NUI Galway Research Fellow is one of the World’s Top 20 Outstanding Young Persons

Aaron Hannon, a research fellow at the Translational Medical Device Lab at NUI Galway
Jun 19 2020 Posted: 09:24 IST

Aaron Hannon, a research fellow at the Translational Medical Device Lab at NUI Galway has been shortlisted to the last 20 of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the Year Award.

This programme honours ten 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. These ten young active citizens will be honoured during the 2020 JCI World Congress, due to be held in Yokahama, Japan in November. 

Speaking on the shortlisting Aaron said: “Being nominated is a reflection on how lucky I am to have worked with so many amazing people – I have the incredible honour of being supported by outstanding colleagues at the Translational Medical Device Lab, LaunchPad and the School of Medicine at NUI Galway. This honour is a result of their excellence and support and I’m grateful to count on them, and on family and friends.”

Narrowing the 2020 top twenty finalists to the final ten honourees will be done by the judging panel, but also by public popular online vote.

Congratulating Aaron on the shortlisting announcement, Professor Martin O’Halloran, Director of the Translational Device Lab at NUI Galway, said: “Aaron is a stellar engineer, innovator and researcher. But what has really impressed me about Aaron are his other attributes- his leadership, his emotional intelligence and the humility with which he approaches his work. He is a great example of all that is good in the next generation of Irish innovators.”

Originally County Mayo, Aaron first got involved in medical device innovation designing for his grandfather, who suffered from severe post-stroke paralysis. He created a voice-controlled automatic shaving device, and founded a start-up to bring that device to more people. Aaron later started Lily Devices, a research project aiming to prevent hair loss from chemotherapy. Through talking directly with patients, he is researching a comfortable and elegant device that would prevent hair loss during chemotherapy, and he is leading a team at NUI Galway who have secured funding from Enterprise Ireland to continue researching hair loss prevention solutions for chemotherapy patients.

The Lily Devices Team has won numerous national and international accolades, like the EIT Health Headstart Award, as well as first place in CRAASH Barcelona, a Europe-wide accelerator program for medical device start-ups. He was named Mayo’s Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019.

Since the beginning of the global pandemic Aaron has dedicated his time to the needs of patients battling COVID-19. He led two multidisciplinary teams to develop a solution for open-sourced, low cost ventilators, and hopes devices like this can be used in the longer term to reduce inequality in medical device innovation. Aaron and Medical student Emily Wallace were instrumental in fundraising for emergency ventilators and raised €150,000 through a Go Fund Me initiative.    

Aaron uses his design, engineering and entrepreneurship background to keep patients at the center of the design process specifically to improve quality of life. He believes in giving back to his community by providing STEM education opportunities to young people.

To vote for Aaron Hannon to get to the final of the JCI Ten Outstanding Persons of the World at


Marketing and Communications Office


Featured Stories