A University of Limerick student has been shortlisted for the prestigious James Dyson Design Award.

James D'Arcy, from Co. Cork, received his Bachelor of Science from Limerick University this week.

The James Dyson Award is an international design award that celebrates, encourages and inspires the next generation of design engineers.

D'Arcy, 23, is the only Irish finalist. He has outshone 500 other inventor students in 21 countries to be included in the top 20.

If D'Arcy wins the award he will receive a $15,000 cash prize.

His design, which he calls the FLo2w, is a system that delivers oxygen to a patients head using a headpiece that may be adjusted to fit the person.

D'Arcy credits his father Tom, who died from Hodgkin's disease two years ago, for his design inspiration.

"My dad was in hospital for eight months and his biggest complaint was that his oxygen mask was cutting into his ears," he told the Irish Independent.

"The headpiece can be reused and you throw away the tubing," he said.

"The design makes the user feel as if they are not even wearing it."

James Dyson, who will announce the global winner on October 5, said: "We need to do more to support the engineers of the future. Making things is not about grime and grease, but solving real-life problems."

James D'Arcy's design: shortlisted for the prestigious James Dyson Design Award