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.
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.
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.
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 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
From basic scientific studies in Africa, Nicaise developed a strong passion for technology and innovation. This led her to pursue telecommunications engineering studies in France and a career as an IT professional in the transportation sector first in France, and then Ireland, where she works for Emovis Tech as an Applications QA Engineer.
Nicaise is currently leading the Ireland chapter of Women in Tech Africa. She also co-initiated WeForAfrica, an initiative aimed at developing platforms to enable African diaspora members to network by area of expertise and share insights on their potential contribution to their home communities’ development. Nicaise is also an MBA student, currently doing a research thesis on workplace gender diversity in tech companies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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
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.</
Mary Carroll is a Business Strategist and Coach, who started her career in Design Engineering and has held senior management roles in Engineering and Business Development. Mary is also a former WITS Chair. She has also worked for international aid organisations. Mary now helps individuals and organisations to grow through her business www.growthpotential.ie and has developed “Double X” (www.doublex.ie), supporting organisations in benefiting from all their talent
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or at via her website www.thconsulting.ie
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.
Sinéad is the Education Programme Co-ordinator at An Cosán, a community education organisation based in Jobstown with hubs across disadvantaged areas in Dublin and Ireland. In 2014, Sinead’s leadership at An Cosán resulted in the development of an innovative Young Women into Technology (YWIT) programme. The success of the YWIT paved the way for expansion of the technology programme in An Cosán.
An Cosán have recruited a growing panel of mainly women which call themselves the “tech army”. This STEM group will be offering taster classes, master workshops and other programmes by utilising a mentorship model. Past participants are encouraged to mentor, teach and become role models for the new cohort of students using a cascade model of coaching and empowerment.
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
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 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
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.
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.</
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 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.
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 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