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DIT wins ESB Inter-Colleges Challenge

Posted: 5 November, 2018

Following an intense two-day challenge event, four DIT students have claimed the ESB Inter Colleges Challenge title and will now represent Ireland at the Engineering and Commerce Case Competition in Montreal next year.

Pictured at the ESB Inter Colleges Challenge is the winning DIT team Brian King, Lee Gibbons with Minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor TD, Pat O'Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, William Tunstead and Cathal Kinirons

The ESB Inter-Colleges Challenge offers engineering and finance students the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to develop innovative, creative and commercially focused solutions to real life energy-focused challenges. DIT was represented at this year’s competition by 4th-year Business and Management students Brian King and Cathal Kinirons and 3rd-year Mechanical Engineering undergraduates William Tunstead and Lee Gibbons. Forty-four number students from 11 colleges and universities competed in the competition with Trinity College Dublin and Queen's University taking the runner-up positions. 

The team was selected and coached by Dr Eoghan O Grady (College of Business) and Professor David Kennedy (College of Engineering and Built Environment) with great support from ESB Energy Innovation Specialist and DIT graduate Aoife Gallagher as well as Dr Isabelle Killane and Dr Alimohammadi Sajad from the School of Mechanical and Design Engineering.

For this year’s challenge, students had to research, design and develop a customer proposition which enables widespread adoption of low-carbon technologies and services for all citizens of the future. The teams were allocated just eight hours to research and design a solution to the task, after which they pitched their idea to an expert panel of judges. The judges commended Brian, Cathal, William and Lee, on their ability to create an innovative and attractive concept within such a high pressured and time critical period.

Dr Eoghan O’Grady, DIT praised the team and said, “Winning such a challenging competition speaks to the quality of the students and the teaching on both programmes – the B.Sc. Business and Management and the B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering.  Brian, Cathal, Lee and William’s success derived from the significant time they dedicated to preparing for the competition but also from their combination of technical, analytical and communication skills.”  

Continuing Dr O’Grady said, “Great credit is also due to the ESB and in particular Denis Kelly (Manager – Organisational Effectiveness and Change ESB) and Colm de Burca (Engineering and Development Manager ESB) for planning and leading the competition.”

Commenting on the competition, Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, said: “I congratulate all participating students on their efforts and especially the winning team and their mentors from DIT on their wonderful achievement. I wish them every success as they proudly represent Ireland in Montreal."

Also speaking at the event, Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said: “This is a wonderful competition which lets participants apply their skills as part of a team to address real-world issues. It develops graduates’ capacity to think critically and communicate effectively. Every student who takes part is a winner.”

Hosted by ESB, this competition is only open to third level colleges with ESB sponsoring the winning team to represent Ireland in the international EngComm competition in Montreal in February 2019. This year’s challenge was based on the new ESB Strategy for a Brighter Future and focused on the problem of enabling the low carbon citizen of the future.