Following an intense two-day challenge event, four students from the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) claimed the ESB Inter Colleges Challenge title and will now represent their college and Ireland at a prestigious international engineering and commerce competition next year in Montreal, Canada.

Forty-four number students from 11 colleges and universities competed in the competition which took place at the Irish Management Institute (IMI) in Dublin on 1 and 2 November.

This competition – now in its fifth year – offers engineering and finance students the unique opportunity to apply their knowledge and skillset to develop innovative, creative and commercially focused solutions to real life energy-focused challenges.

For this year’s challenge, students had to research, design and develop a customer proposition which enables widespread adoption of low-carbon technologies and services for all citizens of the future. The teams were allocated just eight hours to research and design a solution to the task, after which they pitched their idea to an expert panel of judges.

Pat O’Doherty, Chief Executive of ESB, commented:

“At ESB, we believe in providing platforms like the Inter Colleges Challenge to allow students the opportunity and environment to create real-life solutions for tomorrow’s generation, and in particular to the defining challenges posted by climate change. As showcased over the last two days at this event, we have a rich pool of innovators and critical thinkers who understand and want to build customer solutions that will create a brighter future for all. I congratulate all participating students on their efforts and especially the winning team and their mentors on their wonderful achievement. I wish them every success as they proudly represent Ireland in Montreal.”

The judges commended the winning team on their ability to create an innovative and attractive concept within such a high pressured and time critical period. The team – which claimed the ESB Inter College Challenge McLoughlin Perpetual Trophy – will now represent their college and Ireland at the EngComm 2019 competition in Montreal next year.

Queen’s University Belfast and Trinity College claimed the second and third spots respectively and the representative students will receive a summer placement in ESB.

Speaking at the event in the IMI, Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education, Mary Mitchell O’Connor TD, said:

“This is a wonderful competition which lets participants apply their individual skills as part of a team to address real-world issues. It develops graduates’ capacity to think critically and communicate effectively. Every student who takes part is a winner.”

Hosted by ESB, this competition is only open to third level colleges with all teams comprising three engineering and one commerce student. ESB sponsors the winning team to represent Ireland in the international EngComm competition in Montreal in 2019 with the winning team also receiving placements in the organisation. This year’s challenge was based on the new ESB Strategy for a Brighter Future and focused on the challenge of enabling the low carbon citizen of the future.

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