Engineers Ireland, the professional body for engineers and engineering in Ireland, has appointed Fujitsu Ireland CEO Regina Moran as its new president, and she has outlined three themes she will focus on during her time in this role.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at Engineers Ireland’s headquarters in Dublin on Thursday, 29 May, Moran explained her chief concerns for the organisation, starting with the convergence of engineeering and technology.
“There is a collision between the physical and the digital world, which is creating many opportunities for all of us in the engineering and technology sectors,” she said. “For example, you cannot design and build the Samuel Beckett Bridge without technology and you cannot design a smartphone application without engineering.”
Moran also plans to turn the spotlight on improvements in engineering education and to visit schools across the country to promote engineering at primary at post-primary level.
Gender balance shift on the horizon
Moran is particulary concerned with encouraging young girls and women to embrace science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), something which she has previously addressed in her role at Fujitsu Ireland.
“Many secondary school students believe that STEM subjects are more suited to males than females. A lack of female role models and encouragement from parents and teachers contribute to these misperceptions, and as an organisation, this is something we must change,” she said.
Addressing the role of women in STEM is the third prong in Moran’s plan for her Engineers Ireland presidency, and she maintains a positive outlook based on the 2013 ‘Engineering Perspectives’ report.
“On average, the ratio of men to women in engineering has been around 9:1. One-fifth of all respondents in the survey were women and, of these, half were under the age of 35 years,” she said. “This shows a very promising gender balance shift in the engineering landscape in Ireland. We must build on this and encourage young students, especially young women, to explore opportunities in engineering.”
Women Invent Tomorrow is Silicon Republic’s campaign to champion the role of women in science, technology, engineering and maths. It has been running since March 2013, and is kindly supported by Accenture Ireland, Intel, the Irish Research Council, ESB, Twitter, CoderDojo and Science Foundation Ireland.