UK Young Engineer of the Year

Each year, a young wannabe-engineer is presented with the impressive title of UK Young Engineer of the Year, and 2015 was the year for Northern Ireland teenager, Colum McNally.


After demonstrating his invention in front of the judges at the Young Scientist and Engineers Fair in Birmingham this March, McNally saw off over 2000 other entrants and his practical and economic design was crowned best in show.

Colum McNally, from Newry, designed and built the Agri-Hammer – a hydraulic, multi-functional tool invented for the assistance of farmers in cutting logs and building fences. The innovations’ main aim is to prevent potential farm accidents, with the 18 year old stating that the machine will take “the safety off the farmers’ hands, rather than taking the hands off the farmer”.

The young engineer also expresses his interest in engineering from an early age, “I’ve been involved in engineering from a young age on the farm, just building bits and pieces as we needed them,”. So, where did the idea come from? The innovative machine originated from the idea of adapting grass-fed paddock grazing for his father’s new farm shops. “He was putting in lots of posts and when we looked at post drivers they were very expensive, and I wanted to create a machine that’s cheaper, more versatile and affordable for farmers.”