The best of Sligo engineering was honoured at the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2016, with Sligo County Council and four IT Sligo students winning awards at the event.
Sligo County Council won the ‘Heritage and Conservation Award’, sponsored by OPW, for the conservation repairs on Culfadda Bridge. While IT Sligo students Shane Timoney, Caolan Treanor, Conor Walsh and Colm Morley received their ‘Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award’, sponsored by Siemens, for their ‘Automatically fed post driver’ project they had won in June.
The Culfadda Bridge was first built in 1800, and in 2014 Sligo County Council undertook a radical repair of its structural elements. Many structural components were defective requiring extensive engineering work with the finished project repaired to an extremely high standard in terms of aesthetics, appropriate material and workmanship. Mr Gary Salter accepted the award on behalf of the Council.
IT Sligo students Colm Morley, Shane Timoney, Caolan Treanor and Conor Walsh created a machine that allows tractor operators to drive posts without having to dismount their tractors, significantly improving the safety and efficiency of the process.
Additionally, the ’Clean Out of Place’ system, developed by Abbott Diagnostics in Sligo was runner-up in the overall Engineering Project of the Year, which is voted for by a panel of judges and the public. The award was won outright by the Corrib Onshore Gas Pipeline. The Corrib Gas Field, approximately 83km off the coast of Mayo, has become a critical piece of national infrastructure that will produce much of Ireland’s future gas supplies over the next 15 to 20 years. It is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the state’s history, costing approximately €3.5 billion and will contribute some €6 billion to Ireland’s GDP.
The winners were announced at the seventh annual Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, in association with ESB, at a special ceremony held in the InterContinental Hotel in Dublin.
Una Parsons (IT Sligo Head of Department of Mechanical & Electronic Engineering), Shane Timoney, Caolan Treanor, Conor Walsh, Michael O’Connor (Corporate Communications Manager, Siemens), Colm Morley, Caroline Spillane (DG of Engineers Ireland)
Pat O’Doherty, ESB Chief Executive, said: “I would like to congratulate all of the winners of this year’s awards. So many of the projects not only address a functional or commercial challenge, but wider societal issues. Whether it is climate change, food production or enhanced healthcare, engineers have an extremely important role to play in society. That’s why it is so important that we continue to promote engineering as a career choice and that we focus on diversity as a way of bringing new talent into the engineering profession.”
Speaking at the awards ceremony in the InterContinental Hotel Dublin, Caroline Spillane, Engineers Ireland Director General, commented on the vast array of engineering talent that had gathered for the flagship awards ceremony.
“The engineering profession is the real winner of this year’s awards. We in Engineers Ireland are delighted to showcase and celebrate the incredible achievements of some of the best engineering talent in the world. And the Sligo entries and winners very much highlighted the true creative talent and innovation that exists within the profession.”
She continued: “Engineers continue to make an incredibly valuable contribution to communities and economies worldwide. The work celebrated here embodies real engineering excellence and ingenuity and reflects the evolving nature of contemporary engineering today.”