Women in Technology and Science

Members Profile

WITS members are of all ages, from STEM students to retirees and they come from all STEM sectors, both public and private. The following are just a highlight of some of our members.

Our Members



Dr Norah Patten is a Scientist-Astronaut candidate with Project PoSSUM and is the founder of Planet Zebunar; a start-up company in Ireland which is driven to inspire the next generation of engineers, astronauts and scientists. In 2016, Norah participated in the New Frontiers Entrepreneur Development Program, funded by Enterprise Ireland.

She was a recipient of the Emerging Space Leaders Grant and a Next Generation Plenary panellist at the IAC in 2015. Through a partnership with NanoRacks, Norah initiated and managed ‘The Only Way is Up’ project which launched Ireland’s first student experiment to the International Space Station in 2014. She participated in the International Space University Space Studies Program in 2010, has industrial experience from The Boeing Company and Bell Labs Alcatel Lucent, is a regular speaker at public events, and has featured on national television and radio



Catherine Sturgeon BEng, CEng, MIEI; I am a Chartered Civil Engineer from UCC, my background has been mostly in civil engineering design and construction. My most recent construction role was as part of the Luas Cross City Project managing the diversion works in Dublin City Centre. I am now working in the world of Luas Operations as the Operations Manager for Light Rail Business with TII for the Luas Red and Green Lines.</



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.



Fardus Sultan is a PhD Candidate-Fiosraigh Scholar, MSc Cyberpsychology holder and Co-founder and Director of FarendNet Ltd, an IT consultancy company. Fardus is also a member of the WITS Web Sub-Committee. As a Politics and Arabic graduate from the UCD, a holder of iDTP Master Diploma in Graphic Design, Fardus also obtained a first class honors in M.Sc. in Cyberpsychology in 2017 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.



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.



Charlotte Lucas is a final year undergraduate studying Biomedical Science in NUI Galway. She has a keen interest in product development and innovation. She has been involved in projects centered around plastic reduction and sustainability in a corporate environment, a Medtech innovation bootcamp in college and has designed aspects of a science kit to promote STEM in primary school aged children.

She has been heavily involved in community outreach during her undergraduate years both locally and abroad. She is secretary of the Biomedical Science society and a member of NUI Galway’s concert orchestra, her main interests include volunteering, travelling and music.



Mary Carroll is a Business Strategist and Coach, who started her career in design engineering and has held management consulting and senior management roles in engineering and business development. Mary is a former WITS Chair and has also worked for international aid organisations. Since 2010, Mary supports clients in strategy, business planning and inclusive leadership, including unconscious bias awareness, through her business www.growthpotential.ie



Pauline McCaffrey is a Senior Manager and certified Technology Architect with Accenture. She has twelve years’ experience with Accenture working with various clients in the Public and Private Sectors in Ireland and abroad.

She has experience across all stages IT solution development life-cycle including early concept planning, requirements gathering, application and architecture design, estimating, development, testing and release management and automation. She has a keen interest in helping clients to implement new technologies to solve their business problems in a sustainable way



Laura is a PhD candidate in optical engineering at UCD and a graduate of the TCD-UCD Innovation Academy. She is actively involved in education, outreach and public engagement; including Dublin Maker (co-organiser), the UCD Student Chapter, SPIE Education & Future Leaders Committee and International Year of Light, Ireland. Laura is also the inaugural winner of the UCD CleanWeb Sprint award and I’m an Engineer, Energy Zone winner.</



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



Vicky Twomey-Lee is a software engineer, but can be found nowadays organising community tech workshops and events with a focus on advocating diversity in the tech community. She has managed the Python Ireland user group since mid-May 2005, and chaired four annual Irish Python conference, PyCon Ireland. She was nominated and became a member of the Python Software Foundation in 2012, and also became a board member of the EuroPython Society that year. She launched PyLadies Dublin in October 2013 and is the main organiser.

She co-founded and is also the main organiser of Coding Grace, which runs language agnostic, diversity-friendly workshops and events. Games has always been in her interests, so much so, she co-founded GameCraft Foundation to run community game jams so people can “Connect, Create, Collaborate”. Her focus to bring like-minded people together, grow, learn and support each other. You can find her on Twitter: @whykay



Dr Jane O’Hara has a PhD in Molecular Biology, and after her lab days went on to work in Science Education. She is currently working in Trinity College Dublin, on a project that brings technology into school classrooms through teacher education.

Jane has also started organising WITS book clubs, where we discuss interesting books relevant to women in STEM. She is passionate about networking and bringing people together, and hopes to meet more WITS members at an event soon. You can find her on Twitter @Curious_JaneO.



Marguerite Sayers is Managing Director of ESB Networks DAC. A native of Co. Kerry, she qualified as an Electrical/Electronic Engineer from UCC in 1991, and has worked in various managerial positions and locations throughout Ireland with ESB since graduating. Following senior roles as HR Manager, Customer Services Manager for Dublin South and Head of Asset Management for ESB Networks, she managed ESB’s Generation portfolio for two years before returning to ESB Networks as Managing Director in November 2014.

Marguerite now lives in Dublin, is a Fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland, and has been a member of Engineers Ireland’s Council for the past seven years. She is also a member of the Development Board of the National Paediatric Hospital.



Ciara Beausang is pursuing a PhD on the topic of agri-food waste valorisation in the bioeconomy in the School of Biosystems and Food Engineering, University College Dublin. She is also a member of the An Taisce Climate Committee.



After graduating from the School of Engineering in Trinity College, Katie joined the German industrial control and automation company Festo working as an Applications Engineer. Katie has worked on automation projects in a wide range of industries from BioPharma to Food & Beverage, Lab Automation to Medical Device manufacturing.



Dr Lara Cutlar is Vice-Chair 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).

She is project manager at Amryt Pharma and often found at University College Dublin as a visiting researcher. She tweets at @cuttyla.



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.


Amber Higgins

Amber is a Blockchain engineer in Citi’s Innovation Lab in Dublin, where she designs and builds systems to make the financial ecosystem more inclusive and trustworthy through greater openness, transparency and integrity. Having qualified with a BA, BAI and MAI in Computer Engineering from Trinity College Dublin in 2018, she is the recipient of multiple Engineering awards.

Amber is particularly passionate about societal issues around technology. She believes that security, privacy and education about these are the key to building a truly inclusive and equal global society, empowering all to use technology for their betterment. She was awarded TCD’s prestigious Maurice F. Fitzgerald Prize for her ambitions to bring about sustainable trust in technology as well as her academic achievements.



Professor Regina Connolly is the first female Professor of Information Systems in Ireland. She has served on the expert eCommerce advisory group for Dublin Chamber of Commerce, which has advised national government on strategic digital transformation. Her work on development of connected health business models has been presented at the European Parliament. She is a member of LERO, the SFI funded Irish Software Research Centre and is a founding member of the DCU Centre for e-Integrated Care, as well as serving on the Governing Council of the Irish Academy of Management.

Regina has significant expertise in healthcare technology impact assessment as well as eHealth business model development and is a Lead Investigator in several international Ambient Healthcare Technology research projects that have received over €16 million in funding from the European Commission. In 2012, she was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of the National Orthopaedic Hospital of Ireland, Clontarf and currently serves as Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors of the Hospital.



Professor Eithne McCabe, M.A.(Oxon), D.Phil.(Oxon), B.E.(NUI), FTCD, F.Inst.P.,C.Phys., is Professor in the School of Physics and Fellow at Trinity College Dublin. She was formerly Fellow and lecturer at Magdalen College, Oxford and Postdoctoral Member of Technical Staff and later Consultant, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Crawford Hill Laboratory, New Jersey, USA.

She has served the College and wider national and international community on numerous committees including Finance, Personnel and Appointments, Equality, Institute of Physics Juno assessment panel and IOP Women in Physics Group committee



Susan Treacy is a Business Consultant specialising in healthcare and owner of Treacy Healthcare Consulting. Since completing her Masters in Medicine (Biomed. Sci.) in 1998 at Queen’s University she has worked in Pathology laboratories in Ireland and Australia. She then moved into the business aspect of diagnostics, holding roles in Application Support, Sales and Marketing, Management and Directorship.

In early 2016 she founded Treacy Healthcare Consulting and provides healthcare businesses and laboratories with a number of services including operational and strategic advice, business development requirements and the establishment of distribution networks specific to life sciences. She has a particular passion for finding solutions through innovation and collaboration, which will ultimately benefit the system and the patient. She works with WITS (Women in Technology and Science) to help encourage and support women to realise the many avenues and opportunities that Science and Engineering can offer. Susan can be followed at Susan Treacy on LinkedIN or Twitter or contacted at info@thconsulting.ie or at via her website www.thconsulting.ie



Dr. Catherine Cronin is Strategic Education Developer at the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Holding degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Women’s Studies, Catherine recently completed her PhD in the area of Open Education. Catherine’s current research focuses on digital/open education and critical approaches to openness. Catherine is a long-time advocate for greater equity in STEM and a regular contributor to conversations around open education, within Ireland and globally. She has been involved in teaching, research, and advocacy in higher education and in the community for over 25 years.

@catherinecronin http://catherinecronin.net/



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.



Maria Delaney is an award-winning freelance science and health journalist, as well as a passionate science communicator. She was on the WITS Exec for 2.5 years, and chaired the policy sub-committee during the development of the WITS Action Manifesto. She is hoping to help change the gender inequality that still resides in both STEM and the media. Maria tweets @mhdelaney and her portfolio is online at mhdelaney.com.



Orla Sherwood is a PhD student in Plant Biology and studies programmed cell death in the Irish crops, barley and ryegrass. She studies how these plants grow in elevated CO2 levels to anticipate how climate change stresses will affect plant survival in waterlogged conditions. Orla is funded through the IRC-EPA postgraduate award scheme.

Having previously completed a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular biology and an MSc in Science communication, Orla is passionate about communicating science to a variety of audiences. She currently works with the UCD Outreach team to inspire primary and secondary school students to consider science as a possible career and has previously taken part in events such as Pint of Science Dublin. Following her graduation, she plans to pursue a career in crop research.



Dr Sandra Collins is the Director of the National Library of Ireland. The NLI collects and makes available the recorded memory of Ireland, caring for more than 10 million items, including books, newspapers, manuscripts, ephemera, photographs, websites and digital media. Sandra is originally a mathematician and has worked in digital innovation and cultural heritage over 20 years in the public and private sectors. She was previously the founding Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland in the Royal Irish Academy and a programme manager in Science Foundation Ireland. She cares about culture for everyone, open data, diversity and inclusion, and tweets at @sandricollins



Kate Reidy is a final year undergraduate and Foundation Scholar of TCD studying Nanoscience, Physics and Chemistry of Advanced Materials (NPCAM). She is involved in science communication and outreach within the college as Editor of the Trinity Student Scientific Review Journal and has also worked with the City of Physics campaign and tutoring students at the Physics Help Room.

She loves to travel and has completed research internships in Caltech, USA, Aarhus University, Denmark and Kazan, Russia. Her main research interests are in nanotechnology and novel materials for renewable energy technologies, and hopes to pursue a PhD after graduating. She is a recipient of the Women in Physics scholarship, TCD and is passionate about promoting WITs among the college and wider community



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.



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



Jane Grimson was the first woman to graduate in Engineering from the University of Dublin, Trinity College and is a Past President of Engineers Ireland and the Irish Academy of Engineering.

Jane is an honorary member of WITS and gave the 2016 Mary Mulvihill lecture Targets, quotas, carrots and sticks – eliminating gender inequality in academia.

Professor Jane Grimson is Fellow Emerita and Professor of Health Informatics, Trinity College, Dublin



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.



Dr Jaine Blayney studied Mathematics at the University of Oxford, then undertook a MSc and PhD in Bioinformatics at the University of Ulster. This was followed by bioinformatics post-doctoral research at University of Ulster and Queen’s University of Belfast. She is currently a Lecturer in Computational Biology at the University of Ulster with the Stratified Medicine Centre. She is a part-time film extra and organiser of cultural events



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.

Our Members