Cathal's invention nets him €10,000
A Bunclody student scooped a top prize at the International James Dyson Design final last Tuesday.
Product designer and UL Graduate Cathal Redmond was one of just two Irish students who reached the final of competition with his Express Dive' underwater breathing system.
Cathal, who graduated with a BSc in Product Design and Technology from UL in August, won the 2015 Irish James Dyson award in September and was then shortlisted into the International stage of the awards. Cathal's design was selected as one of 20 finalists by Dyson engineers from over 600 entries worldwide to help further develop his device.
'Express Dive' allows divers to breathe underwater for up to two minutes. Once the air supply begins to run out, the user simply resurfaces and holds a button to refill the one-litre tank.
It combines the technological advancements of SCUBA diving with the ease of a Snorkel system, making the system more user friendly for novice and prosumer users. Express Dive is smaller, lighter, cheaper and easier to use than any SCUBA system on the market. A full scuba kit can cost in the region of €3,000, as opposed to an estimated €400 for the 'Express Dive'.
Cathal was inspired to come up with the new invention after a boating trip in Crete. He spotted a shimmering object at a depth of 8 meters, and tried to swim down to investigate what the object was. After three failed attempts, he discovered the shimmer was just a sardine tin but he realised that overcoming shallow water would be possible in a new exciting way.
'This light weight device is perfect for shallow surface-to-surface diving, exactly the kind done every day by novice explorers using snorkels. My device fills the space between snorkelling and scuba, scuba still exists for deeper diving, but my device makes the experience portable, refillable and more usable.
Cathal who is currently working in Andrew Ryan's Furniture in Gorey hopes to bring the Express Dive to market in 2017 after further safety testing and development. Between the national and international stages of the competition Cathan won almost €10,000.