Galway students prototype drone may prove a lifesaver

Student Max Phelan, Overall Mechanical winner for his project, “The Mechanical Design and Manufacture of a Cost Effective Autonomous Drone from Rapid Cardiac Response Purposes”.

A Galway student’s prototype of a ‘quadcopter for rapid response cardiac arrest rescue’ has won him the top Engineers Ireland West Project Award at the inaugural GMIT Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Expo.

The winning project from Max Phelan of Oranmore was among 45 submitted and exhibited in the GMIT Café Foyer from April 25 to May 2.

The Overall Mechanical winner, his project was titled “The Mechanical Design and Manufacture of a Cost Effective Autonomous Drone for Rapid Cardiac Response Purposes”.

Max explains: “Auton-omous drones are used for both callous and humanitarian purposes. The aim of this project is to design and manufacture a prototype autonomous drone to rapidly deliver an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) for use in high density population areas.

“To realise this, I looked at the flight envelopes of existing drones to asses and critique their abilities, and thereafter used flight dynamics, aerodynamics, control and programming to design and manufacture a prototype quadcopter which is capable of delivering a concept AED for rapid response purposes.”

A ‘domestic drying space using a heat recovery ventilation system’ won Philip Doyle, from Ballyglunin, Tuam, the Overall Energy award.

His project was titled “Investigation, Specification and Design of a Domestic Dedicated Drying System using ProAir’s Heat Recovery Ventilation System”.

Philip says: “Homes are ventilated for many reasons, but primarily to provide a clean fresh air supply.

“In Ireland due to our Maritime climate many modern homes use a dedicated Mechanical Heat Recovery system. The aim of the project was therefore to investigate the feasibility of using a mechanical heat recovery ventilation system to preheat the incoming air in a dedicated clothes drying space. To realise this, I used ProAir’s Mechanical Ventilation system to preheat to investigate its efficacy in cloths drying in a dedicated area”.

The inaugural competition was judged by industry experts Alan Heneghan, Senior Programme Manager, Thermo King, Donal Collins, R&D Manager, McHale, Brian Dowling, Project Engineer, Medtronic, and John Paul Butler, Chairman of Engineers Ireland West Region, sponsor of the student awards.

John Paul Butler, Chairman of Engineers Ireland in the West Region, said: “I was really impressed with the range of projects. They were well structured and superbly presented. They demonstrated how the students’ competencies had developed to deliver projects relevant to industry to a high standard.”

Dr Oliver Mulryan, Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Programme, and Expo organiser, said: “It’s humbling and empowering to see our students grow, as demonstrated by the confident way they interacted with industry.

“We hope to run the competition on an annual basis to proudly promulgate to all, our student’s capabilities. Small events like this greatly enhance our students’ college experience and assist in fostering and fortifying links with industry.”