Women in Technology and Science


WITS is a voluntary organisation and is operated in accordance with the association's rules.Each year at the AGM an executive is elected as per the rules and they are tasked with running the organisation on a day-to-day basis.

Michael D. Higgins
President of Ireland

Catriona Ward
Aileen McGrath

Mary Sharp
Ena Prosser

EXECUTIVE 2017/2018
Chair: Julie Hogan
Vice-Chair: Dr Lara Cutlar
Treasurer: Dr Marie Barrett
Secretary: vacant

EXECUTIVE MEMBERS (see below for details)
Dr Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain
Anne-Marie Flaherty
Belinda Grehan
Fardus Sultan
Laura Murphy
Lisa Cavern
Dr Marion Palmer
Orla Sherwood
Dr Rebecca O'Neill
Magaly Mora (Cork)
Sandra Riordan (Galway)
Una Parsons (Sligo/Leitrim)​

Download WITS Articles of Association

WITS is primarily funded by corporate and individual members subscriptions. Funding has been received from the EU and the Irish Government for specific projects.

Executive Members



Julie Hogan has been elected Chair of WITS for 2018-2019. She studied Electronics Engineering in NIHE Limerick, and has been working in R&D for the past 26 years in Ireland and abroad.

Currently, she runs a small R&D team in Memjet Ireland, Dublin, with a team of 13 scientists and engineers (4 of whom are women) working on digital print engine controller design and MEMS printhead design. Her current role combines technical, project management and management responsibilities, and she has previously worked in all three areas at different times for ARM in Cambridge, ParthusCeva in Dublin, Silicon and Software Systems (S3) in Dublin and AT&T in Bray with secondments to the Netherlands and Australia.



Dr Lara Cutlar is a member of the Executive Committee of WITS. She completed her PhD at UCD in the summer of 2015, and is continuing that work on a non-viral gene therapy for a terrible skin fragility condition, called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB) at the Charles Institute of Dermatology.

She works with polymers, which also have really long names and bacteria to make a DNA delivery system for the skin of people with RDEB. Her past positions include those at the Health Research Board (HRB) and Quintiles. She is an active member of the Research Staff Association (RSA) in UCD, fundraises for DEBRA Ireland, and actively pursues the dissemination of how awesome science is. She tweets at @cuttyla.



Dr. Marie Barrett completed her PhD in Plant molecular biology in UCC and partly at the University Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris. After completing her research Marie held several positions in the biotech/pharma industry as a technical sales specialist focusing in endotoxin texting and more recently as a validation engineer for a large multinational.

Marie is also a qualified Montessori teacher and has volunteered her time introducing the under 5's to maths and science to explore the world around them. She is a WITS Executive member and Treasurer since December 2014.



Dr Marion Palmer is an experienced academic and higher education manager, former WITS Chair and a long-term member of the Executive Committee of WITS. She was head of the Department of Technology and Psychology at Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT).

Her research interests are teaching, assessment and technology enhanced learning. Prior to joining IADT Marion was a science teacher and also worked in curriculum development. Marion joined Women in Technology and Science (WITS) at its inception in 1990, was chair 2013-2016 and is now a member of the Executive. Marion tweets @marionjpalmer.



Magaly V. Mora is a quality professional with experience in manufacturing and validations environments of electronic products and medical devices and a member of the Executive Committee of WITS. She studied Electronics and Communications Engineering and a Master of Science with specialisation in Quality Systems and Productivity in Mexico (ITESM).

Magaly is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and an ISO Internal Auditor. Magaly is interested in volunteering causes related to education. She is a link creator who enjoys meeting new people and working with multidisciplinary teams. She is a WITS member since October 2016 and she is interested to know more STEM women. Magaly tweets @MagalyVarinia



Dr Aoibhinn Ni Shuilleabhain is an Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics and a member of the Executive Committee of WITS. A graduate of Theoretical Physics from UCD, Aoibhinn taught Mathematics, Physics, Applied Mathematics & Science at second level before commencing her PhD in Trinity College Dublin.

As a science communicator, she actively promotes science and presents RTE's flagship science programme '10 things to know about...' She is director of the Maths Sparks outreach programme at UCD.



Lisa Cavern is an IT professional and Business Analyst with Version 1, where she helps clients maximise the business benefits of technology projects.

Before moving into the IT sector, Lisa worked in science and maths education, and later in the community sector. Lisa loves learning and sharing the why and how of the world around us and is passionate about promoting equality in the sciences and technology.



Laura is a PhD student in Trinity College Dublin studying the first stellar explosions and their progenitors as an awardee of the IRC postgraduate research award. Laura is also and a member of the Executive Committee of WITS. A Naughton scholar and graduate of TCD in Physics and Astrophysics, Laura is passionate about her research having completed her final year project studying binary stars, as well as a placement in Nottingham Trent University in Imaging and Sensing for Art Conservation and History.

She has a great interest in outreach and knowledge sharing, having been involved in projects such as City of Physics and volunteering with TCD Physics helproom, in addition to her work with WITS.



Fardus Sultan is a Co-founder and Director of FarendNet Ltd, an IT consultancy company and a member of the Executive Committee of WITS. She is a Politics and Arabic graduate from the UCD, a holder of iDTP Master Diploma in Graphic Design and a first class honors recipient in M.Sc. in Cyberpsychology where she also received "The Student of the Year" award.

Fardus is passionate about community issues and she participates in various boards of management. She is currently the Chairperson of women4women DLR (a women's organization with particular focus on disadvantaged and ethnic minority women) and a founding member of Sisters of Faith for Peace (women's only interfaith organization in Ireland). She is also a PPN representative at the Economic Development and Enterprise Special Policy Committee of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.



Úna Parsons is Head of the School of Engineering & Design in IT Sligo since April 2017. She is an experienced and award-winning Chartered Engineer and held the post of Head of the Department of Mechanical & Electronic Engineering at IT Sligo since 2012. Her association with the college stretches back to her own student days – as a Toolmaking apprentice in the former Sligo Regional Technical College (RTC).

Prior to joining IT Sligo, Una was Chief Executive Officer of the Crafts Council of Ireland and previously held senior roles with Engineers Ireland and Bausch & Lomb – one of the world's largest suppliers of eye health products. As Industry Director with Engineers Ireland, she helped devise and develop the inaugural Engineers Week in 2007, which has become a nationwide, week-long programme of events celebrating the world of engineering. Úna is a mechanical engineer and a fellow of Engineers Ireland.



Orla Sherwood is a Masters student in Science Communication, having previously completed a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular biology and a member of the Executive Committee of WITS. During her undergraduate degree, she was very involved in student life acting as treasurer of both UCD Science Society and UCD Biological Society.

In her work with UCD Science Society, she was involved in raising €56,750 for Children's Medical and Research Foundation, Crumlin. She currently works with the UCD Outreach team in engaging primary and secondary school students with science as a possible career. Following her graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in plant biology. As part of the WITS 2018 Executive, she hopes to have a chance to engage with WITS members and apply her skills of science communication.



Dr Rebecca O'Neill is the Project Coordinator for Wikimedia Community Ireland. A large portion of her work focuses on improving and strengthening the representation of women on Wikipedia. Having worked in the Natural History Museum for a number of years, she has a particular interest in the history of science and technology in Ireland.

She serves on the National Committee for Commemorative Plaques for Science and Technology for WITS, focusing on the representation of women as well as the Committee's online presence

Executive Members