Dr. Edmond Harty, a UCD engineering graduate, has been named Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2012. As technical director of the Kerry-based manufacturer Dairymaster, Harty developed a new method for the evaluation of milking units by measuring performance under flow conditions. Dairymaster has operations in the UK and US, and employs 220 people internationally.Harty was among 24 finalists who made it to the final stages of the 2012 Ernst & Young awards, most notably fending off competition from fellow finalists Paul Kenny of Dubai-based Cobone.com, and Colm Piercy of Irish telecoms business Digiweb. Harty was delighted to accept the prestigious award, saying that it was “a fantastic achievement for myself, my family, the staff and the company itself”.Harty joined the family business, Dairymaster, in 1998 while studying for his PhD at the UCD school of Biosystems Engineering. His PhD focused on the area of milking performance and resulted in Dairymaster’s test methods being adopted into the international standards for performance measurement of machine milking. The company’s product range now encompasses key areas such as milking equipment, automated feeding systems, hydraulic manure scrapers, cow fertility monitors and milk cooling tanks.Frank O’Keeffe, Ernst & Young partner in charge of the Entrepreneur of the Year programme commented on the contribution Harty has made to the advancement of the Irish economy; “by maintaining his company’s position at the cutting edge of global innovation, Edmond has built and developed an indigenous Irish business that today exports over 70% of its production to customers in over 40 countries worldwide”.The chairman of the electrical manufacturer Glen Dimplex, Martin Naughton, received the Ernst & Young special award for his contribution to the progression of Ireland’s commercial, educational and artistic life.The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards programme is designed to recognize and support entrepreneurs who are “willing to innovate and take big risks that will help change and rebuild our economy”, according to President Michael D. Higgins. The programme runs in more than 50 countries, yet the event in Ireland is largely considered one of the strongest in the world.