A team of students from Sligo has taken one of the top awards in the finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup in New York.
It’s the world’s top student technology competition, and more than 350,000 students from 183 countries registered to enter this year’s contest.
But only 124 teams made it to this week’s finals, and Team Hermes from IT Sligo were the winners in one of the toughest categories: “Software Design”.
The four-member team’s winning project was a car’s equivalent of an aircraft’s black box: an in-car system that communicates real-time data from the vehicle to a mobile phone.
The system then uploads this data to the cloud, to analyse any accidents that do happen and – even more importantly – to act as an early warning system on erratic driving behaviour.
The team members come from IT Sligo’s School of Engineering and School of Business and Humanities. The college’s President, Professor Terri Scott, said: “Their project is a wonderful example of how well interdisciplinary teams can work together.
“This is the second time that IT Sligo has represented Ireland at the Imagine Cup World Finals in the last five years and we are delighted with what Team Hermes have achieved. ”
Team Hermes are: Calum Cawley from Castlebaldwin, Co Sligo; Aine Conaghan from Ballybofey, Co Donegal; James McNamara from Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon; and Matthew Padden from Ballina, Co Mayo.
The team arrived in New York for the world finals last Thursday. Besides the competition and a bit of sightseeing, they were also guests at an event at the Irish consulate on Park Avenue. Over 100 Irish-American businesses attended to wish them luck and hear about their project.
Then it was on to today’s awards ceremony. Last year’s winners, GINA from the Czech Republic, told the audience about their winning entry, which is designed to help monitor the spread of cholera in Haiti.
Check out the Team Hermes page on Facebook
Visit the Microsoft Imagine Cup website