Rusty Paul

Rusty James Paul is a fourth year product designer from Louisburgh, Co. Mayo. As seen in her final year project, Rusty values the natural environment and creating valuable solutions to protect it. Rusty has been a active student in the product design undergraduate degree. In third year Rusty was apart of a team project that came third in the 2021 Bolton trust competition. Throughout her time in college Rusty has learnt many valuable skills such as, teamwork, effective communication and decision making, all of which will help her as she looks to her future In the design industry.


Toxic algae and jellyfish blooms are increasingly approaching and infiltrating salmon farms. Blooms can have a direct impact on fish by causing either physical or toxin damage and an indirect impact by causing oxygen depletion in the water as the bloom dies off. This has a massive impact on farms and can result in a massive livestock loss which is bad for both the farm and for the animals themselves.

AquaBlock is a system that stops poisonous algae and jellyfish from entering salmon farms and harming the fish. The system is centred around the blocking device which uses compressed air, fed through a perforated pipe that creates a vertical current of bubbles. This current acts as a bubble wall, blocking and protecting the salmon. Its modular design includes multiple barriers that work together. AquaBlock has an accompanying app that displays information regarding the monitoring of algae and jellyfish. The device will insure that the barrier is switched on only when necessary, in an effort to reduce power consumption.

This innovative system is aimed at organic salmon farms in Ireland. These farms are in more exposed areas and often encounter rough conditions. Unlike any other competitors, AquaBlock uses individual 5M modules that work together in a system. This factor helps with installation, repairability, maintenance and durability, especially in winter months. AquaBlock is user focused and works with the farm to stop algae and jellyfish, while simultaneously keeping the ocean environment in mind.