From education to employment

Young innovators named NI Champions at Sentinus

Talented engineering students Matthew McKeown and Tarique Greene who study at South Eastern Regional College (SERC) had reason to celebrate this week when their innovative engineering solution developed during their studies won them the title of Northern Ireland Young Engineers 2017 at the Sentinus Young Innovator awards. The awards ceremony took place at Ulster University.

Matthew aged 19 from Bangor and Tarique aged 18 from Belfast have worked tirelessly since the beginning of term designing, building and perfecting their project which was a self-navigating robot. Each received £200 as part of their prize. The duo are now preparing to attend the UK Final of the competition which will take place in Birmingham later in the year.

The duo wowed the judges with Sentinus representative Gerard Hughes praising the students for the projects commercial viability. The idea behind the innovative system came about through a project based learning activity at College.

Celebrating the achievements of young people in STEM, Sentinus Young Innovators is one of the largest events of its kind in the UK with more than 600 students competing and over 3,000 visitors.  

Trevor Breadon, Head of School for computing and engineering at SERC commented; “This is a fantastic achievement for Matthew and Tarique. To win such a prestigious prize at the end of the term is a fantastic achievement. The robot is a fantastic innovation and definitely a product with commercial value. Their success is a testament to their commitment to the course and the efforts of their tutor and mentor Stephen McKinley. I would like to take this opportunity to wish the students every success in their future career as they progresses onto university to study engineering.”

SERC Principal and Chief Executive Ken Webb explains: “I would like to congratulate the students on their award. This is a fantastic achievement as they were competing against some of the top young innovators from across the province. Competitions like this provide a unique stage for the students to demonstrate the skills and expertise they have gained whilst studying at the College.”

“SERC is a fertile learning ground for innovative and dynamic students in the field of robotics and mechatronics. Competition like this give students the opportunity to work in teams and under pressure, to learn the skills they will need in the workplace.”

SERC provides a range of full and part-time courses designed to give students ‘the edge’. To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0345 600 7555, visit or find us on Facebook, search: SERC.

Related Articles