Limerick student wins Dyson award
An invention by a Limerick student which seeks to minimise the spread infections in hospitals has won the Irish leg of the 2012 James Dyson award.
Paddy Mulcahy, a 21-year-old UL student, designed U-neat, a hospital bed table and locker, which is easily sanitised because of its seam-free, filleted surfaces, which eliminate corners for bacteria to build.
The table rotates 360 degrees while the drawers can fully removed for easy access to allow the unit to be cleaned inside and provides seating for visitors, which helps to create a controlled environment for seat allocation.
Mr Mulcahy began conducting on-site research into Health Care Associated Infections in hospitals last year, consulting with medical staff and interviewing patients. His research showed that over 70 per cent of the spread of infections in hospitals was due to surface-to-person transfer of bacteria.
Having built various functional prototypes of the design he then sourced a hospital bed in order to accurately test these prototypes with different users.
Mr Mulcahy will receive €1,250 and his design will now be put forward to compete against other inventions from the 18 other participating countries in the international competition, the winner of which will be selected by James Dyson and announced on November 8th. The international award winner will receive €12,600 and a further €12,600 for their university department.
The 21-year-old, who has already received an offer to develop his invention at the Innovation Centre at the University of Limerick over the next eight months, will today graduate with first class honours having completed the Bachelor Degree in Product Design and Technology at the university.
The James Dyson Award is run by the James Dyson Foundation, a registered charity with the aim of supporting design, technology and engineering education, medical research charities and local community projects. The James Dyson Foundation works with schools and universities around the UK and internationally.