Ever had your phone charger bite the dust at the most inopportune moment? Tempted fate with a partial charge because you didn’t have enough time wait for a full battery? Colin McNelis has a solution for that – and he’s only 17.

Colin McNelis, 17, Invents to Solve Your Problems

During his visit, Colin enjoyed a tour of the IV Lab with his mother, Bernadette (center), as well as meeting with Adriane Brown, President and COO (bottom right).

Colin won the IV Insightful Invention Award for his new cell phone charger adapter that prevents wire stress and increases charge speed at the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE) held in Dublin, Ireland earlier this year. After hosting him at our Bellevue headquarters this past week and witnessing his inventive spirit for ourselves, we’re sure this isn’t the last you’ll hear from Colin.  

Throughout the day, Colin shared his prototype and discussed his patent application with a wide range of individuals at IV including President and COO, Adriane Brown. We also took some time to talk to Colin about his hopes for the future and advice to young innovators. Here’s what he had to say:

What technological breakthrough would you like to see in your lifetime?

I’m very keen on the space and aviation industries. I’m currently studying part-time to obtain my private pilot’s license, so I hope to see personal aircraft and space travel in the not too far future.

What advice do you have for young learners?

I started thinking about the BTYSTE years before I actually applied. I looked at all the entry details for the competition and would go every year, and finally I got the confidence to just go for it and put myself out there. So I’d tell anyone in that position, who maybe isn’t sure how they’ll do or are maybe not 100% confident in their ideas to stop procrastinating and just get out there!

Sage advice indeed. IV is proud to support the annual competition that brings together the brightest young minds from across Ireland to showcase the next generation of scientists, inventors and innovators. To inspire the inventors of tomorrow, we must encourage the students of today to pursue education and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), fields that we recognize as the cornerstones of invention.

A big thank you to Colin for making the journey from Ireland to spend the day with us. We can’t wait to see what Colin comes up with next!

Want to know Colin’s #STEMSuperpower? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to find out as we highlight the next generation all summer long.


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