Dublin City University students Oisín Ruane (Castlebar), Aodhán O’Donoghue (Castlebar), Cillian Byrnes (Castlebar),
and Odhrán Lang (Castleknock, Dublin), with their coach Dr Brian Corcoran, will represent Ireland at the international engineering and commerce competition, ENGCOMM 2022 after their team won this year’s ESB Inter-Colleges Challenge.
DCU pulled ahead in the grand final against stiff competition from Munster Technological University and University of Limerick to produce one of the tightest finals in the events eight-year history.
The teams were tasked to set out a vision and a specific design for an energy storage solution to help achieve net-zero carbon emissions, using the town of Athlone as a proof-of-concept location. The challenge constrained choices by excluding batteries and hydrogen. All teams rose to the challenge and proposed a range of ideas including compressed air, stacked block and flywheel technologies.
The winning team (pictured) were presented with the prestigious McLoughlin perpetual trophy at Dublin City University – in line with Covid-19 protocols. The team were coached by Dr Brian Corcoran, Head of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at DCU – who has coached a number of the university’s teams in previous ESB Inter-Colleges Challenges with this being the first time for them to take the first-place prize.
They will now represent Ireland at the international case competition, ENGCOMM 2022, which will take place in Montreal, Canada from 22nd to 26th February 2022, where they will compete against other universities from around the world.
ESB Inter-Colleges Challenge 2021 took place online for the second year running due to Covid-19, over the course of two days on Thursday 4th and Friday 5th November, as 32 students from colleges across Ireland pitched their creative solutions to an expert panel of judges.
Participants were tested over a full range of engineering, financial, marketing and team-working skills. University College Dublin won the Best Innovation Award and Maynooth University took home the Best Commercial Solution (Marketing and Finance) at the event.
Following the event, Denis O’Leary, ESB’s Executive Director, Engineering and Major Projects, said: “The quality of the work undertaken by each of the teams in the competition really demonstrates their ability to think critically and creatively about the challenges facing Ireland and the energy sector in the transition to a low carbon future. Each team worked incredibly well together this year as our event again took place online due to Covid-19. I was hugely impressed by the novel solutions to the implementation of large-scale energy storage that each team pitched to the expert panel. I would like to thank all teams for their participation and wish Dublin City University the very best of luck as they represent Ireland on the international stage at ENGCOMM 2022.”