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Energy Conservation award supports innovators of the future

Published: Tue, 27 May 2014
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Noel Rice, Energy Conservation Manager, with the winners of the 2013 award
Energy Conservation Award winners 2013
We are sponsoring the Energy Conservation award at the 2014 Sentinus Young Innovators exhibition, which is taking place in Belfast.
As the Home Energy Conservation authority for Northern Ireland, we are keen to support the innovators of the future and has been involved with the project since 1996.
Each year we sponsor an award at the Sentinus Young Innovators, which includes the Big Bang Fair Northern Ireland, attracting some 3000 young people through its doors. The main aim of the event is to inspire young people in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.
The projects, submitted by more than 600 students, aged 9 to 19, are judged by more than 220 STEM professionals, including judges from the Housing Executive. Last year’s winners of the Housing Executive award Cillian Cavanagh and Dáire Flood, who pioneered the Ice Device, went on to pick up the I-Sweeep award and competed at an international science convention in the US.
The teenagers are students at Avondale Community College in Co Wicklow and spent nine months bringing their concept to reality. The Ice Device is capable of removing frost and ice from the windscreens of all vehicles quickly and efficiently and also recycles and conserves water.
Winner Dáire Flood, who wants to study Theoretical Physics, said: “Of course we were thrilled to win any award. But to pick up the Energy Conservation Award was extra special for us as it was really important and relevant.”
The idea for the device came about as a result of the bad weather in 2010.
“It was Cillian’s idea and then our science teacher suggested I should also get involved so together we started to develop the project and progress the device,” explained Dáire.
Dáire’s advice to those attending this year’s event – Work consistently, practice your oral presentation and be prepared to answer any question.
“It’s definitely worth the hard work. Not only did we pick up the Housing Executive award we were also awarded the I-Sweeep and have just returned from the competition in Texas, Houston. There were over 600 countries, 500 students and 400 projects. It was a great experience and we picked up two awards.”  
Siobhan McCauley, our Director of Regional Services, said: “We are delighted that the winner of the Energy Conservation category, sponsored by the Housing Executive, at the 2013 Young Innovators Award has gone on to gain further recognition at the International Sustainable World (I-SWEEEP) exhibition in Texas.
“We think it’s vitally important to encourage young people to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects if further developments are to be made in making our environment more sustainable.
“Some of the students involved in STEM subjects today become the scientists and innovators of the future bringing forward new developments in home heating, energy conservation and renewable energy.
“As a Home Energy Conservation Authority, the Housing Executive is conscious of the value of such innovations for the health and wellbeing of our tenants. Congratulations to all the students involved in this project and I look forward to seeing some of those projects on the day.”
The 2014 Awards take place on Friday, June 20th, at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.