Engineers Ireland, UCD, Arbor, Insight Renewables, Consultant
A bit of everything
Innovative Entrepreneur, Creative Thinker and Persistant Failer!
I am a great believer in just trying something and giving it a go. I think we learn more from our mistakes than our successes and so I try fail as often as possible. I have always been a problem solver, even as a kid I would open up broken equipment to figure out what was wrong to fix it and make it better. If it didn’t work as expected, then I would have found out another way not to do it and be one step closer to a better solution. This has stayed with me my whole life and I apply this way of thinking every day. I always wanted to change the world and that is why I became an engineer.
In my spare time I like playing guitar, mainly rock styles (although the hair is a lot shorter these days…). I also really enjoy 3D printing, designing new kinds of products and playing with new ideas for businesses.
I am an active volunteer in Engineers Ireland and am the youngest member ever to be elected to the “Council”, which runs the organisation. I regularly go to schools or organize events to encourage more people to learn about engineers and why
My goals for 2017 are to develop my renewable bio-coal company, raise further investment.
I develop renewable energy technologies to help society move away from fossil fuels.
I am qualified as a mechanical engineer but decided to specialize in energy systems. Energy systems is a very broad area and covers any method of harnessing energy and converting it into useful forms like electricity or heat that we can use to power our lives.
My main area of work is in developing renewable biofuels such as biocoal. I am a co-inventor of a new process which can make an entirely new form of fuel substitute for coal known as bio-coal. Biocoal is made from biomass like woods, grasses and other plant materials which are not currently used for energy. Fossil coal is made over millions of years and must be mined from the earth unlike biocoal which is made in less than an hour from waste plants which we grow naturally. Biocoal is a fantastic renewable alternative for peat too!
I work on improving how the biocoal is made and invent new ways to saving energy, costs and CO2 emissions.
My Typical Day
As an Entrepreneur, no two days are ever the same. That’s why I love it!
I could be designing or building a machine or component in the morning, doing tests in the lab to running fuel production trials. Other days I will be talking to potential customers or investors in Ireland or Abroad. I am responsible for many different tasks including financial planning, strategy, marketing and promoting cool technology that can change the world and make us a less wasteful society.
What I'd do with the money
I would attempt the first Irish minirocket launch from a weather balloon as a great way to promote STEM and get people interested and engaged.
We have all seen those fantastic photos from the edge of space of SpongeBob and Heisenberg figurines. I even saw one company who launched a “Meat & Potato Pie” into space. I would like to go one step further in the name of STEM awareness and launch a small rocket from a weather balloon platform at 20km height and catch the whole thing on camera! I think this would be a great way to promote STEM and encourage people to get involved.
If I win, I look forward to failing fast and learning lots in the name of STEM!
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Innovative, Curious, Ambitious
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Co-invented a new technology to produce an entirely new form of fuel to replace coal
What or who inspired you to follow your career?
Breaking things as a kid and having parents who wouldn’t pay to fix them.
What did you want to be after you left school?
I always wanted to be an inventor and make cool fun gadgets.
Were you ever in trouble at school?
From time to time I got a little too creative..
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
I would love to be David Attenborough. That’s possible right?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Eddie Vedder – Pearl Jam
What's your favourite food?
I know ‘Hot’ isn’t a food but does it count?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Designing the sail control mechanism for a full size robotic sailing vessel and writing the autopilot software and then trying to keep up in a chase boat as your design out performs you!
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
to be able to search the internet by thinking, to never have to queue and the ability to teleport (that would be cool)
Tell us a joke.
You see my next door neighbour worships exhaust pipes, he’s a catholic converter.