Continuing Success for Aaron

Continuing Success for Aaron

What’s Next for SciFest Award Winner Aaron Hannon?

Having won the SFI Best Project award at SciFest@College in IT Sligo Aaron Hannon went on to be named the overall winner at the SciFest 2017 National Final, where he also won the Boston Scientific Medical Devices Grand Award. Aaron’s award winning project consisted of a shaving device he had designed and built to enable people with limited hand dexterity to shave without assistance. As a result of winning SciFest Aaron went on to represent Ireland and SciFest at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There he was awarded a First Place Award in his category, Embedded Systems. ISEF is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition, involving some 1,800 students from over 80 countries competing for a prize fund totalling $5million.

Aaron attended St. Muredach’s College, Ballina and whilst in school he took an active part in extracurricular activities. He was involved in the F1 in Schools Competition where he was awarded a Third Place & Best Pit Display Award in the F1 in Schools World Finals 2015. He also represented Ireland at the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad 2017 in Thailand.

As part of TCD’s LaunchBox Accelerator Programme 2018 Aaron continued to work on his SciFest project and founded EnableArm. He also became a member of the Unilever Williams Engineering Academy - a unique academy for young engineers. Aaron went on to co-found Lily Devices, another start-up, which aimed to prevent hair loss from chemotherapy. Through talking directly with patients, he designed a comfortable and elegant device that would prevent hair loss using electrical stimulation techniques and was successful in securing €500,000 in funding from Enterprise Ireland to continue his work. The Lily Devices team has won numerous national and international accolades, such as the EIT Health Headstart Grant, as well as First Place in CRAASH Barcelona, a Europe-wide accelerator programme for medical device start-ups. Aaron was named Mayo’s Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019.

In 2020 Aaron dedicated his time to the needs of patients battling Covid-19, working with other engineers and innovators to develop a solution for open-sourced, low cost ventilators. He hopes devices like this can be used in the longer term to reduce inequality in medical device innovation. Aaron and medical student Emily Wallace led a GoFundMe drive for this project and subsequently raised almost €150,000. Recently Aaron was named one of The JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World. The JCI TOYP programme honours 10 outstanding young people under the age of 40 each year, individuals who 'exemplify the spirit of the JCI Mission and provide extraordinary service to their communities'. Aaron’s award was in the field of medical innovation.

Aaron is currently studying engineering and engaged in ongoing research in medical innovations at NUI Galway but he still finds time to be a guest judge at SciFest and support the programme whenever possible. We congratulate Aaron and wish him all the best for the future.

06 2023
SciFest@School in Coláiste Pobail Osraí, Bóthar Urmhumhan, Cill Chainnigh
08 2023
SciFest@School in Vocational School, Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim
12 2023
SciFest@School in The Kings Hospital, Palmerstown, Dublin 20
13 2023
SciFest@School in Nord Anglia International School, Leopardstown, Dublin 18
Michael D. Higgins, Patron of SciFest
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Michael D. Higgins
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