NUI Galway Win Award in HSA National Competition

Monday, 13 February 2012

Pictured (l-r): NUI Galway students Kevin Carney, Grant Deeney and Conor Higgins with Joanne Harmon, Education Manager with the HSA.
Pictured (l-r): NUI Galway students Kevin Carney, Grant Deeney and Conor Higgins with Joanne Harmon, Education Manager with the HSA.

A team of engineering students from NUI Galway have won second place in the Health and Safety Authority’s (HSA) ‘Safety in Design and Construction’ third-level competition. The NUI Galway team consisted of: Kevin Carney, a fourth year BSc in Project and Construction student from Frenchpark, Co. Roscommon; fourth year BE in Civil Engineering student Grant Deeney from Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon; and Conor Higgins a fourth year BE in Civil Engineering student from Wicklow Town.

At the finals, held recently in Dublin, six short-listed teams battled it out to win the first prize. The overall winners were Carlow IT, with third place going to Letterkenny IT.  Other third-level institutions represented in the final included Cork IT and two teams from Carlow IT.

The aim of the competition is to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of health and safety in construction.  The challenge involved the selection, procurement and installation of a complete MRI Modular Unit, and all associated site preparatory and interface works within an existing hospital. The project also included the design and specification of any necessary internal reconfiguration works required to be carried out to the hospital. Central to the brief was to minimise all risks to the safety and health of patients, staff, and construction workers arising from the installation works.

Chairperson of the Authority’s Third Level Education Group, Dr Anne Drummond, said: “This competition goes beyond the boundaries of the classroom and brings together students who may not yet have interacted at an undergraduate level and yet, will work together as professionals. The approach to the competition is based on problem-based learning which resembles professional life far more than many more traditional methods of assessment. The feedback from students and their lecturers is that the engagement of working together with their colleagues on the competition is a rewarding and enjoyable part of their learning experience.”

Joanne Harmon, Education Manager with the Health and Safety Authority said: “This competition is in its third year and it’s great to see the level of engagement from students and their lecturers as well as the continual high standards and creativity on display.  I would like to congratulate NUI Galway and thank everyone else who took part.  We kept the brief as real as possible so that students had to be creative in their solutions but are also as likely to come across similar scenarios in their future working life.”

Dr Jamie Goggins Programme Director for BSc in Project and Construction Management at NUI Galway, said: “We would like to congratulate Kevin, Grant and Conor on winning second place in this competition. Members of this team also won the competition last year, which is a credit to the students. The aim of the competition fits very well with the ethos of our undergraduate degree programmes in construction related programmes – to provide an environment where undergraduate students can collaborate and work together to enhance, develop and embed their knowledge and understanding of various aspects of engineering and construction. Furthermore, this competition provides a platform for students to work in multidisciplinary groups, which is an experience that we value and promote in our undergraduate degree programmes.”

The judging panel was made up of the following members: Paraig Earley, Construction Policy Inspector, HSA; Mike Keyes, Aegis Safety Management; and Tony Sheridan, Health and Safety Manager, John Sisk and Son Ltd.

-ENDS-

Keywords: Civil Engineering, Engineering

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
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