Mechanical Engineering student’s desktop CNC milling machine wins ATU Engineering End of Year Competition 2023

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 Press Office
Press Release
 Mechanical Engineering student’s desktop CNC milling machine wins ATU Engineering End of Year Competition 2023

ATU Engineering Student Roy Sheridan’s project on “The Engineering Design and Manufacture of a Desktop CNC Milling Machine for Pedagogical purposes” has won him the overall undergraduate competition award at ATU Galway’s annual Engineering Exhibition and Competition 2023. Roy gains entry into Engineer Ireland’s Innovative Student Engineer of the Year competition which takes place in Dublin in Autumn.

Roy from Castlebar, Co Mayo, was one of 100 students who digitally exhibited final year poster work, 60 of which were displayed onsite in the Café Foyer, Dublin Road campus, after a thorough shortlisting and voting process. All the posters were critiqued and judged by a panel of 28 external engineering representatives from 22 companies at the formal competition run on campus on 4 May.

Describing his project, Roy says “The 3D printing has revolutionized the way students are taught engineering, however one process that is continually overlooked due to the expense involved is CNC machining. Therefore, for this project, using the engineering design process and machine design principles, I designed and manufactured a three axis Desktop CNC milling machine which can be used by educators and students for training and teaching STEM.”

Other final year students won engineering awards in different categories – Agricultural, Biomedical, Energy, Manufacturing Engineering Design and Mechanical Engineering specialisation streams as follows.

Eoin McLoughlin from Trim, Co Meath, won the Agricultural Engineering Award for “The Engineering Design and FEA Analysis of a Rear Mounted Tractor Mower” explaining: “Using the engineering design process, and FEA analysis I engineered and developed a complete set of manufacturing drawings for a novel mower which incorporates a unique hydraulic flotation and break back system which will make it easier for the user to operate”.

Kaycem Benaissa from Geneva, Switzerland, won the Biomedical Engineering Award for “Analysing the Behaviour of Nitinol Wire during Thermal Recovery” saying: “My project was a collaborative industrial project, and I researched the behaviour of nitinol under various manufacturing processes to gain insight into its thermal recovery.”

Qistina Binti Ab Halim who lives in Renmore and is from Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, won the Energy Engineering Award for the “Experimental Characterisation of A-State-of-The-Art Integrated Heat Pump & Heat Recovery Ventilation (iHP & HRV)” Stating: “My project aims to understand, demonstrate and test the performance of a state-of-the-art iHP & HRV unit. By using international test standards, and embedded test procedures the overall coefficient of performance of the unit was determined. My work also critiqued the experimental technical solution, design process, and explored the limitations of test standards.”

Cathal Monaghan from Caherlistrane, Co Galway, won the Manufacturing Engineering Design award for “The Engineering Design and Development of a Soft Gripper with a Programmed Application and use of a Digital Twin for KUKA KR4 Robot” Stating: For my project I developed a soft gripper for the Kuka KR4 robot. The gripper can easily grasp various geometrical shapes delicately and securely. The soft gripper pneumatically functions with positive and negative air pressures. A digital twin was replicated and programmed using KUKA Sim and virtually replicates what was happening with the Kuka KR4 robot and the soft gripper”.

In the Mechanical Engineering programme, Rafe Queally from Clarinbridge, Co Galway, won the Biomedical Specialisation award for “Optimising the Surgical Procedure for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome” saying “I prototyped a vascular simulation rig using linear actuators and pneumatic cylinders to replicate the Fontan heart's pulsatile flow.”;
Karl Holmes from Galway City won the Energy Specialisation Award for “The investigation of the Shape Memory Effect and Performance of a Nitinol Engine.” “My Project involved investigating the shape memory effect and superelasticity of the material known as nitinol, and thereafter I used the findings to propose and build a nitinol heat engine” he says;
Aaron O’Shaughnessy from Turloughmore, Co Galway, won the Product Design Specialisation for “The Design and Development of an Anti-Tamper Child Harness”;
 Brian Ncube from Galway won the Manufacturing specialisation for “Slug and Sharp Detection Device.”

In addition, two additional Special Recognition Awards were given to: George Jeffwin, Roscam, Co Galway,and Michael Moriarty, Oranmore, Co Galway, whom narrowly missed out on winning category awards, but produced extremely high-calibre project work.

In the Postgraduate category, Masoumeh Razaghi Pey Ghaleh, an ATU –Galway Biomedical Research student from Karaj, Iran, who is living in Renmore, won the Post Graduate Award for her work on “Optimising a Skin Graft Meshing Techniques to Improve Afterburn Care.” Masoumeh says that “Skin grafting is a widely used treatment method for severe skin burn cases, which involves meshing stretched donor skin over the burn and peripheral area. My project aims to determine the reason for the low skin stretch ratios and I hope to optimise the mesh pattern to improve the quality of skin grafts.”

Vahid Farmani, a Biomedical Research student won the runner-up Postgraduate Award for his work on “Predicting the Treatment Outcome of Stroke Cases using Machine Learning Techniques.”

Organised annually by the ATU Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, this year’s competition was sponsored and adjudicated by 28 engineering representatives from 22 companies.

Event organiser and Head of Dept of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Departmental Dr Oliver Mulryan says: “The end of year Engineering Expo is an important event in our academic calendar, which allows the department and students to interact with industry. On the event day, there was a lot of innovative practical work on display, and it’s great to see out students confidently interact with industry representatives. Many of our students think outside the box and produce creative engineering solutions. Well done to our students and to all who mentored, guided and supported them. We would like to thank all the Judges for their time, advice and guidance, and to all the companies who contributed to making this event a huge success. Your continual support of our engineering students, graduates and programmes is truly appreciated!

Regina Daly, Atlantic TU Communications
Tel: +353 (0)91 742826 Mob: +353 (0)879618355

Note to editors 
The industry partners who sponsored and adjudicated the competition are: 
Frank Murphy, Principal Engineer and Alan Flannery, HR Operations Manager, PEM; 
Donal Collins, R&D Manager, McHale;
Liam and Michael Collins, CEOs, Collins Plastics; 
Nicholas Burke, Senior Engineer, RPS Group; 
Joseph Staunton, Clean Utility Engineer, CBRE;
Alan Vermaak, Sale Engineer, Reliance;
Brendan Kilkenny, Senior Process and Aoife Earnor, R&D Graduate Engineer, Stryker;
Michael O’Malley, Senior Manufacturing Engineer and Kieran Kellher, Sr Maintenance Engineer, Zimmer Biomet;
Caner Dogan, Customer Services Specialist, MathWorks
Neil Van Maanen, Mechanical Design Engineer and John Butler, Operations Engineer, Bord na Mona;
Alan Heneghan, Production Unit Manager and Gerard Forde, Project Manager, Boston Scientific;
Dr William Finnegan, Committee, Engineers Ireland West
Pierre Yimbog, Community Engagement Executive, Engineers Ireland;
Richard Tarrant, Principal Engineer, Medtronic;
Alan Murphy, Engineering Manager and Fernanda Soares, HR Specialist, Celestica;
Niamh Dolan, Mechanical Design Engineer, Thermoking;
Liam Ruddy, Mechanical Engineer, TE Connectivity;
Shauna Clarke, Associate Project Process Engineer, Hollister ULC;
Shane Kelly, Director, Unitherm;
Declan Muldoon, Energy Engineer and Joshua Bolton Brown, Talent Acquisition Partner, Baxter; 
Doru Boble, Design Engineer and Patricia Conroy, Chief People Officer, Caragh Precision; 
and Caner Doogan, Education Success Program, Mathsworks 

Judges’ comments

Frank Murphy, Principal Engineer, PEM says “There was an excellent range of projects on display, and the students’ knowledge was excellent. It’s great to see the links with industry, and the focus on making the students ready for using their skills on the job.”
Alan Murphy, Engineering Manager, Celestica says “There was a very strong and diverse set of student projects on display. Well done to all involved. The future looks bright!”
Alan Vermaak, Sales Engineer, Reliance, says “A lot of excellent innovative work on Display”.
Pierre Yimbog, Community Engagement Executive, Engineers Ireland, says “There was a lot of Great projects on display by the students.”
Alan Murphy, Engineering Manager, Celestica says “There was a very strong and diverse set of student projects on display. Well done to all involved. The future looks bright!”

For further information about programmes in the ATU Galway Dept of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering please visit   

In addition to these awards, Academic Excellence Awards and Integrated Project Awards were given to several non-award year students as follows:

Adam Pratt, Ballconnell, Co Cavan, Agricultural Engineering;
Ugne Budreckyte, Ballybane, Biomedical Engineering;
Luke Campbell, Ballinasloe, Common Entry;
Grace Rodriguez, Oranmore, Energy Engineering;
Sean Cooney, Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, Mechanical Engineering;
Iain McGowan, Tubbercurry, Co Sligo, Manufacturing Engineering Design.
Ben Monaghan, Smithboro, Co. Monaghan, Agricultural Engineering;
Xing Ying Chuang, Murrough, Biomedical Engineering;
Seamus O'Maoilchiarain, Connemara, Energy Engineering;
Jamie Llambias Gibanel, Ballybane, Mechanical Engineering;
Ben Geraghty, Moylough, Manufacturing Engineering Design.
Darren Fagan, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, Agricultural Engineering;
Alexander Kai Foong, Renmore, Biomedical Engineering;
Qistina Biniti Ab Halim, Renmore, Energy Engineering;
Roy Sheridan, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Mechanical Engineering;
Joseph Tarrant, Loughrea, Manufacturing Engineering Design 

Integrated Project Awards were given to: Tom Maye, Moycullen,  Ryan O'Halloran Scanlan, Knocknacarra, Lyam Valentine, Craughwell and Shaun O'Donnell, Ballybane for their Stage 1 Manufacturing Engineering Project; Group C – Mechanical Engineering Stage 2 - for their top down design Computer Aided Design engine design modelling, simulation and rapid prototype work; Ryan Dillion, Moydow, Co Longford for Year 2 BIM work; and to Cian Coffey, Athenry, Patrick Conmy, Bellmullet, Patrick Maher, Roscrea and Seamus O'Maoilchiarain for their Year 3 BIM design and HVAC simulation work.