TU of the Shannon first president appointed ahead of opening

31 Aug 2021

Prof Vincent Cunnane. Image: Limerick Institute of Technology

Vincent Cunnane, formerly of Limerick IT and IT Sligo, will commence his new role in October when TU of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest opens.

The first president of the new Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest has been named as Prof Vincent Cunnane, the outgoing president of Limerick Institute of Technology.

Cunnane will take up the position as president of the new TU when it opens its doors to students in October.

Cunnane’s appointment was announced today (31 August) by the Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris, TD. He was selected for the position by the governing bodies of Athlone and Limerick Institutes of Technology as part of an open competitive process.

TU of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest was formed by the amalgamation of the Limerick and Athlone ITs and it will have campuses in Athlone, Clonmel, Ennis, Limerick and Thurles.

Commenting on his appointment, Cunnane said he was honoured and privileged to take up the new role. He added: “I have seen the evolution of the technological sector over the last number of years. To lead this exciting, dynamic and visionary new organisation will be a challenge but one that I very much look forward to with the support of a really talented, enthusiastic and motivated cohort of staff.”

Cunnane was president of Limerick IT since 2016 and before that he was president of Sligo IT. As well as being a researcher in physical electrochemistry, he has a number of other positions also, including chair of the Technological Higher Education Association. He is also a member of the board of the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT).

He was the former CEO of Shannon Development until its merger into Shannon Airport Authority. Prior to that, he was vice-president of research at University of Limerick, where he also lectured and researched.

Cunnane’s colleagues welcomed his appointment. The chair of the joint governing body of the AIT-LIT consortium, Prof Tom Collins, said: “All in the consortium are very pleased that Vincent Cunnane is to be the inaugural president. He has a distinguished record of achievement in the academic, research and development spheres.”

Tony Brazil, outgoing chair of Limerick IT, said: “I have worked closely with Vincent over the past three years since I became chair and have been hugely impressed by his vision, energy and leadership.”

Cunnane will begin his post on the day the TU opens, 1 October 2021, and his term will last eight years.

Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic