The three categories in the annual awards for computing students were Intellectual Curiosity, Enterprise, and Innovation, each prize worth €1,000
Sun Life and Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) continue to celebrate their long-running professional relationship with the announcement of the winners of the 10th annual Sun Life Academic Awards in partnership with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) which took place on 2 June 2021.
Sun Life is a leading IT employer in the South East with more than half of its employees having studied an undergraduate or postgraduate course at WIT during their career.
There were three categories, one for Intellectual Curiosity, one for Enterprise and one for Innovation, each with a winning prize of €1,000.
18 projects were submitted from a pool of final year honours undergraduate projects in computing at WIT, from which 10 finalists were chosen.
There was a large attendance at both the 'meet the nominees' and 'award ceremony' events again this year which included representatives from WIT.
Speakers for the awards included Professor Willie Donnelly, President of Waterford Institute of Technology, and representing Sun Life - Karen Burns (General Manager in Waterford and AVP of Human Resources), Leonardo Dionicio (VP, Technology Foundation) and Pierre Peiclier (AVP, Application Architecture & Data) with Leo and Pierre having the honorable task of presenting the awards.
The winners of the 2021 Sun Life Academic Awards are:
- Gianluca Zuccarelli in the category of Innovation for his project "Neural Network based Song Structure Analysis". This category rewards projects that demonstrated uniqueness and a deep passion to improve something. Gianluca, a BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing (Media Development) supervised by Colm Dunphy.
- Ewan Hills in the category of Enterprise for his project "Turbidity Reporting IoT Sensor Station". This category rewards projects that that demonstrated real commercial potential. Ewan, a BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing (Internet of Things) was supervised by Mohit Taneja.
- Dylan Gore in the category of Intellectual Curiosity for his project "Edge Computing Assisted Vehicle Monitoring and Data Logging Platform". This category rewards projects that demonstrate the drive to understand more about a subject, beyond what might be expected. Dylan, a BSc (Hons) in Applied Computing (Internet of Things) was supervised by Mohit Taneja.
Encouraging and recognising innovation and commercial awareness
Sun Life established the awards to encourage and recognise innovation and commercial awareness among the final year IT students in WIT and the most impressive projects are short-listed, evaluated by a cross functional team of leaders from Sun Life.
The student submissions were reviewed by a Sun Life panel which comprised the following expertise: Architecture, Data, Software Development, Software Quality, Business Operations, Business Systems Analysis, HR, Training, Project Management and IT Security.
There were some really good discussions again this year and to arrive at the winners wasn’t an easy task.
"Sun Life and WIT continue to have an incredibly strong relationship, with programs such as the Masters, the Horizon program, the Internship program and many others so it was great to bring us all back together again, albeit virtually,” said Karen Burns, General Manager of Sun Life Ireland and AVP of Human Resources.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Prof Willie Donnelly, President, WIT, acknowledged Sun Life’s commitment to its partnership with WIT.
I was "hugely impressed with the depth and breath of products/solutions (IoT, trading bots, AWS native services, GDPR, AI, etc) developed and presented by the students." - Leonardo Dionicio (VP, Technology Foundation)
"I was so impressed with the high caliber of students. This gives me great confidence in the next generation of engineering talent." - Jeffrey Pattison (VP, Application Factory)