Two NUI Galway Students Nominated for National Innovation Award

Monday, 18 June 2007

Michael Dunning and Louise Murphy, both students of Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway, have been selected as finalists to compete in the Siemens Innovative Engineer of the Year Award 2007, which takes place on Thursday 21st June at the headquarters of Engineers Ireland in Dublin.

This prestigious award, now in its 9th year, is presented annually by Siemens and Engineers Ireland to a final year engineering student who has developed an innovative technology or product that is commercially viable.

Michael, from Athlone, Co. Westmeath was short-listed for the award based on his research project entitled "A Self-Expanding Nano-Fibrous Biodegradable Stent." The goal of his project was to develop a stent, which will treat urethral strictures. Stents are small medical devices designed to be inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open.

Louise, from Naas, Co. Kildare was short-listed for the award based on her research project entitled "Crimp Technology Assessment of Bare Metal Stents." The goal of her project was to analyse the performance of stents used during angioplasty. Angioplasty is a commonly undertaken procedure, in which an obstructed blood vessel is mechanically widened. Stents are tiny medical devices inserted into the artery to clear blockages caused by coronary heart disease. Ireland manufactures 80% of the world's coronary stents in Galway.

Professor Sean McNamara, Head, Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, said: "The Department is very proud of the accomplishments of Michael and Louise in reaching the final round of the Siemens award, with projects based on technologies of interest to the biomedical engineering industry based in the Galway region. I am sure that both have benefited greatly from this experience and a win would be a bonus"

Michael and Louise are two of six finalists to be short-listed for the award. The winner will receive a specially commissioned trophy along with a cheque for €2,000. A further prize of €1,250 will be awarded to the winner should he or she decide to continue with post-graduate studies in engineering at an accredited University or IT.

The award is open to final year engineering students of Engineers Ireland accredited engineering degree courses from Universities and Institutes of Technology, north and south of the border. Each the year competition receives applications from 14 participating Universities and ITs who nominate two student projects each for the award.

The Siemens Innovative Engineer of the Year Award encourages young engineering students to be innovative in their work and to think about the practical and commercial applications of their research. For further information on the award logon to: www.engineersireland.ie

ENDS

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