating innovation in engineering. The competition is open to all fully accredited third level engineering programmes throughout Ireland.

The winning project involved the design, manufacture, testing and commercialisation of a three-point quick-attach mechanism for agricultural tractors. The device allows the driver to safely couple implements to the tractor and adjust them without ever leaving the cab of the tractor. According to James O?Meara, safety was one of the main drivers in developing the device, given that 60% of all farm fatalities involve the use of tractors and machinery when the operator is out of the driver?s seat.

The device is particularly helpful for older farmers as there is no need to physically lift the implements when coupling. It also improves the safety and overall performance of the machinery in question. It is possible for users to dramatically reduce the average time taken to switch implements on the tractor and it removes the requirement for manual handling of machinery. The product is compatible with almost all implements on the Irish market without modification. According to James, who graduates this year, a product patent has been filed and he has already carried out a substantial marketing campaign for the device. He is currently in negotiations with an SME regarding licensing the manufacture of the Quicklink and plans are underway to launch the product onto the Irish market.

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