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IAESTE Ireland Trainee of the Year

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IAESTE Ireland Trainee of the Year Award, 2012

Once again a very successful Trainee of the Year Award evening was held in the Wood Quay venue in Dublin. Seven returned trainees gave individual presentations to an audience of employers, IAESTE trainees past and present, embassy representatives, university staff, academics and friends of the programme.

L-R Neil Boylan, Fionán O Sullivan, Gordon Lai, Ann Boyle (National Secretary, IAESTE Ireland), Jennifer Smith, Cillian O Sullivan, Paul Whitford and Mark Dawnay

The trainees spoke about their experiences in Hungary, Switzerland, United States, Ghana, Belgium and Germany. From working in a City Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana to working on the design of a roller-coaster in Switzerland, all participants had very different but positive experiences.

After much deliberation the judging panel awarded the Trainee of the Year, 2012 to Jennifer Smith who worked as a laboratory and pharmacy assistant in City Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana. Jennifer is in her final year of Biomedical Science in Univeristy College, Dublin. It was felt that she embraced equally her cultural and work experiences.

Jennifer Smith, 1st place being presented with her certificate by Ann Boyle, IAESTE Ireland, National Secretary

Second place went to Mark Dawnay, final year student of Industrial and Environmental Physics in DIT. He did a split traineeship in Switzerland and he worked between two institutions where he developed new and improved scintillator screens for neutron imaging.

L-R : Mark Dawnay, 2nd place; Paul Whitford, 3rd place and Swiss Ambassador to Ireland, His Excellency Mr. Beat Loeliger.

Third place was awarded to Paul Whitford, a final-year student of Manufacturing and Design in DIT. He worked in an Engineering Company doing 3D CAD drawings from 2D drawings for the design of a roller coaster. He was invited back to work with the company when he graduated and is currently back working with them.

IAESTE Ireland Tenth Trainee of the Year Award, 2011
Six of the 19 students who undertook traineeships in 2011 took part in the IAESTE Ireland Trainee of the Year Award, held at Wood Quay Venue, Dublin on 22 November. 
Trainee of the Year Participants 2012
Trainee of the Year 2012: participants and judges.
The audience of university staff, academics, employers and IAESTE alumni heard about students IAESTE experiences in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Tunisia. From working in methane-powered energy plants in Prague, to designing buildings for arid, desert conditions in Tunis, the students had very different experiences but all gave fascinating portrayals of their time on IAESTE. 
The judging panel found it difficult to decide the eventual winners, but ultimately the Trainee of the Year title was awarded to Michael Hanrahan, a 3rd year Civil Engineering student from DIT Bolton Street. Michael described his working life at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague, and his personal experiences with his fellow trainees. Second place went to Electronic Engineering student James Campion from UCD who worked on the design of bat-detecting sensors for wind turbines at Erlangen, Germany. Architecture student Paddy Roche, also of UCD, took the third prize for his novel and animated presentation of his Tunisian experience, which coincided with the country s first free parliamentary elections.
Trainee of the Year Winners 2012
Trainee of the Year winner and runners up, (LtoR): Michael Hanrahan, James Campion and Paddy Roche
To end the evening, Nicholas Leonard, former IAESTE Ireland National Secretary, complimented all participants on the high standard of their presentations. Mr. Leonard also highlighted the contribution, both past and present, of IAESTE to education mobility throughout Europe and beyond, stressing the importance of international employment to personal development and maturation.

IAESTE Ireland Ninth Trainee of the Year Award 2010
In 2010 IAESTE Ireland arranged relevant, paid traineeships in 15 international destinations for 18 students from 7 universities across the country. Students from Galway swapped Eyre Square for traineeships in Japan, Australia and Sweden, while Dubliners left behind the Spire for summers in Ghana, Tunisia and Belgium. 

On Wednesday 27 October, six of those students assembled in Wood Quay Venue, Dublin to report on their experiences on the IAESTE Programme, and demonstrate how they had developed personally and professionally as a result. The students gave accounts of their traineeships in Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Czech Republic and the USA, and related the work experience they had gained in the fields of Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering. 
The presenters and judges on the night!

The judging panel had a tough decision to choose between six highly informative and enthusiastic presentations, but finally the Trainee of the Year title was awarded to Tomás Cahalan from the Dublin Institute of Technology. Tomás completed his Mechanical Engineering traineeship in the Technical University of Berlin
Prizewinners Emmet Carolon (Third), Tomás Cahalan (First), and Emer Molloy (Second).
Second prize went to Emer Molloy, a Medicinal Chemistry student from Trinity College Dublin, who spent her summer working in the Institute of Chemical Technology, Prague
Emmet Carolan of NUI Maynooth took the third prize for his presentation on his traineeship in Computer Science at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

Congratulations to the winners and huge thanks to all the participants for providing us with such an interesting and enjoyable evening!
IAESTE Ireland Trainee of the Year Award 2009

Participants in the Trainee of the Year Award 2009, with Léargas staff.

If you have ever wondered what it is like to design a Shanghai teahouse, test people (including yourself) for malaria, or find the vaccine you have been quietly working on suddenly soar in demand due to a flu epidemic - all while still a student - then the eighth annual IAESTE Ireland Trainee of the Year Award was the place to be.

On 25 November, seven students from around the country came together at the National College of Ireland to present their experiences of an IAESTE traineeship, and these were varied indeed. Students of Architecture, Science and Engineering took up traineeships in countries ranging from Serbia to China, and came back with fascinating stories to tell. In addition to the professional benefits of obtaining relevant, practical work experience in their fields of study, the students were introduced to a wide range of cultural practices and made lasting friendships with people of many different backgrounds.

After the presentations, the judging panel of Mr. Eamon Kinch (Chair, Léargas Board), Mr. Nick Leonard (Former Ombudsman, IAESTE A.s.b.l. & former National Secretary, IAESTE Ireland) and Mr. John Kirwan (IAESTE Trainee of the Year Award 2008 prize winner) had some difficult decisions to make. 

Their decisions were:

  • Trainee of the Year title was awarded to Darren Tighe (right, receiving his award from John Kirwan. Also in the picture is Charis Hughes, IAESTE Ireland) a Chemistry student from NUI Galway who had a year long traineeship at Baxter Bioscience in the Czech Republic. 
  • Second place went to Karen DeSay (Biomedical Science, DIT) who spent three months working at Asafo-Agyei hospital in Ghana, 
  • Third place went to Fionnuala Hayes (Process and Chemical Engineering, UCC) who did her traineeship in Helsinki University, Finland. Huge congratulations are due to the prize-winners and all the participants for providing a memorable and enjoyable evening.

The three Trainees, Karen DeSay, Darren Tighe and Fionnuala Hayes

The next Trainee of the Year Award will be held in November 2010. Participants must have completed an IAESTE traineeship to enter, and all are welcome at the event. For further details please contact the IAESTE office.