UK Young Engineer of the Year 2015

Published 3rd December 2015

A young bright spark from Northern Ireland has been crowned UK Young Engineer of the Year in the finals of the UK’s prestigious National Science + Engineering Competition.

Colum McNally, age 18, from St Colman’s College in Newry, County Down, has been named UK Young Engineer of the Year with a brilliant project that hopes to make farming safer. Colum designed and built an extremely safe and low-cost hydraulically operated agricultural machine, which combines the functions of both log splitting and fence building. Typically these tasks require two machines, which are extremely dangerous to operate (in Northern Ireland alone, one farmer dies every month from agricultural related injuries).  Colum’s Agri-Hammer aims to become an economically viable product that “takes the safety off the farmers’ hands rather than taking the hands off the farmers”.

The results were announced today at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair (the launch day, of which, was visited by the Prime Minister) – the UK’s largest celebration of science and engineering for young people, at The NEC, Birmingham. Colum impressed his way to the top honours after coming face-to-face with top celebrity judges and showcasing their projects to over 75,000 visitors at the science and engineering extravaganza. This year’s Competition was the most competitive to date, with over 2,000 entrants whittled down to the 202 projects that were invited to the Fair to vie for the coveted prizes.

After a thorough selection process, five talented engineering finalists were invited to present their projects to the top panel of celebrity judges, including Jason Bradbury, Roma Agrawal and Mark Miodownik, who were impressed by the level of projects in the final round.

As the winner of UK Young Engineer of the Year, Colum will win £2,000, a trophy and an experience prize.

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