Wednesday 25 January 2017

Two Irish graduates in the running for international invention prize

John Brennan

Published 08/11/2015 | 21:26

Cathal Redmond, a product and technology design student, pictured with his winning invention 'Express Dive' at the Olympic-sized Pool at the University of Limerick Sports arena. Picture:Marie McCallan/Press 22
Cathal Redmond, a product and technology design student, pictured with his winning invention 'Express Dive' at the Olympic-sized Pool at the University of Limerick Sports arena. Picture:Marie McCallan/Press 22

Two Irish graduates are set to learn whether or not either of their inventions have won prizes at the International stage of the James Dyson Awards.

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The James Dyson award is an international student design award where the student is tasked to “design something that solves a problem”.

The winner will be awarded €40,000, while there are runners up prizes too.

Cathal Redmond (26), a University of Limerick graduate who won the 2015 Irish James Dyson Award for his lightweight underwater-breathing system called ‘Express Dive,’ is now up for the international stage of the award.

The ‘Express Dive’ system he designed aims to bridge the gap between expensive SCUBA equipment and snorkelling, allowing amateur divers to breathe underwater for up to two minutes.

“My product is for anyone who wants to explore their world without barriers,” Mr Redmond said of the ‘Express Dive’.

“SCUBA still exists for deeper diving, but my device makes the experience portable, refillable and more usable. The system comes equipped with a depth alarm and air shutoff to protect the learning diver from diving too deep, and a digital display of remaining air,” he said.

Also in the hunt for the award is Eilis Delaney (22), a Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) graduate who designed ‘Sense’ – a piece of technology which acts as an aid to help firefighters make their way through dark and dangerous environments.

Ms Delaney, from Killiney, said “it’s been really exciting and it’s been really great for me and it’s my first real experience after college outside into the real world, so to have that there as a stepping stone has been amazing.”

‘Sense’ is a retrofitting device that is incorporated into firefighting helmets and provides the firefighter using it with an improved perception of their environment.

She designed ‘Sense’ as a final year project, and spent a college year creating it and wanted to create something that would “genuinely aid people’s lives” as well as “expand our biology through technology”.

 “It allows them to navigate around dark spaces in a similar manner to bats” said Ms Delaney in her promotional video showcasing the equipment.

"Both designs will be competing against over 600 students from 20 countries for the grand prize of €37,500 to help further develop their device."

The winner of the International James Dyson Award will be announced this Tuesday, November 10.

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