A student of both Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and Salesian Agricultural College Pallaskenry, Thomas Dunne, recently received a prestigious award at a recent conferring ceremony held at LIT.

Dunne, from Bunclody Co. Wexford, won an award for excellence on the Higher Certificate in Engineering In Agricultural Mechanisation from the Farm Tractor and Machinery Trade Association (FTMTA) at the event.

The award was presented by Conor McGuinness of the FTMTA in recognition of Dunne’s project as part of his studies on the course – during which he designed and manufactured a hydraulic bale handler.

According to the FTMTA, Dunne completed his 30-week work placement with well-known agri machinery business Kellys of Borris, where he built up experience in the workshop, stores and as a demonstrator.

Having finished his higher certificate, Dunne is now studying in University College Dublin.

Higher Cert in Agricultural Mechanisation

The Agricultural Mechanisation Higher Certificate in Engineering is a Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) Level 6 course. According to LIT: “The focus of this programme is firmly on the provision of skilled technicians for the farm machinery industry in Ireland.”

The two-year course sees students divide their time between Pallaskenry and LIT’s Moylish Park campus.¬†In year one, students spend one day a week in LIT, and four days a week in Pallaskenry. In year two, this is changed to three days in Pallaskenry and two days in LIT per week.

According to LIT, a range of topics are covered in the course, including: machinery operation;¬†tractor engineering and workshop process; electrical and electronic technology; engineering science and mathematics;¬†administration and management; engineering drawing and computer-aided design (CAD) and computer studies; project and industrial placement; and a “high degree” of personal and practical skills.

The course entails a mixture of technology, practical, academic, administrative and managerial modules which will “prepare students to carry out complex diagnostics and repairs of modern machinery” and to “be receptive to future technological developments” the college claims.

For anyone interested, more information on the course is available on the college website.