Young creators charting a brave new world at University of Limerick

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Abutalha Alam with Professor Kerstin Mey and John Collison who presented him with his award

THE inaugural Technologists Engineers Creators Scientists (TECS) awards ceremony at University of Limerick has recognised a high achieving group of future young creators.

John Collison, Co-Founder and President of Stripe and Dr Patricia Scanlon, Founder and chief executives of Soapbox Labs, presented awards to a group of talented young people who took part in a new programme to find and reward people creating new projects.

TECS was jointly hosted by UL’s new Immersive Software Engineering degree and Patch, a six-week long summer accelerator programme for 16 to 21 year olds who want to push the world forward. The TECS prizes were awarded based on how much progress projects made from week to week.

The inaugural competition took place last November with students working on projects including a new operating system, data marketplaces and AI that identifies disease-carrying insects.

The top prize of €2,000 was awarded to Castletroy College’s Abutalha Alam for his translator for Irish, English and American Sign Language. The winning school also received €1000.

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UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said the inaugural TECS competition came about because of UL’s new Immersive Software Engineering (ISE) programme and the support of more than 50 partner organisations in industry.

“Together, we hope that this programme will leap forward the delivery of software engineering education. When ISE was announced to the world, it was seen as a total paradigm shift and rewriting the rulebook for software engineering education. There is no other course in existence like ISE’s integrated BSc/MSc and we are very proud of that at UL,” stated Professor Mey.

Speaking to the prize winners, John Collison said: “What you have all done with these projects is what we are getting at with the Immersive Software Engineering programme, and many of your projects demonstrate it.

“This is the best way to learn software engineering, by doing it. You have to just jump in. That is what we are trying to do with this course and the TECS project – you want to be somersaulting off the deep end into learning it.

“We are just so blown away by the projects. We would encourage you all to consider careers in software engineering, however you choose to do that. We think it is a fabulous career, we think it is one of the best kept secrets and so we would love to have you here at UL, or however you choose to do that.”