Student’s trailer hitching aid is awards finalist

An invention which takes the physical exertion out of hitching and de-hitching trailers and caravans, in a safe and secure way, has earned an IT Sligo student a place in the national final of the Enterprise Ireland-backed Student Entrepreneur Awards 2017.

Sligo’s Paul Roper, who is studying for a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Quantity Surveying at IT Sligo, invented the Lock On hitch, a fully automated device for attaching trailers.

“I worked in the distribution business for several years before going back to college, and I kept noticing that attaching trailers often posed challenges for work colleagues and clients,” says Paul, who came to IT Sligo as a mature student in 2015.

“The Lock On hitch is designed in such a way that it enables a wheelchair-bound person, for example, to safely hitch and de-hitch a trailer.

“It can also be used on slippy or uneven terrain such as marina slipways, allowing you to attach a trailer to a vehicle stationed on safer ground.”

The Student Entrepreneur Awards are backed by Enterprise Ireland, Intel, Cruickshank Intellectual Property Attorneys and Grant Thornton, the objective is to encourage third-level students to start their own business as a career option.

“Paul’s invention and his determination to commercialise his product is a wonderful example of student entrepreneurship” said Niall McEvoy, Head of Innovation at IT Sligo.

Paul’s invention has already won the Best Pitch Audience Prize at a Regional Innovation Showcase.

The 2017 Student Entrepreneur Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Cork Institute of Technology next Wednesday, June 7.

In the meantime, Paul is busy completing his end-of-year examinations in quantity surveying.


More in this Section

Folding sidewall advance in tyre technology

Multi-pattern lasers are a silent bird deterrent option

Farmer must appear before Court over failure to comply with orders to vacate property

Q&A: EPA get 1,359 early water abstraction registrations


Lifestyle

Renegade cattle make bid for freedom

Preserving the past, looking to future

Allie’s in wonderland

Wild salmon at risk

More From The Irish Examiner