Women Invent: 100 top women in science, technology, engineering and maths – Part 2

17 Jun 2014

As Silicon Republic’s Women Invent Tomorrow campaign continues to champion great role models in and from Ireland, we publish part 2 of our listing of some of the leading women in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

From world-beating academics, to inspiring science communicators, from tech business leaders to early entrepreneurs, we were truly spoilt for choice, so here we publish the second of two lists of some of Ireland’s leading women in the knowledge economy. You can still check out Women Invent: 100 top women in science, technology, engineering and maths – Part 1.

Despite raising the planned listing from 50 to 100, we still had to leave out as many as we included! We were blown away by the interest, and by the number of nominations – and above all the calibre of those nominees (many thanks to all of you who took the time to send them in). So if you or your colleagues are not included in this round, never fear. You are very possibly on our radar for the next list! And there will be a next one.

What is more, many of these great ladies will be joining us for a special celebration on 30 June at 6pm in Dublin. The interest has been so high we’ve had to limit this to an invitation-only event. However, if you’re a key stakeholder and you haven’t received an invitation, please request one via womeninvent@siliconrepublic.com.

 Jocelyn Bell Burnell headshot

Jocelyn Bell Burnell, University of Oxford (Astrophysics, academia, advocacy)

Belfast native Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered the first radio pulsars with her thesis supervisor Anthony Hewish while at Cambridge University. Their work earned them the Nobel Prize in Physics (although many were outraged that Bell Burnell was not named). She went on to have a career as a radio astronomer and has been awarded many accolades. She served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society from 2002 to 2004, and as president of the Institute of Physics from 2008 to 2010. She is now pro-chancellor of Trinity College Dublin. In 2012, she chaired an expert group in Scotland to increase the proportion of STEM-qualified women in the workplace and to increase the number of women in senior positions in universities, government and industry.

 Regina Breheny

Regina Breheny, Irish Venture Capital Association (Investment, leadership)

Regina Breheny has been director-general at the Irish Venture Capital Association since 2005 and has spearheaded the on-going professional development of the association as a lobbying body and provider of technical services to its members. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a member of the Institutes of Taxation and of Investment Management and Research.

 Margaret Burgraff headshot

Margaret Burgraff, Intel (Leadership, software)

Cork native Margaret Burgraff has recently been appointed as a vice-president at Intel – just the second Irish woman to rise to that position. She is a leader in Software Quality Assurance, and known as a sharp trouble-shooter. She started her career in Apple Computers Cork as API tester in 1994, moving to Apple Cupertino to be the quality manager of the original iMac in 1998. In 2005, she was given the task of creating and executing the qualification strategy for the Apple/Intel processor transition. By 2009, she was head of quality for Mac Engineering in Apple, but then joined Palm as a director of quality for WebOS and got promoted to senior director of quality. In November 2011, she joined Intel.

 Ellen Byrne headshot

Ellen Byrne, Festival of Curiosity (Science communications)

A self-described “science communicator, curator and ‘playmaker'”, Ellen Byrne co-founded The Festival of Curiosity (Dublin’s first annual festival of science and culture) in 2013, setting out with a vision of a world where every person has the confidence, the courage and the opportunity to be curious, and a mission to create a culture of curiosity in Ireland. She previously worked on many local, national and international science communication initiatives, including Dublin City of Science, The Euroscience Open Forum, STEM Quest, Discover Science & Engineering, and Science Week Ireland. She also co-founded Dublin’s first international Science Hack Day.

 Julie Byrne

Julie Byrne, Bell Labs (Leadership, research)

Julie Byrne is executive director of the Bell Labs Research Lab in Ireland and head of operations for the Alcatel-Lucent site in Dublin. Taking over the executive director role, in 2011, Byrne has focused on the continuous growth of groundbreaking research activities in Ireland, with particular focus on data analytics and wireless technologies, small cells technology, antenna architecture and thermal management solutions. Graduating from Trinity College Dublin in 1995 with a master’s degree in science (physics), Byrne began her career with Intel in Ireland before joining Alcatel-Lucent in 1999.

 Mari Cahalane headshot

Mari Cahalane, BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (Science outreach, education)

Mari Cahalane is head of the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition. She has been with BT since the early 1990s. She first got involved in the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in 2001 – BT’s first year as organiser and sponsor – where she acted as an employee volunteer, and she has been head of the project for the last eight years. The exhibition celebrated 50 years on the go in February, and was the biggest ever.

 Sandra Collins

Sandra Collins, Digital Repository of Ireland (Digital curation, academia)

Dr Sandra Collins was appointed to the role of director of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) by the Royal Irish Academy in 2011. (DRI is the Irish national trusted digital repository for the humanities and social sciences). Collins is also a funded investigator in the SFI-funded INSIGHT: Ireland’s National Data Analytics Research Centre, and a Work Package leader for the FP7 digital culture project Decipher. She was appointed chair of the ALLEA (all European Academies) international E-Humanities Working Group, and as a member of the Horizon 2020 Expert Advisory Group on European Research (e-) Infrastructures and the Research Data Alliance (RDA) European Steering Group. She has 10 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, including with Ericsson Research, and a prior appointment as lecturer in Dublin City University’s School of Mathematics. She has a PhD in non-linear fluid dynamics and holds four telecoms patents.

 Elaine Coughlan

Elaine Coughlan, Atlantic Bridge (Investment, technology)

General partner with Atlantic Bridge, Elaine Couglan has more than 15 years of merger and acquisition experience in tech companies. She has been involved in three successful initial public offerings and two secondary offerings, raising more than US$1.6bn in capital in all. She served as the CFO of semiconductor company Parthus Technologies plc (now CEVA Inc., a NASDAQ-listed company), from 1999 to 2003. Most recently, she was a director and co-founder of GloNav, a GPS semiconductor portfolio company sold to NXP in January 2008 for US$110m. Before that she worked for IONA Technologies plc, where she oversaw its initial public offering on NASDAQ in 1997, and held various senior financial positions. She was previously based in California in the Nineties with CBT Systems plc.

 Dorothy Creavan

Dorothy Creaven, Element Software (Entrepreneurship, software)

Dorothy Creaven is co-founder and CEO of Element Software, an award-winning software company based in Galway. In a short time, she has piloted the company from being a small start-up to winning Ireland’s largest business competition (Seedcorn), winning public tender contracts, and signing significant deals with multinational customers, such as Sage and Ericsson. She is an electronic engineering graduate of NUIG and has worked for big names, such as Google and Abbott Vascular. Element Software’s Wave product gathers analytical data from mobile app usage and gives brands and app publishers a communication channel with their users to drive higher mobile engagement and user retention.

 Lisa Domican headshot

Lisa Domican, Grace App Communications (Social entrepreneurship, advocacy)

Lisa Domican is a Wicklow-based mother of two autistic children. She set up the company Grace App Communications, and developed a simple picture communication app in collaboration with a successful games developer (Steve Troughton-Smith) that allows non-verbal people with autism and other disabilities to communicate effectively. In interacting with people with autism, Domican advocates in ‘the 3 As’: Awareness, Acceptance and making Allowances. She hopes through using these steps people can help reduce the challenges that make living with autism in a world designed for “normal” people so stressful.

 Caroline Dowling

Caroline Dowling, Flextronics (Leadership, networks)

A native of Millstreet, Co Cork, and a graduate of Harvard Business School, Caroline Dowling is president of Integrated Network Solutions at Flextronics, a Fortune 500 supply chain solutions company with more than 150,000 employees and operations in more than 30 countries, including three locations in Ireland (Cork, Limerick and Dublin). She is responsible for the largest division in the organisation, managing a budget of US$12bn. She leads an international team focused on design, manufacturing and services, providing solutions for market leaders in the telecoms, networking, server and storage markets. She also leads corporate growth strategies through Flextronics NOVO.

 Linda Doyle

Linda Doyle, CTVR (Wireless communications, academia)

Linda Doyle is professor at Trinity College, University of Dublin, in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Her main areas of research are wireless communications, reconfigurable networks, cognitive radio and spectrum management. She also has a strong interest in the intersection of art and technology and some of her research is focused in this domain. She is director of CTVR, the national telecommunication research centre that carries out industry-informed research. Based in Trinity, CTVR involves six different third-level institutions in Ireland and has multiple industry partners. She has also played a role in spectrum policy at a national level and has been involved with the Irish Department of Communications in writing a white paper on spectrum policy for Ireland. Doyle is also on the OFCOM spectrum advisory board OSAB.

 Sarah Doyle

Sarah Doyle, Kinesense (Entrepreneurship, analytics)

Founded in 2009 and led by Sarah Doyle, CEO, Kinesense has developed innovative CCTV video retrieval and analysis solutions, based on artificial intelligence, for the law-enforcement and security markets in particular. The company’s systems are currently in deployment with police forces and security agencies in Ireland, the UK, Europe, Canada and North Africa. Doyle has more than 15 years of experience in management and international product commercialisation, including being involved in a number of early stage commercialisation projects.

 Sonia Flynn

Sonia Flynn, Facebook Ireland (Leadership, social media)

A native of Kildare, Sonia Flynn is the EMEA director for User Operations at Facebook. She has international management experience with multinational technology companies and was part of the team that established Google’s European headquarters in Dublin. Previously, Flynn worked at ModusLink (global leader in supply chain manufacturing) and Taxback.com (multinational corporation providing specialist tax return services to private and corporate clients across 100 countries). She is a graduate of University of Ulster at Coleraine in applied languages and holds an MA in German studies from Queen’s. She is responsible for more than 400 staff in Dublin.

Photo via SV Magazine

 Stephanie Francis

Stephanie Francis, Engine Yard/Crafthouse (Design, advocacy)

Stephanie Francis is a UX designer at Engine Yard Dublin, and is co-founder and organiser of Crafthouse Dublin, which revolves around a set of regular meetups for those designing for the web. They look to bring members of the Dublin web community together to meet new people, to chat, discuss, problem-solve, make friends and participate with a collective of people who share a passion for good design. She is also a volunteer and mentor for Coding Grace, a group of developers based in Ireland who love to code and “do other geeky and not necessarily crafty activities”. Coding Grace provides female-friendly workshops and events in an environment for developers and aspiring developers, mentored by mostly female instructors.

 Ruth Freeman

Dr Ruth Freeman, Science Foundation Ireland (Science outreach, genetics)

Dr Ruth Freeman was appointed director of Strategy and Communications at Science Foundation Ireland in 2013. She previously held other positions at SFI, most recently as director of Programmes, Enterprise and International Affairs, and head of Industry-Research Development. She joined SFI as a scientific programme manager in November 2006. Prior to that, she worked as a researcher at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), where she earned her PhD and bachelor’s degree in genetics. During her time at TCD, she won a Trinity scholarship, the Eli Lilly Chemistry Prize, and the Roberts prize for biology. Freeman’s PhD research, on population genetics in hybrid zones, was funded by a prestigious studentship from the Wellcome Trust and was carried out at TCD and ILRI, Nairobi.

 Silvia Giordani

Dr Silvia Giordani, formerly Trinity College Dublin (Research, nanotechnology, outreach)

Dr Silvia Giordani was awarded the prestigious Science Foundation Ireland President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA), and from 2007 to 2013 she was an assistant research professor at Trinity College Dublin School of Chemistry and a principal investigator at CRANN, where she ran an international and interdisciplinary research group. She was awarded the 2012 L’Oreal-UNESCO UK and Ireland Fellowships for Women in Science. Since September 2013, she has been a senior researcher at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa. She is passionate about communicating science and mentoring young people, is regularly invited to speak at events, and recently gave a masterclass at the Royal Irish Academy.

 Catherine Godson

Catherine Godson, University College Dublin (Medicine, academia)

Prof Catherine Godson from the School of Medicine in University College Dublin (UCD) is one of Ireland’s most well-respected basic scientists in the area of biomedical science. She has had a stellar career spanning the last two decades and is cited by young colleagues as a great inspiration to junior female scientists in biomedical science. She is a principal investigator in the UCD Diabetes Research Centre, established in 2006 to investigate diabetes and its complications. Along with colleagues and international collaborators, she was recently awarded funding to search for genetic factors that influence the development of diabetic kidney disease using a multistage genome-wide association study.

 Adrienne Gormley

Adrienne Gormley, Dropbox (Leadership)

Adrienne Gormley is the head of EMEA User Operations at Dropbox. She joined Dropbox from Google, where she led international teams across a range of functions including sales, Google Maps operations and localisation. While at Google, Gormley led Google’s women’s network in Dublin. She continues to be deeply committed to diversity, and is an active member across diversity networks and organisations. Prior to joining Google, Gormley had extensive experience in internationalisation and was VP of production in Transware, a localisation services supplier, where she led the client and project management business units.

 Ann Horan

Ann Horan, DCU Ryan Academy (Leadership, entrepreneurship)

Ann Horan is CEO of the DCU Ryan Academy, a not-for-profit joint venture between Dublin City University and the family of the late Tony Ryan, founder of Ryanair. The academy, based in Citywest, Dublin, aims to be a leading supporter of entrepreneurs and innovation in Ireland. It offers a range of programmes designed to educate and develop entrepreneurs and accelerate the growth phases of entrepreneurial ventures. In 2014, it has been running the Female Propeller for High Fliers – an accelerator programme for female-led start-ups that specifically addresses the challenges facing female entrepreneurs. An accountant by training, until 2005 Horan was managing director of Bank of Ireland Finance and is current president of the International Women’s Forum in Ireland.

 Tracy Lauriault

Dr Tracey Lauriault, NIRSA, NUI Maynooth (Open data)

Canadian Dr Tracey Lauriault is a post-doctoral researcher at NIRSA, working as part of the ERC-funded Programmable City Project. In Canada, she was a researcher with the Geomatics and Cartographic Research Centre at Carleton University in Ottawa. Her research is about Data, Infrastructures and Geographical Imaginations and Spatial Data Infrastructures. She is a member of the Science of Data Committee at Carleton University and the international Research Data Alliance (RDA) Legal Interoperability Working Group. She has a keen interest in and is a strong advocate of open data and open government. She was a highly lauded panelist at Silicon Republic’s Irish Data Forum in 2013.

 Karlin Lillington

Karlin Lillington (technology columnist)

Karlin Lillington is best known as a columnist with The Irish Times, focusing on technology and the political, social, business and cultural aspects of information and communication technologies. Over the years she he has been a contributor to many different Irish and international publications, such as The Guardian, New Scientist, Wired.com, Salon.com, Red Herring, The Scientist and The Sunday Times. She holds a PhD from Trinity College Dublin.

 Rathnait Long

Rathnait Long, Stanford/Lam Research (Process engineering)

Rathnait Long was awarded a PhD in microelectronic engineering from Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork, in 2010. Her thesis was titled ‘Electronic and Structural Properties of the High-k/In GaAs System’. Now based in California, where she has just completed post-doctoral research at Stanford University, Long is exploring the use of gallium-based materials in the heart of transistors. Being able to make smaller switches with less ‘leakage’ could mean higher-performance devices and longer-lasting batteries. She is a senior process engineer at Lam Research and consulting assistant professor at Stanford University.

 Christina Loscher

Christine Loscher, Dublin City University (Immunology, food science)

Dr Christine Loscher is director of Dublin City University (DCU) Health Technologies Research and Enterprise Hub, and a researcher in the Food for Health Ireland (FHI) consortium, an Enterprise Ireland-supported initiative that links academics with major Irish dairy and ingredients companies to mine milk and other foods for potential bioactives. Through FHI, Loscher has started to work with researchers at Teagasc, Moorepark, to look for ingredients that could help infants with milk allergies. Aside from her lab research, Loscher also directs the BioAT-structured PhD programme, and she is to be the academic lead in a new nano-bioanalytical research facility being built on the DCU campus.

 Cristina Luminea

Cristina Luminea, ThoughtBox (Entrepreneurship, educational software)

Cristina Luminea is the founder and CEO of ThoughtBox, a Dublin-based company helping brands engage young segments through edutainment and interactivity. Previously, she was part of the New Ventures & Innovation Group in Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and worked as an R&D project manager for the same company. Luminea has two honours degrees in software development, a bachelor’s degree in international marketing, and a research master’s degree in engineering. ThoughtBox is based on the very simple notion of letting your imagination run wild with a cardboard box. It aims to inspire children to achieve their true potential by unleashing their curiosity and challenging them to question the world and its rules.

 Geraldine MacCarthy headshot

Geraldine MacCarthy, Dropbox (Leadership, internet)

Geraldine MacCarthy specialises in building and scaling multinational sales and operations organisations in the tech industry. Currently, she leads the account management and recruiting functions at Dropbox EMEA. She joined Dropbox from Google, where she worked in Dublin, San Francisco and Poland. Prior to Google, MacCarthy was a management consultant at Accenture. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she studied physics, chemistry and maths, MacCarthy is also a chartered management accountant. She is a major advocate of diversity in the workplace.

 Andrea Magnorsky

Andrea Magnorsky, BatCat Games/GameCraft (Games developer, event organiser)

Game developer and BatCat Games co-founder Andrea Magnorsky also co-founded Dublin GameCraft with coder and tech event organiser Vicky Twomey-Lee (another of our 100 Top women, in part 1). The two met looking to create a great game jam for the Irish indie community, one that would become a staple of the Irish game developers’ annual diary and a must in other cities around the world, such as London and New York. Magnorsky has been developing software for more than 15 years, and is a regular on the interntional conference circuit. She also co-founded Dublin Alt.Net in 2008 (a .net user group) with Claudio Perrone, and recently started Functional Kats, a functional programming user group, and Fermented Polygon, a game programming user group. She is passionate about coding in all languages.

 Helen McBreen

Helen McBreen, NDRC (Investment, mentoring)

Dr Helen McBreen holds a first-class honours engineering degree from University College Dublin and was awarded a PhD from The University of Edinburgh for her research in communication interfaces. As a member of the NDRC Investment Committee, she plays a key role in the allocation of capital into new technology start-ups and leads the effort at NDRC in Dublin to source investment opportunities across domains, including electronics, computer science, med tech, bioinformatics, nanotech, green tech and digital technologies. McBreen is also a business adviser for the Enterprise Ireland-DIT International Selling Programme, where she mentors sales professionals in the technology SME sector.

 Mary McKenna

Mary McKenna, Digital Derry (Entrepreneurship, advocacy, mentoring)

Mary McKenna, MBE, is a tech entrepreneur and co-founder of successful Derry-based Learning Pool. She has a passionate interest in helping start and grow indigenous Irish tech companies and especially in working with very young entrepreneurs. She has been chairman of Northern Ireland’s Digital Circle Steering Group since 2010. In the recent New Year’s honours’ list, she was awarded the MBE for services to digital technology, innovation and learning. A commercial accountant by profession, she is also closely involved in Digital Derry, an initiative to develop a centre of digital creativity around digital storytelling and cultural technologies.

 Sinead McSweeney

Sinéad McSweeney, Twitter (Public policy)

Sinéad McSweeney is Twitter’s director of Public Policy, EMEA. She joined Twitter in 2012 from her position as director of communications for An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s national police service. McSweeney previously worked in the same role for the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and also served as special political adviser in a number of portfolios in the Irish Government, including the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice. She is based in Twitter’s office in Dublin.

 Dervilla Mitchell

Dervilla Mitchell, Arup (Engineering, leadership)

Dervilla Mitchell graduated in civil engineering from University College Dublin and worked as a structural engineer in Ireland and the UK for Ove Arup and Partners and in the US for Weidlinger Associates before moving into Design Team Leadership. She is a member of Arup’s Global Aviation Executive and is the aviation business leader for Arup in the UK, Middle East and Africa. She is perhaps best known for leading the Arup team at Terminal 5 Heathrow and being the head of design management for this stg£4bn project. Subsequently, she worked on Terminal 2 Dublin and the London 2012 Athletes Village. Chair of the Awards Committee and a vice-president at the Royal Academy of Engineering, she was appointed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to the Council for Science and Technology (CST) in March.

 Mary Moloney

Mary Moloney, CoderDojo (Leadership)

Mary Moloney is the recently announced new CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation. Started up just three years ago, today more than 16,000 children worldwide are taught to code every Saturday in more than 440 Dojos in 45 countries, including places like LA, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, Africa and the Caribbean – all on a voluntary basis. Moloney is an experienced senior executive, having held a number of lead positions at Accenture and clients of Accenture’s, including partner, managing director and various C-suite positions. She is involved in the Dublin Fringe Festival, Dress for Success, Institute of International & European Affairs and the European Women’s Network.

 Amy Neale

Amy Neale, NDRC (Communications, start-up support)

Amy Neale is director of communications at NDRC in Dublin, and focuses on its corporate communications and supporting its investment programmes. She also advises and supports ventures on marketing and communications strategies and activities, and specialises in technology and investment marketing. Before arriving in Ireland in 2008, Neale led the business development team at Queen Mary, University of London. She completed a PhD in linguistics and computational linguistics at Cardiff University. She has played a major role in the recent launch of the Female Founders initiative at NDRC.

 Joanna Norton

Joanna Norton, Keywords English (Education, software)

Keywords English founder Joanna Norton is an advocate for making STEM subjects relevant and interesting for learners. She has developed an app called Keywords English, which to support all young people with the academic language of school. Inspired by her own experience in teaching and by research carried out at Trinity College Dublin on the range of vocabulary that causes difficulty, Norton set out to design and make an app to improve language comprehension and demystify technical academic terms used for particular topics. Current versions cover photosynthesis and the parts of plants. She worked with a gaming company to develop the app and user interface, but kept strong instructional design principals at its core. She also provides language support for students at London College of Fashion.

 Norma O'Callaghan

Norma O’Callaghan, Trend Micro (Finance, leadership)

Norma O’Callaghan is director of finance for Trend Micro EMEA, the Japanese security cloud firm, in Cork, and one of the team that set up the Irish operation there a decade ago. Trend Micro has been involved in various cyber-criminal takedowns in recent years, working closely with the FBI, Interpol and Ireland’s own gardaí to find, track and trace high-risk attacks for internet users. Previous to her time at Trend Micro, she worked in a financial-planning and analysis role with US cloud storage giant EMC.

 Emer O'Daly

Emer O’Daly, FabAllThings (Entrepreneurship, design)

Emer O’Daly is CEO and co-founder with her two sisters Kate and Aoibh of FabAllThings, an interactive design brand that makes unique and customisable products. Anyone can submit design ideas for new products, vote on what they make and personalise products to themselves. FabAllThings uses new trends in manufacturing, such as 3D printing and digital fabrication to enable the creation of unique products, personalised to the individual. FabAllThings was just recently selected selected for mentoring and investment by Seedcamp in London, and will now participate in an intensive year-long programme of events focusing on all aspects of its development, including free office space in London, two US investor trips, and a founder sponsor pack worth €200,000. We say: One to watch.

 Lisa O'Donoghue

Dr Lisa O’Donoghue, ALR Innovations (Entrepreneurship, sustainability)

Dr Lisa O’Donoghue is CEO of ALR Innovations, a University of Limerick spin-out that develops recycling equipment for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in worldwide markets. She founded the company in 2011 as a result of a research project she ran in the design and manufacturing technology department at the University of Limerick. The company has pioneered a LCD screen recycling technology that consists of a fully automated machine that processes waste LCDs to remove the potentially hazardous materials they contain. It is first on the market to do this in a compliant process. In 2011, ALR Innovations was named best high-growth company in the InterTradeIreland Seedcorn competition.

 Hilary O'Meara

Hilary O’Meara, Accenture (Computer science, leadership)

Hilary O’Meara has nearly two decades of experience in delivering large-scale systems integration projects for Accenture. She joined the company in 1993 after graduating with a bachelor of computer science degree from University College Dublin. She now leads Technology for Accenture in Ireland, and is responsible for assisting Irish clients to use technology innovatively to drive high performance.

 Arlene O'Neill

Arlene O’Neill, CRANN (Physics, STEM communications)

With a PhD in physics from Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Arlene O’Neill is a nanomaterials scientist turned science communicator. Her current role is communications, education and outreach officer for CRANN and TCD School of Physics, but she is also a Smart Futures ambassador, helping support secondary students, their teachers, guidance counsellors and parents in learning more about careers in science, technology and engineering. O’Neill is also involved in the DART of Physics project, which brings physics to the public by giving physics lessons on the DART line in Dublin, and in DART stations around Dublin. She regularly visits schools and gives talks, hoping to inspire young people to get involved in science.

 Joanne O'Riordan

Joanne O’Riordan (Disability campaigning, advocacy)

Awesome Cork teenager Joanne O’Riordan, who was born without arms and legs because of a rare condition called tetra Amelia, continues to inspire us all with her campaigning for disability. She really caught the world’s eye in April 2012, when she articulately addressed an ITU (International Telecommunication Union) delegation for ‘Girls in ICT Day’ in New York. It was here that she issued a challenge to engineers to build her a robot that would be able to assist her day-to-day, particularly to pick up things she has dropped. A team at TCD’s School of Engineering led by Kevin Kelly took up the challenge, supported by the ITU, and a prototype, Robbie, already exists. “ITU undertakes a lot of work in the areas of empowering young girls and promoting ICTs for accessibility – but it took Joanne to show us all the vital importance of these efforts,” said ITU secretary-general Dr Hamadoun I Touré.

 Grace O'Rourke Veitch

Grace O’Rourke Veitch, Citrix Systems (Leadership, networks)

Grace O’Rourke Veitch has been Citrix Systems’ country manager since 2012. She is responsible for managing the Ireland sales team, generating new business opportunities and cultivating the company’s partner ecosystem. Before joining Citrix, O’Rourke Veitch was CEO and founder of Indigo Solutions. She is also a mentor for Enterprise Ireland, and has previously worked for a number of ICT companies, including Microsoft and 3DLABS.

 Jean O'Sullivan

Jean O’Sullivan, Enterprise Ireland (Entrepreneurship, funding)

Jean O’Sullivan is manager of Female Entrepreneurship at Enterprise Ireland, and is responsible for developing new women in business initiatives to support ambitious women with business proposals that have the potential for high growth and employment. O’Sullivan has worked in numerous roles, most recently with high-potential start-up companies across numerous sectors. Prior to this, she spent 10 years in industrial relations and human resources management roles.

Photo by EI

 Anne Ravanona

Anne Ravanona, Global Invest Her (Investment, advocacy)

Anne Ravanona is founder and CEO of Global Invest Her, focused on getting women entrepreneurs funded faster and increasing gender diversity at work. She is a dynamic, global businesswoman with more than 20 years of experience in management consulting and global business development. She has interviewed more than 45 global women leaders, and is founder and president of Women Entrepreneurs Network in Paris. She has a BA in international marketing and languages from Dublin City University and a diploma in global strategic management from Harvard Business School. Based in Paris, she has dual nationality (Irish and Spanish) and speaks five European languages.

 Ann O'Riordan

Ann Riordan, Science Foundation Ireland (Leadership, IT)

An experienced board member, Ann Riordan has held a number of senior positions in the ICT sector, and is currently chair of Science Foundation Ireland. Most notably, she established Microsoft Ireland back in 1990, and was instrumental in establishing the Fastrack to IT (FIT) initiative, which has to date trained more than 12,000 long-term unemployed people. She has served on the Information Society Steering Committee and the Irish Council for Science, Technology & Innovation. Since her retirement from Microsoft she has served as president of the Institute of Directors in Ireland, chairman of the National Standards Authority of Ireland, Tourism Ireland, and the Dublin Regional Tourism Authority.

 Helen Ryan

Helen Ryan, Enterprise Ireland board (Med tech, leadership)

Helen Ryan was until September 2013 CEO of Creganna-Tactx Medical, headquartered in Galway, and led it to be one of the top 10 medical device outsourcing companies globally. She has more than 20 years of medical-device industry experience across a large range of medical areas, including vascular, airway, surgical and urology. Prior to joining Creganna-Tactx Medical in 2003, she worked with Medtronic and Tyco Healthcare (Covidien) in product development and R&D functional management roles. She has a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree in project management, and has completed a senior executive programme at Stanford University. Ryan is also a fellow of the Institute of Engineers of Ireland and a past chair of the Irish Medical Device Association.

 Marguerite Sayers

Marguerite Sayers, ESB (Electrical engineering, leadership)

Marguerite Sayers is head of generation with ESB, managing ESB’s 5,500 megawatt portfolio of power stations in Ireland, Britain and Spain. She graduated from University College Cork with a degree in electrical engineering in 1991. Since then, she has worked in various technical and managerial roles, including being the first woman appointed to the senior positions of customer service manager and head of asset management for ESB Networks. She is also a member of Engineers Ireland’s Council, chair of the board of BESL (Amorebieta Generating Station in Spain), and a member of the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board.

 Niambh Scullion

Niambh Scullion, IBM/CoderDojo (Software, education)

As well as being a senior software engineer at Curam, an IBM company, Niambh Scullion is co-founder, with Sarah Doran and Noel King, of CoderDojoGirls in Dublin City University (DCU). Based on the model of CoderDojo, the global movement of free coding clubs for young people, CoderDojoGirls caters for the specific interests and motivations of girls, helping to build their confidence and interest in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Also DCU CoderDojo mentors, King and Scullion were inspired to develop this new learning-through-fun forum for girls when they noticed girls’ quicker drop-out rate from traditional CoderDojo groups.

 Martina Skelly

Martina Skelly, YellowSchedule (Entrepreneurship, software)

Martina Skelly is the CEO and co-founder of tech start-up YellowSchedule.com. YellowSchedule is used by customers in 36 countries worldwide, and just recently YellowSchedule raised a €600,000 seed round from angel investors and Enterprise Ireland. The angel investor is Sean Riddell, who, as former CEO of publicly listed UK health software company EMIS, is seen as an influential thought leader in the health IT space. In 2013, YellowSchedule won the ‘Digital/Online Startup of the Year’ award at the Vodafone Startup Awards 2013, and Skelly won the ‘Women in Business’ award at the same event. At the IIA Net Visionary awards 2013, YellowSchedule won the ‘Most Indispensable Cloud Service for SMEs’ prize.

 Tomlin Dervla Dervla Tomlin, Irish Life (Maths, actuarial)

Dervla Tomlin is one of Ireland’s leading female actuaries, and is chief actuary and chief risk officer of Irish Life, Ireland’s largest life and pensions company with more than €42bn in funds under management. She is responsible for enterprise risk management, safeguarding the financial security of more than 1m customers. Throughout her career, she has been actively involved in industry and professional bodies – she was previously a member of the Pensions Board and is currently vice-president of the Society of Actuaries in Ireland. She is due to take over as president in 2015.

 Liz Waters

Liz Waters, An Cosán (Education, non-profit)

Liz Water is CEO of An Cosán, an organisation that is committed to the eradication of poverty through education. Under Waters’ leadership, An Cosán recently announced it will take its community education programmes across Ireland, through online virtual learning in partnership with IT Carlow, with the support of ESB and Accenture. The online rollout will allow students around the country to access accredited courses on campus networks, as well as community facilities and public libraries. The organisation hopes 500 students will undertake courses online over the lifetime of this three-year project.

Ones to watch:

 Caitriona Carrigan

Catrina Carrigan (Coding)

Catrina Carrigan is a 17-year-old fifth-year student in Scoil Chaitríona, Glasnevin in Dublin. She joined CoderDojo at Dublin City University in July 2012 and started working on her piano game for the first Coolest Projects awards shortly afterwards. Piano Rock Star was developed into a GCSE short course on algorithms by CoderDojo, Intel and e-Skills UK. Since then, Catriona has worked on a business continuity app for a hospital and is currently working on a social network for studying. A highly enterprising young coder – keep your eye out for this young lady.

 Linda Flynn

Lydia Flynn (Neuroscience, STEM communication)

Lydia Flynn is a final-year student and scholar in neuroscience at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), and a former Irish National Swimming Team member and Irish delegate to the European Youth Parliament. In her final year at TCD, she has organised a STEM outreach programme that helped more than 40 secondary-school students set up their own maths clubs at their schools. Flynn also teaches biochemistry and neuroscience on her own successful YouTube channel, which has more than 1,100 followers. She is currently founding her own company, Lessonprep, where she will provide engaging educational materials to secondary-school teachers. She has already won a place on the TCD LaunchBox accelerator programme with her company. Another one to watch out for!

 Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow & Émer Hickey

Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Émer Hickey (Science)

We all need to keep our eyes on Ciara Judge, Sophie Healy-Thow and Émer Hickey, who jointly won the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in January 2013, for their project titled ‘A Statistical Investigation of the Effects of Diazotroph Bacteria on Plant Germination.’ The girls used natural bacteria called rhizobium to speed up the germination and subsequent growth of cereal crops. They travelled to the European Union Contest for Young Scientists in September 2013, where they were awarded first place. Ciara and Sophie have studied at the Centre for Talented Youth Ireland (CTYI). Émer is currently the CEO of a mini company manufacturing a science game for primary school children.

Once again, we really must emphasise that this is simply a representative sample of inspiring role models among the Irish community of women in STEM. Many, many other amazing women have appeared on these pages, and will continue to do so – there will be more lists! Please feel free to nominate inspiring role models (or indeed yourself) via email at womeninvent@siliconrepublic.com or on Twitter at @siliconrepublic.

Updated June 18: We have updated a few minor details for accuracy today. Of course let us know if you spot any others!

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.

Ann O’Dea
By Ann O’Dea

Ann O’Dea is CEO and co-founder of Silicon Republic, an online source of science and technology news since 2001. She was also the founder and curator of Inspirefest, a unique international sci-tech event that aimed to disrupt the traditionally homogenous tech conference calendar. Today, that event has evolved into Future Human to showcase the leaders building the products and services for a new tomorrow. Ann is a fellow of the Irish Computer Society and the Institute of Art, Design & Technology. She received a Net Visionary award from the Irish Internet Association in 2015 for her work on ensuring the visibility of women role models in her industry, and was named Media Woman of the Year at the 2014 Irish Tatler Women of the Year Awards. In 2015, she was the first woman to be inducted into the Irish Internet Association’s Hall of Fame. Ann sits on the advisory board of TeenTurn, which provides teenage girls with experience in STEM.

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