Úna Parsons named head of engineering school at IT Sligo

7 Mar 2017

Úna Parsons, the new head of the School of Engineering and Design, IT Sligo. Image: James Connolly

After four years at IT Sligo, chartered engineer and Gurteen resident Úna Parsons earns new leading role at the institute.

IT Sligo has confirmed that one of its leading engineers, Úna Parsons, has been appointed as the new head of the School of Engineering and Design at the institute, with plans to expand the region’s creative offerings.

Since 2012, Parsons has led the Department of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, where she was heavily involved in promoting IT Sligo as a precision engineering and manufacturing centre of excellence.

Prior to joining IT Sligo, Parsons was CEO 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.

Within her role at Engineers Ireland, Parsons helped to develop the inaugural Engineers Week in 2007, which has since gone on to become the biggest celebration of engineering and diversity in the STEM calendar.

However, her association with the college stretches back to her own student days as a toolmaking apprentice in the former Sligo Regional Technical College.

She is succeeding Shane Fanning, who is leaving the institute to take up a new management position with the medical devices company Mallinckrodt. Parsons will begin her new role in the coming weeks.

‘A dynamic and progressive leader’

“It is a privilege to lead IT Sligo’s School of Engineering and Design through the next phase of its development and expansion,” Parsons said upon her appointment.

“As a former apprentice here, I have a particular affinity with the institute, its students and its heritage within the engineering and manufacturing sectors.

“I also have a great interest in the creative sector and, given that the school’s portfolio also includes the institute’s department of computing and creative practices, I look forward to developing IT Sligo’s contribution to the region’s cultural and creative offering.”

Welcoming her appointment, Dr Brendan McCormack, president of IT Sligo, said: “Úna’s strong background in engineering, manufacturing, education and the creative industries has shown her to be a dynamic and progressive leader with a passion for learning, collaboration and sharing of knowledge and experience.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic