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November 2015 NUI Galway celebrates student motorsport engineering achievements
Four students from St. Muredach’s College, Ballina, Co. Mayo, were honoured by NUI Galway at the recent Autumn Conferring ceremonies in Galway for their achievement in a global second-level schools engineering competition.
Under the direction of their teacher, Ms Karen Cronin, Aaron Hannon, Robert Grimes, Paul Flynn and Enda Flanagan, competing as Team AIB Racing, took third place in the World Finals of F1 in Schools.
The event involved teams from around the world competing in Singapore in head-to-head racing of 1/20th scale model Formula 1 cars they designed and built. The St. Muredach’s team, who earlier won the national championship and set a new Irish record, won third place in the world based on their engineering excellence, project management and presentation skills, and the performance of their car.
In recognition of the team’s achievements the four transition-year students and St. Muredach’s principal, Leo Golden were presented with a special award by Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, at the recent conferring ceremony.
On the same day, several members of NUI Galway’s ‘Geec’ team graduated with degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, and energy systems engineering. The Geec (Galway energy-efficient car) is the most energy-efficient car ever built in Ireland. In May 2015 it competed at Shell Eco-marathon Europe, completing the 16-km course with energy consumption equivalent to 8,000 miles per gallon. Design, construction and testing of the Geec formed a central part of the engineering education of the students involved. Team AIB Racing and the Geec collaborated in the run-up to the F1 in Schools finals.
As well as securing third place overall, one of Team AIB Racing’s members, Aaron Hannon, was awarded a scholarship in the Ranstad Williams Engineering Academy. This is an initiative in which the Williams Formula 1 team mentors students throughout their engineering education.
Dr Jim Browne, President of NUI Galway, commented: “We are delighted to recognise the tremendous international success which the St Muredach’s College students have achieved in the Formula 1 in Schools finals. Ireland’s future will depend on the talent and innovation of such students. NUI Galway was delighted to honour their achievements and that of their school by welcoming them to visit the University’s Engineering facilities and presenting them with an award at our College of Engineering and Informatics conferring ceremony. As talented, bright students I hope that they might choose to return to NUI Galway for their studies. We certainly look forward to the possibility of welcoming them back to campus.”