The 10th anniversary of the international James Dyson award was launched in Trinity College Dublin this morning.
Dyson engineer Nick Schneider from Dyson UK headquarters addressed the Trinity School of Engineering and challenged students to think differently to solve problems at a special invention workshop.
They will compete with students from 18 countries across the world to win the top prize of €36,000 and a further €12,000 for their university. The total prize fund this year is £100,000 (€120,000).
Speaking at today’s launch, Prof. Gareth J. Bennett, School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, said excellence in design innovation is the solution to Ireland’s troubled economy: “Engineering students are naturally creative. Our job is to provide inspiring learning environments to foster and develop their skills. By providing an opportunity to the students for experiential learning while applying academic knowledge we can deliver graduates who can both pioneer new companies to create indigenous employment and help reinvent existing companies to make them more competitive.”
2014 marks the 10-year anniversary of James Dyson’s search for new and better ways to solve problems. In recent years the competition has discovered and supported inventors with ideas such as an upper-body robotic arm and a more efficient device to capture wave power.
Last year’s international winners, the Titan Arm team, invented a battery powered upper-body robotic arm, which augments arm strength, to rehabilitate people with back injuries, rebuild muscle and relearn motor control.
Irish students have performed impressively in the awards over the last 10 years. Last year a Dublin student’s sports gum shield invention to prevent second impact syndrome in athletes, made the top 20 global finals. While, in 2009, a Carlow student made the final stages of the global judging with an hydraulic wheelchair brake invention, to solve the difficulties and embarrassment faced by wheelchair users.
In 2004, the winner of the Irish stage of the first award, Paddy Maloney from Carlow IT, invented a lightweight cast for broken limbs after seeing his Dad face difficulties with the heavy traditional plaster casts. Moloney is now a Senior Engineer at Dyson.