Students and local business run inaugural hackathon

From left, students Shambhavy Avasthi, Ankit Akash, Amandeep Manchanda and Ethan O'Brien were announced the winners of the inaugural IdeasLab Hackathon.
Apr 30 2024 Posted: 10:43 IST

University of Galway students and the local business community have joined forces for the IdeasLab Hack powered by Liberty IT, with the aim of creating solutions to support and promote the city’s sustainable infrastructure growth.


A hackathon is an event which challenges participants to create an idea to solve or provide solutions to a problem. The real-time event gave the students the opportunity to collaborate, experiment, learn and problem solve under the guidance of employees from Liberty IT.


Participants heard from representatives from the local business community on the importance for Galway’s infrastructure to continue to develop sustainably to meet the demands of industry and our people. The students then worked in five multi-disciplinary teams to design and develop solutions to support and promote sustainable infrastructure growth.


Liberty IT employees supported the students to give them a sense of solving a ‘real world’ company problem to help develop their learning and to better understand their approach to planning, problem solving and technology.


The participants were given a Participant Resource Pack in advance of the event and were judged on a range of criteria including problem understanding, innovation, technology choices and presentation.


Students Ethan O’Brien, Ankit Akash, Amandeep Manchanda and Shambhavy Avasthi were announced winners for their solution of a smart meter designed to monitor and analyse the energy consumption patterns within households to provide insightful data on a home's overall energy efficiency.


Darren Muldoon, Liberty IT’s Galway Site Lead said: “We were delighted to hold the first IdeasLab Hack powered by Liberty IT in our PorterShed hub to bring together the local business community and students with the aim of developing skills and showing how you can use tech for good to help with. It was great to have students from different backgrounds take part - not everyone had experience in coding or engineering but were interested in design thinking, solutioning, conversation and having fun!


“Hackathons are an excellent vehicle for our students to gain further valuable insight into industry needs as well as expanding their practical skills and it was a great chance for our teams to work directly with the students to create an event where they could connect with industry in a fun way to solve a real business.”


Dr Natalie Walsh, Director of Entrepreneurial Development at University of Galway, said: “At the core of sustainable growth is an understanding of how to create innovative, data-informed responses to our community’s most pressing challenges. In response to that, University of Galway’s IdeasLab hope today’s event, in partnership with Liberty IT, will mark the beginning of an enduring legacy of cooperation between industry, academia and community to bring about progressive, empathetic and actionable change for Galway.”



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