Mayo student wins national James Dyson award

Christopher Murphy with a model of his invention.

Christopher Murphy with a model of his invention.

A revolutionary new electronic swimming invention by a Mayo student has been announced as the winner of the Irish James Dyson award.

Twenty-three-year-old Christopher Murphy from Westport will receive €2,000 plus the Irish James Dyson award.

In addition his invention goes forward to the international stage of the competition and is in with a chance of winning the global James Dyson Award, which has a grand prize of €12,000 plus €12,000 for the design department of the winning student’s college.

Mr Murphy, who has just completed his degree in industrial design at the University of Limerick was inspired to create the ‘Open Pool Transfer’ system while working as a lifeguard for over five years. “I was struck by the difficulties facing swimmers with limited mobility.” Safety, comfort, and dignity issues with existing pool access hoists led Mr Murphy to engineer an ingenious solution.

After months of research, and 30 initial concepts, Murphy refined the concept to arrive at the ‘Open Pool Transfer’ system - an electronic lift device that gives people of all mobility levels a safe, comfortable, and dignified way of transferring from pool to water, which is easily controlled by the user or an assistant.

Mr Murphy’s invention is one of 10 Irish student inventions that have been shortlisted for the global James Dyson Award.

Projects were selected by Irish judges – Adrian Weckler, technology editor, Sunday Business Post, Karlin Lillington, Irish Times, and Barry Sheehan of Design Ireland.

The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages, and inspires the next generation of design engineers. It is run by the James Dyson Foundation, James Dyson’s charitable trust, in 21 different countries. Both the winner and the design engineering department of their respective university or institute of technology receive a £10,000 (€12,000 ) cash prize.


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