At Electric Ireland, we’re always looking at ways to innovate, be smarter about energy efficiency and switch on to new ideas that support our customers and their long term sustainable needs. Through an exciting new initiative Electric Ireland will be working with Queen’s University Belfast and its students within the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science to launch a new ‘Hackathon’ in the next academic year 2015-2016.
Students will be tasked with developing a commercially viable mobile app that will help Northern Ireland SMEs become more sustainable, energy efficient and competitive.
Over the past year Hackathons have grown in stature and awareness with their potential to explore self-expression and creativity, bringing together people with similar interests from a technical background and collaboratively providing a unique solution. Queen’s consistently produces some of the most talented STEM graduates you will find, anywhere in the UK or Ireland, and we are eagerly looking forward to directly engaging with them on this exciting new project.
At Electric Ireland we understand the wider benefits that a responsible and sustainable approach to doing business can bring to the economy and the business community at large. Through our ‘Hackathon’ programme at Queen’s it is our aim to produce a mobile app that will help Northern Ireland SMEs make smart choices and help them have a more efficient and competitive business. We know by understanding our customers more and more, we will deliver relevant, engaging and smarter solutions for them when they need them.
Our commitment to work with Queen’s University to develop and nurture entrepreneurship and STEM related business knowledge and expertise, amongst Northern Ireland students, has been established over many years.
Working with Queen’s Engineering faculty we presented a series of student scholarships on an annual basis, which not only provided financial support and assistance through ongoing mentoring but also enabled the students to gain targeted and practical experience through corporate placements within Electric Ireland and our parent company ESB.
This partnership with Queen’s University reflects Electric Ireland’s long term commitment to support growth and prosperity in Northern Ireland and build a strong and balanced economy, with a skilled workforce that has expertise in key revenue generating industries.
Paula Dunlop, MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering student from Queen’s University Belfast participated in the scholarship programme and availed of summer work placements at the Power Systems Studies team in the ESB office in Dublin and at Coolkeeragh ESB powerplant in Derry.
Speaking about her experience Paula said, “My Electric Ireland scholarship provided me with a fantastic opportunity of having a series of work placements throughout my studies as well as the bonus of an annual bursary and supportive mentoring. Having previously worked in the ESBI (ESB International) offices in Dublin as part of both the substations and power system studies teams, I was also located at Coolkeeragh ESB power station in the North West, one of the most efficient power plants on the island or Ireland.
There are so many different areas to pursue within the electrical engineering sector and the opportunity to gain valuable intelligence of the workings of the industry not only gave me a strong footing on the employment ladder but provided important insights into the direction I want to take within my future career.”