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CIT Student Work Placement Inspires Award Winning Research and Novel Product

16 October, 2014

CIT Mechanical Engineering student Brian Hand undertook work placement at Liebherr Container Cranes of Killarney, Co. Kerry from March to Sept of last year. Little did he know that this placement would lead to award winning research and a novel product. The Liebherr Group is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of heavy machinery, particularly for the maritime industry. Since company inception in 1949, Liebherr’s foremost attribute has been the design of functionally superior cranes best suited to customer’s needs. Liebherr Container Cranes, a sub-division of Liebherr Group, are the primary producer of maritime cranes for the company - specialising in the design and manufacture of Ship-to-Shore (STS) cranes. Brian’s final year undergraduate engineering project, arising from his work placement at Liebherr Container Cranes and carried out under the supervision of Dr Andrew Cashman, CIT, and Mr. James Scanlon, Liebherr, 'An Analysis into wind induced loading effects on a ship-to-shore (STS) crane and investigation into design optimisation' went on to win the Best Paper Presentation Award at CADFEM Ireland Conference 2014 in Engineers Ireland HQ Dublin. Brian had already been extended the exceptional honour for an undergraduate student of being invited to publish and present his findings at this major conference. Competing against primarily PhD students at the conference, Brian's achievement, as the sole undergraduate presenter, in winning the CADFEM Ireland award is a remarkable testament to the rigour and innovativeness of the work undertaken. The inspiration for Brian’s novel product Equaliser - Extreme Weather Conditions Novel Tie-Down System for Ship to Shore Cranes – arose when Brian became increasingly aware of the growing trend worldwide for efficiency reasons towards larger size container cranes, the increasing worldwide manifestation of extreme weather conditions and the critical need for a novel tie down system designed specifically to deal with these trends and conditions. Brian’s research concluded that a major and growing market opportunity exists for a novel tie-down system specifically designed to prevent unequal tensile loads on the turnbuckles and consequent potential failure mechanisms. Brian’s novel product, Equaliser, designed to combat the problem outlined in his work, is one of just five Irish student projects short-listed for the International Stage of the prestigious James Dyson Award – See more on his product here Brian is to graduate in the coming weeks at CIT with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering Level 8 First Class Honours Degree and has also been awarded a CIT Rísam PhD Scholarship to continue his studies. This relationship stemming from work placement has continued to solve an existing industry problem and lead to world class innovation. Have you considered hosting a work placement student from CIT? A placement student might inject fresh ideas into your organisation. Call us to discuss these options 021 4335302.

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