Limerick brothers Jack and Nick Cotter have been awarded the Engineers Ireland Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award 2019 for their innovative lamb handling system, the Cotter Crate.

Now in its 21st year, the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award competition focuses on showcasing innovation excellence amongst engineering third-level students across Ireland.

The Cotter Crate, developed by Jack Cotter, aged 21, a student of Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) studying Process and Management Engineering, and younger brother Nick, aged 18, a first-year student of Law and Business at University College Cork (UCC), was deemed the best innovation by the Engineers Ireland judging panel.

The Cotter Crate is a lamb handling system that facilitates the quick, safe, easy and accurate administration of vaccines, doses and drenches to lambs from three weeks-of-age, according to the brothers.

It was noted that the crate assists by “safely and comfortably restraining lambs, allowing a farmer to administer multiple treatments quickly and accurately”.

The Cotter brothers have estimated that when using the Cotter Crate a farmer can dose 400 lambs an hour on one dose and dose 200 lambs with four treatments, lowering labour time and costs when compared with current methods.

In addition to being awarded the title of Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award, the brothers also received a €2,000 prize fund.

Commenting on the students’ ability to develop innovative solutions to challenges faced by industry and people in everyday society, Caroline Spillane, director general of Engineers Ireland, said:

“The initiatives shortlisted for the Innovative Student Engineer of the Year Award competition are a testament to the talent and creativity that exists in our third-level education institutions.

Today’s engineering students will soon take the role of Ireland’s future engineering leaders and will be at the forefront of developing innovative solutions for communities in Ireland and overseas.

The Cotters will soon join over 400 of Ireland’s engineering professionals and teams on November 15, at the 2019 Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards, held in association with ESB.