There was a wealth and breadth of equipment on show at Munster Technological College (MTU) in Co. Kerry on Friday (November 24) as a part of an agricultural engineering “taster day”.
The college’s south campus in Tralee opened its doorways, and equipment sheds, to potential college students from throughout the nation.
MTU presently presents Degree 7 and Degree 8 diploma programmes in agricultural engineering.
Seamus Murphy, head of the Division of Expertise Engineering and Maths at MTU, defined to Agriland that the agricultural engineering course has an extended and established historical past in Tralee.
“The remainder of the school germinated over ag engineering, it was the primary programme we had right here again within the early 70s.
“The course has gone from power to power, it has survived the check of time, due to the standard of the programme,” he mentioned.
The faculty has grown from a regional technical school, into an institute of know-how and now the Munster Technological College (MTU) within the city of Tralee.
Given the rise in agricultural engineering programs now being supplied in Eire, Murphy admitted there may be competitors amongst third stage institutes to draw college students.
“We’re all fishing out of the identical pond. 25 or 30 years in the past we had been the distinctive programme, that is the place it began,” he mentioned.
“I’d be optimistic that our course will proceed into the longer term. We’re transferring in parallel with modifications in know-how, with modifications in farming and the way we farm and the way we produce meals whereas having regard for the inexperienced economic system,” he added.
Through the MTU open day the potential college students had been introduced in teams on a tour of the intensive campus services.
The equipment catered to all tastes; starting from a classic Ford 3,000 with a wagtail manure spreader, proper as much as 300 horsepower trendy tractors with bluetooth and GPS know-how.
There have been additionally mix harvesters, balers, sprayers, seeders and fertiliser spreaders for the youngsters to look at.
Within the storage, a collection of engines, gearboxes and hydraulics gear utilized in coaching had been on show.
MTU engineering lecturers gave a number of brief shows to the scholars on points of the course content material.
The youngsters had the prospect to view a diagnostics demonstration on a Massey Ferguson 7716S.
Whereas one other presentation centered on the significance of testing the power and design of equipment components, notably relating to farm security.
The occasion showcased the most recent know-how accessible to college students on the MTU south campus akin to 3D printers that are presently used for the manufacturing of sunshine plastic components.
Murphy famous that this know-how has the potential to print engines and even homes sooner or later.
Within the fabrication store, the tour considered the vary of metallic forming equipment and welding gear, together with a plasma cutter.
The possible college students additionally considered a typical diesel rail coaching unit and heard how an concept could be introduced from idea by means of to manufacturing.
Murphy mentioned that the MTU programs intention to supply “well-rounded engineers” with “nice instruments for all times” and “transferable abilities” permitting them to enter a variety of industries world wide.
He burdened the shut relationship between the college and trade to satisfy the rising demand for agricultural engineering graduates.
“We’ve to work with trade, we have now to hearken to them. They need to feed into the design of our programmes. What do the scholars want? What do the graduates want?
“The place will the roles be in 5, ten, twenty years’ time? We are attempting to offer for that and that’s why we’re modernising our programmes and sustaining forex with greatest observe on the market,” he mentioned.
Former graduates akin to Robert Shine, managing director of Samco Agricultural Manufacturing, maintain in common contact with the college.
The corporate and others often interact with MTU lecturers and college students to collaborate on discovering options to engineering issues.
Together with common exterior web site visits throughout their course, the scholars spend a semester throughout third yr on work placement.
The programme doesn’t simply entice college students who’ve a farming background, but additionally these from an city setting who’re enthusiastic about agricultural equipment.
Murphy additionally famous that 25% of first yr engineering college students at MTU this yr are feminine.
He mentioned that the college may be very acutely aware of the environmental pressures dealing with farmers in opposition to the backdrop of needing to supply sufficient meals for a rising inhabitants.
“We’ve needed to redesign modules round that to guarantee that our graduates and our programmes are assembly the present wants of sustainable dwelling, the inexperienced economic system and all of the challenges related to that,” Murphy mentioned.