Earlier today, Team AcidRain from NUI Maynooth came second in the Embedded Development competition at the Imagine Cup 2008, a worldwide competition that allows students to unlock their creative genius and create technology solutions that can help address some of the world’s toughest social challenges.

It’s an incredible achievement for the team with over 200,000 students from 100 countries entering this year’s Imagine Cup.

Team AcidRain, comprised of NUI Maynooth students, Brian Byrne, Aodhan Coffey and Karl O’Dwyer, have built an optimised, embedded conversion kit which offers a novel solution to the problem of reducing carbon emissions through enabling vegetable oil powered engines. They have created a “one size fits all” kit which will convert any diesel engine to run on any vegetable oil whether it be olive oil, rapeseed oil or sunflower oil. They actually drove to the finals in Paris in a diesel car that was fueled with sunflower oil using their own project.

A total of 370 students from 124 teams representing 61 countries and regions have been participating since Thursday in the Imagine Cup Worldwide Finals in nine categories. The student teams were asked to undertake a series of challenges relating to technology and digital media depending on the invitational. In the software design category, the students were asked to create a software solution to address this year’s environmental theme, “Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment.”

SligoIT was also represented at the Imagine Cup finals.  Team ParkIT, built an application which enables the provision of real time parking information. Using cameras and software, it monitors car park spaces and can determine when a space vacant. This information would then be sent to a central database, which would be used to drive a real time parking information system that provides users with available parking data near their location on request. They won the second national Irish Imagine Cup competition.

For more information on the Imagine Cup: