Scifest National Final

Congratulations to 5th Year Student, Ruth Madden who won the prestigious Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) Award at the National Scifest in Marino Conference Centre, Dublin. The award was presented to Ruth by Dr. Jennifer Brennan, the current Director of Research, Development and Innovation in THEA. This year’s SciFest competition saw 10,000 students compete in what is now the largest secondary school science competition in Ireland. Following 16 regional finals, 77 students exhibited 41 projects at the final which was held in the Marino Conference Centre, Dublin on 22nd November 2019. Ruth’s winning project, entitled “The Microplastic Filter – A Small Solution to a Global Problem” was based on a globally unique filter system she designed to remove microplastic (synthetic) fibres from the waste water of domestic washing machines. International research indicates that currently up to 80% of the microplastics, (plastic particles with a size of 5 millimetres and smaller), found on the world’s beaches potentially originate from this source. The importance of her work is highlighted by scale of the problem where the United States alone release on average 13 billion microplastic particles every day into its national waters. Ruth’s innovative filtration unit has the capacity to intercept 100% of the microplastics particles suspended in waste water down to seven hundredths of a millimetre. In addition to the THEA Award, Ruth also received an excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Award for the project