NUI Galway Engineering Student wins inaugural MEDTRONIC AVE Prize

Monday, 19 November 2001

Release date: 15 November, 2001

NUI Galway Engineering Student wins inaugural MEDTRONIC AVE Prize

The MEDTRONIC AVE AWARD for 2001 has been presented to James McGarry, a graduate of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at NUI, Galway. The IR6,000 Prize was awarded to the best Bio-Medical device research project submitted to Medtronic-AVE in 2001 and presented by Sean Silke, Medtronic AVE's Director of Human Resources, at a reception in the University.

The annual competition is open to all final year degree undergraduates in Northern Ireland and the Republic whose projects are focused on Bio-Medical Device Technology.

According to Mr. Peter Walsh, Vice President of Medtronic-AVE, Ireland, "The award recognises, rewards and promotes the excellent bio-medical research being conducted in Colleges and Universities throughout the island. Its intention is to highlight the importance of research to industry. The competition is open to medical, engineering and science undergraduates, underlining the interdisciplinary nature of Bio-Medical research". Mr. Walsh added, "I hope it will encourage young people to consider careers in Science and Technology, hopefully in the Bio-Medical Industry. The scale of the prize emphasizes Medtronic AVE's commitment to R&D in Ireland".

The Winning Project for 2001: "Finite Element Analysis of the Mechanical Performance of a Cardiovascular Stent Design based on Micro-scale Modeling", was conducted by James McGarry, during his final year in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, under the supervision of Dr. Peter McHugh.

It considered the mechanical performance of the materials used in implants that hold open arteries that have been treated for vessel blockage, a condition that leads to angina and heart attacks. James used computer based finite element modelling to predict the micro-mechanical behaviour of metals in the design of these devices.

According to Dr. McHugh, "Winning the award, especially in its inaugural year, is a highly significant achievement for James and for the Mechanical Engineering Department here at NUI, Galway. It reflects the high standard of education provided by the Department through both its Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Degree Programmes". Dr. McHugh added, "The project is also closely linked with ongoing research being performed at the National Centre for Biomedical Engineering Science at NUI, Galway. At this state-of-the-art interdisciplinary facility, engineers, scientists and clinicians are performing cutting edge research with a focus on solving problems in the areas of biotechnology and medicine".

Medtronic is the world leader in medical technology providing lifelong solutions for people with chronic disease. The company provides products, therapies and services that enhance or extend the lives of millions of people. Medtronic AVE employs 1400 people in Galway, in the manufacture of coronary care products, including over 100 graduates in R&D. Each year, 2.5 million patients benefit from Medtronic s technology, used to treat conditions such as heart disease, neurological disorders, and vascular illnesses.

Ends

Information from: Máire Mhic Uidhir, Press Officer, NUI, Galway Tel. 091 750418

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