2024 Speakers

Diana Kelley, Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) Board Member and CISO, Protect AI, USA

Diana Kelley is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Protect AI. She also serves on the boards of WiCyS, The Executive Women’s Forum (EWF), InfoSec World, CyberFuture Foundation, TechTarget Security Editorial, and DevNet AI/ML. Diana was Cybersecurity Field CTO for Microsoft, Global Executive Security Advisor at IBM Security, GM at Symantec, VP at Burton Group (now Gartner), a Manager at KPMG, CTO and co-founder of SecurityCurve, and Chief vCISO at SaltCybersecurity. Her extensive volunteer work has included serving on the ACM Ethics & Plagiarism Committee, Cybersecurity Committee Advisor at CompTIA, CTO and Board Member at Sightline Security, Advisory Board Chair at WOPLLI Technologies, Advisory Council member Bartlett College of Science and Mathematics, Bridgewater State University, and RSAC US Program Committee. She is a sought-after keynote speaker, the host of BrightTALK’s The (Security) Balancing Act, co-author of the books Practical Cybersecurity Architecture and Cryptographic Libraries for Developers, instructor for the LinkedIn Learning class on Security in AI and ML, has been a lecturer at Boston College’s Masters program in cybersecurity, the EWF 2020 Executive of the Year and EWF Conference Chair 2021-Present, an SCMedia Power Player, one of Cybersecurity Ventures 100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime, and a 2023 Global Cybersecurity Hall of Fame inductee.

Dr Lollie Mancey, Programme Director, UCD Innovation Academy

Dr Lollie Mancey is an accomplished and multifaceted professional with a wealth of experience in the fields of progressive education, innovation, entrepreneurship, and workplace of the future. As Programme Director and entrepreneurial specialist at University College Dublin’s (UCD) Innovation Academy, she plays a pivotal role in fostering innovation and empowering aspiring entrepreneurs. With a PhD in Organisational Learning and a background in Anthropology, Dr Lollie brings a unique and diverse perspective to the realms of innovation and entrepreneurship. Her academic background enables her to approach challenges with a fresh outlook, making her a standout figure in her field. Beyond her academic achievements, Dr Lollie is a seasoned entrepreneur, holding directorship in not one, but three successful businesses, earning her the title of a serial entrepreneur. Her business acumen and innovative mindset have contributed to her continued success in various ventures. She now champions other entrepreneurs especially those under represented with the various entrepreneurial ecosystems. In 2018, she claimed the title of Dublin Story Slam Champion in competitive storytelling, showcasing her ability to captivate audiences with her narrative prowess. Building upon her storytelling skills, she now hosts a monthly Radio Show on Dublin South FM and a thriving podcast titled ‘An Entrepreneur Like You’ available on platforms such as Spotify, where she shares her insights and experiences with a global audience. Always eager to embrace new challenges, Dr Lollie has built upon her teaching experience in social justice and ventured into the realm of artificial intelligence and ethics, exploring how society can navigate the evolving cultural and technological landscapes.


Lorna Martyn, Ireland Regional Chair & Senior Vice President Technology, Fidelity Investments 

Lorna Martyn is Fidelity Ireland’s Regional Chair and Senior Vice President of Technology. Lorna has been with Fidelity Investments for 18 years and has held several leadership roles in Ireland and the US during that time. Outside of Fidelity, Lorna is actively involved in developing the technology ecosystem in the country and is a board member of Technology Ireland, the largest and most influential business organisation representing Ireland’s tech sector and the Irish American Partnership, which supports education and community programmes across Ireland. As a recognised advocate for inclusion and diversity, and most particularly, greater female representation in technology, Lorna has led the development and delivery of a multi-faceted program which is focused on affecting sustainable change for women in STEM within her own company, local communities, and the wider technology industry. Growing up in Ireland with five brothers, Lorna became accustomed to being the diverse voice in the conversation while developing team building and leadership skills navigating family life. Encouraged by her mother, Lorna enjoyed learning to code in her early teens which reinforces her belief today in the impact of advocates and role models. She brings that life experience and a global perspective to her everyday work at Fidelity, leading a diverse, talented team creating technology solutions that enhance the financial wellbeing of Fidelity customers. Lorna is an established advocate for female participation in STEM education and careers, and passionate about the positive power of inclusion.

Chris Collins, Country President, Schneider Electric

Chris leads Schneider Electric’s business in Ireland. He plays a vital role in directing the next phase of growth and strategy in the country. He began his career working in engineering and operations roles with field services teams in Siemens and TFC Automation. He joined Schneider Electric as a Business Development Manager in 2003 and was responsible for building automation and security products in the North East region of the US. Over the past seventeen years, he has held several roles, including senior board-level positions at Schneider Electric and is a seasoned business leader, having overseen Schneider’s smart buildings business, covering both the commercial and residential sectors in the US. Prior to taking on his current role in April 2021, he was Vice President of Systems Transformation, Digital Energy in the US. Chris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Management Systems from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and an MBA, Business Administration, Management and Operations from Loyola University Maryland. Chris is a Director of the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce Council and sits on the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland Infrastructure Taskforce.

Una Fitzpatrick,  Director, Technology Ireland, Ibec and Executive Board Member, Digital Europe

Una Fitzpatrick is a Dublin City University STEM graduate with a master’s in management from Smurfit Business School.  She has spent the last 17 years working in the knowledge economy, specifically the last eight years being spent with Technology Ireland.   Una was appointed Director of Technology Ireland in June 2018.  Technology Ireland, a trade association within Ibec, is the largest and most influential tech sector representative group in Ireland. Una is an executive board member of Digital Europe and is on the Board of Directors of FIT Ltd (Fastrack into Technology).  Una has extensive lobbying experience both at National and European levels.

Dr Han Shao, Postdoctoral Researcher, Tyndall Institute

Dr. Han Shao is a highly accomplished researcher and academic with a distinguished background in Chemistry. She earned her PhD from University College Cork in 2018 and currently holds a position as a researcher at the Tyndall National Institute in Cork, Ireland. Her work primarily focuses on the development of nanomaterial-based electrochemical sensors, with a particular emphasis on their application in diverse agricultural contexts. Her groundbreaking work has garnered significant recognition, including the Research Emerging from a 3rd Level Institution Award at the National Ploughing Championships 2022 and the UCC Innovator of the Year award in the same year. In 2023, Han and the team has submitted a patent for their innovative soil nutrient sensor, marking a significant milestone in her career. Since 2018, she has been an academic collaborator with the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) VistaMilk research center, actively participating in numerous engagement events with academic experts, multinational companies, key stakeholders, and the public. From 2021 to 2023, Han served as an IRC-EPS Postdoctoral Research Fellow, collaborating with Pepsi Co on the development of sensors for beverage quality monitoring along the production line. Her commitment to global collaboration is further demonstrated by her role as a core team member of the Smart System Integration (SSI) committee within the European Union since 2022. Han’s leadership extends to the international stage, as she was the WiSe co-chair at the IEEE APSCON 2024 conference. Her dedication to advancing research, fostering collaboration, and contributing to technological innovation positions her as a respected and influential figure in the scientific community.

Michelle McDaid, Co-Founder, TrustWorki 

An experienced Technology leader who excels at inspiring global distributed product development teams to deliver innovative high quality solutions that drive exceptional results. As Co-Founder of tech start-up TrustWorki, Michelle has a vision to foster innovation and successful business outcomes, by enabling inclusive workplaces of high trust and psychological safety. Michelle has led software engineering teams across Fintech and HR tech, most recently as Senior Director of Engineering at Workhuman, and previously at Fidelity Investments and AIB. At TrustWorki, Michelle brings her experience to bear in supporting businesses in creating workplace environments which empower high performance. Michelle is passionate about DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging), with a special interest in Gender Equity and Women in STEM. Through her senior roles in technology, Michelle has championed ERGs (Employee Resource Groups), and has led many initiatives which delivered tangible DEIB results. An advocate for lifelong learning, Michelle is currently undertaking an MSc in Work & Organisational Behaviour at DCU. A qualified coach and experienced people leader, Michelle thrives on building relationships that foster collaboration and innovation. Michelle is an active member of WITS (Women in Technology & Science), a mentor on STEM Passport for Inclusion programme with NUI Maynooth, and a former mentor on TU Dublin Saer Mentorship Programme. Michelle completed the Board Ready programme 2023 run by 30% Club Ireland and Deloitte. A finalist in Leaders category in Everywoman in Technology Awards 2022 and in Trailblazer category in the 2019 Women in Tech Awards. Michelle is a regular speaker on podcasts, panels and webinars.

Lorraine Hanlon, Director, Centre for Space Research, University College Dublin (UCD)

Lorraine Hanlon is Full Professor of Astronomy at University College Dublin (UCD) and  Director of UCD’s Centre for Space Research. She did her undergraduate (BSc) and graduate (MSc and PhD) degrees in Experimental Physics and was a research fellow at the European Space Agency (ESA) Technology Research Centre in the Netherlands for 3 years, conducting research in high energy astrophysics. She joined the academic staff of UCD in 1996, serving as Head of the School of Physics between 2008 and 2011. Lorraine has served on numerous national and international committees related to space research, most recently as Chair of ESA’s Astronomy Working Group.  She also serves as science advisor to the Irish delegation to the ESA Science Programme Committee. Lorraine is the Endorsing Professor for EIRSAT-1, Ireland’s first satellite, developed by an interdisciplinary team of UCD students and staff with the support of ESA’s ‘Fly Your Satellite!’ programme. EIRSAT-1 was successfully launched on December 1st 2023 and is now in low Earth orbit.

Dr Emma Britton, Lecturer in Civil Engineering, Atlantic Technological University

Emma Britton holds a PhD in Civil Engineering and is a lecturer in Civil Engineering at ATU. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Higher Education Authority with a particular interest in the learning styles of students. Prior to commencing employment with ATU, Emma held a Senior Lecturer post with the University of South Wales, where she worked closely with students on a Network 75 Civil Engineering programme. Network 75 is a combined work and study route to a degree. This mode of delivery was of great interest to Emma as the benefits to both the learner and the employer of learning on the job were clear. Upon returning to Ireland Emma began discussions with industry to investigate if a similar model could be developed for the industry here. Emma has, for the past two years, been seconded to the development of Irelands first consortium led apprenticeships in Civil Engineering at Higher Certificate (Level 6) and Bachelor of Engineering (Level 7).  The development of the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) (Level 8) and the Master of Engineering (Level 9) are currently under development and expected to be ready for intake in September 2025. Once complete a progression path will be available from level 6 through to 9 via the apprenticeship route (max 3 years at any level). It is hoped this flexible pathway will entice more women into the profession as it allows learners to pause and restart their learning journey at a pace that works for them.  She is actively engaged in encouraging young people to take up careers in the industry and is a strong advocate for women to get involved in Civil Engineering. 

Jennifer McGarry, Teacher, Alexandra College Junior School

Jennifer McGarry is a dedicated primary school teacher with a unique background. After graduating with a BA in Economics, Finance and German from Maynooth University in 2007, she initially worked in private industry. However, she made the move to primary teaching and completed her Masters in Primary Education with Marino Institute of Education in 2017. During her time here, Jennifer discovered the STEM framework of education which she has passionately pursued ever since. Now, with further studies completed in the areas of computer science and digital learning, Jennifer is leading the development of a Creative Technologies Programme at Alexandra College Junior School, an all-girls primary school based in Milltown, Co. Dublin. This exciting programme is for all classes, from Junior Infants right up to 6th class and aims to help build interest, confidence and competence in the STEM subjects among students and teachers.

John Keaney, CEO, SIRO

John Keaney was appointed CEO of SIRO in November 2018, having served as Finance Director with the company since it’s establishment by ESB and Vodafone in 2014. Before that John worked with Vodafone Ireland for ten years where he held several senior positions including Head of Financial Operations and Financial Controller. Before joining Vodafone in 2004, John was a senior manager with Deloitte in London. He holds an Economics degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science. SIRO is building a 100% Fibre-to-the-Premises network in Ireland, currently offering speeds of up to 2 Gigabits for residential and up to 10 Gigabits for commercial premises. To date, SIRO network’s reaches over 550,000 premises across 135 Irish cities and towns across Ireland. SIRO’s full fibre network is built using the existing electricity network, promoting greater sustainability and the circular economy. As CEO, John leads SIRO to set the standard in the provision of the highest quality, most resilient and future-proofed broadband connectivity available on the Irish market. John is also committed to ensuring that SIRO’s culture is one of innovation, environmental and social responsibility, and promotion of diversity and inclusion. John won the Male Champion of Change Award at the 2023 Women in STEM Awards in recognition of his and his team’s dedication to promoting equality in the workplace.

Gillian Harford, Country Executive, 30% Club Ireland

Gillian Harford is a senior HR Executive who works directly with client organisations focusing on diversity and workplace change. Sponsored by EY she also operates as the Country Executive for the 30% Club, a global campaign supported by Chairs and CEOs driving gender balance on Boards and at cSuite. Gillian is the former Head of HR Strategy & Planning with AIB where, with a career spanning almost 40 years, she has been responsible for significant people change with particular focus on Culture, Career, Diversity and Agile Work. Gillian holds a BA, an MBA from Michael Smurfit Business School UCD, and the Professional Diploma in Corporate Governance, UCD. She is a member of the Institute of Directors, fellow of CIPD, and a fellow of the Institute of Bankers. Gillian is a member of the Board for the Central Remedial Clinic and an Advisory Group member for the government-based initiatives Balance for Better Business and the Women in Finance Charter.

Eilish McLoughlin, Associate Professor and Head of School of Physical Sciences, Dublin City University 

Dr Eilish McLoughlin is an Associate Professor and Head of School of Physical Sciences at Dublin City University. Her research interests focus on physics and STEM education at all levels of education. She is a principal investigator with three DCU Research Centre – Centre for the Advancement of STEM Teaching and Learning (CASTeL), Centre for Engaged Research and DCU Water Institute. She has led and collaborated in a wide range of research projects at European and national level that examine active pedagogies, integrated STEM learning, curriculum development and assessment, and teacher professional learning. She is Founding Director of the STEM Teacher Internship (STInt) Progamme which places pre-service primary and post-primary teachers into STEM roles for paid summer internships. The programme’s mission is to promote STEM education and inspire innovative learning by facilitating collaborative partnerships between key stakeholders in schools, Universities and industry. She has received international recognition for her leadership in STEM Education, including Science Foundation Ireland Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communication, 2019; Institute of Physics Lise Meitner Medal, 2019; Institute of Physics Medal, 2022; Women in STEM Outstanding Achievement Award 2023.

Sandra Healy, CEO & Founder, inclusio

Sandra Healy is CEO and founder of inclusio, the scientific Diversity and Culture software platform. Sandra’s career spanned 20 years in the global telecoms industry and five years at Dublin City University, where she established the DCU Centre of Excellence for Diversity and Inclusion and in 2020, spun-out inclusio. Sandra is an Organisational Psychologist and NLP Master Practitioner. Over the past 18 years she has championed and driven diversity and inclusion practice across industry and is considered a leading expert. In 2014, she was involved in establishing the EU Diversity Charter Ireland. In 2020 Sandra was a member of the Expert Advisory Group for Ireland’s Citizens Assembly on Gender Equality and is on the Leadership Advisory Council for An Garda Síochána.

Graham Abell, VP, Software Engineering & Site Lead, Workday Ireland

Graham Abell, VP, Software Engineering and Site Lead, Workday Ireland, Graham has 20 years’ experience with technology innovators and is currently VP, software engineering at Workday and site lead for Workday in Ireland. A fascination with creativity led him from Lego to building his own computer machines as a teenager, prompting a career in technology. Graham attended Trinity College Dublin to study Information & Communication Technologies, graduating in 2003. He subsequently developed his career with innovative organisations both local and global, from GE Energy and AIG to Fenergo and Paddy Power (Flutter). Since joining Workday in 2016, Graham has managed and now leads diverse teams across multiple geographies. Currently as vice president, customer success platform, Graham leads a team of over 150 talented people located globally. Graham was appointed Site Lead for the Irish operations in 2022; an ambassador and advocate responsible for the growth and success of the 1,800-strong campus at Workday’s European headquarters in Smithfield, Dublin 7 and Dockline Building, Dublin 1. Outside of his day job, Graham is a fanatical foodie and sourdough creator, who spends time experimenting with his 3D printer and enjoys cooking for friends and family. He lives in Rathgar in Dublin with his wife Elaine and his young son and daughter.

Carol Andrews, Managing Director, Bank of New York Mellon, Co-Chair, Balance for Better Business

Carol Andrews is Managing Director and Global Head of Client Service Delivery, Asset Servicing BNY Mellon. In her current position she is responsible for Client Service, a team with a view across BNY Mellon’s Asset servicing franchise for all products including Custody, Fund Services and Middle Office. Carol is a graduate of the Women’s Leadership Forum, a Harvard Business School leadership development programme, a Certified Investment Fund Director (CIFD), MIT Sloan Blockchain Technologies Business Innovation and application certificate and holds a Masters (MSC) in Business Practice from the Irish Management Institute. Most recently qualified as International Director from INSEAD Paris. Carol is a founder, previous Country Lead and a current Advisory committee member of the 30% Club Ireland, an organization aimed at achieving better gender balance at all levels in leading businesses. She is currently the co-chair for Balance for Better Business (a government led initiative to increase gender balance in business). Carol is currently a member of the Advisory Council for Irish Management Institute, and a board member of the Bank of Ireland Gold Sovereign Programme Committee.

Abigail Ruth Freeman, Director, Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)

Dr Abigail Ruth Freeman is the Director of Science for Society at Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish government’s largest funder of research. She oversees Individual-led Research Programmes and Centres for Research Training, Challenge-based Research Programmes and leads the Education and Public Engagement brief at the Foundation. Ruth is a frequent voice on media and is currently a weekly contributor to The Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk radio. Prior to her current appointment Ruth has held a series of positions at SFI. She was appointed Director of Strategy and Communications in 2013, after previous roles as Director of Innovation, Communications and Education, and Director of Programmes, Enterprise and International Affairs. Ruth joined SFI as a Scientific Programme Manager in November 2006. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked as a researcher at Trinity College Dublin. Ruth holds a BA (Mod) and PhD in Genetics and a post-graduate diploma in Statistics from Trinity College Dublin, where she was awarded a Trinity scholarship, the Eli Lilly Chemistry Prize and the Roberts prize for Biology.

Sonya Lennon, Entrepreneur and thought leader for workplace equality

Sonya Lennon has thirty years of experience in business as a creative director, designer, broadcaster, entrepreneur, strategic consultant and speaker. A multi-award-winning Social Entrepreneur, Sonya founded the global not for profit initiative Dress for Success ( now Work Equal) in Ireland in 2011 which has successfully supported over 3,000 women into employment and economic independence. Through her advocacy work, she has campaigned at a European level for gender equality in the workplace by addressing the Gender Pay & Opportunity Gap. Since 2016, Sonya has led the highly publicised #WorkEqual campaign in Ireland. Through this campaign, she has spearheaded public awareness, highlighted legacy and cultural issues that prevent workplace equality and focussed on solutions to address them. Sonya has presented the issue on multiple occasions to the Irish Government. The inaugural #WorkEqual Conference in 2019 saw her bring together international speakers and diverse stakeholders to ratify priority issues and recommendations. This culminated in a post-conference report titled Practical Steps to Workplace Equality co-authored with Professor Michelle Millar NUIG. This document has been submitted to the government as a framework to accelerate positive change. Sonya is solution focussed, iterative and innovative but always grounded by a value in human relationships and understanding how to maximise the potential of business and people. Sonya lives her life and works with a profound sense of curiosity and joy matched with an infectious laugh and a razor-sharp wit.

Jean O’Donnell, Chair, Women in Technology & Science (WITS) 

Jean O’Donnell is the Chair of Women in Technology & Science Ireland. She is also an award winning Technology Employee Engagement and Talent Development Leader with significant experience designing and implementing Employee Experience & Capability Development Strategies. She has over 15 years tech sector experience with a deep understanding of the importance of technology in driving and supporting business. Jean is passionate about equity, inclusion and diversity. Holding a Masters in Coaching from UCC, she has supported many women on their journey back to the workplace after a career break.

Tracey Jane Cassidy, Founder & CEO, Junior Einsteins Club

With over a decade of experience as a STEM education leader, the Founder and CEO of Junior Einsteins Science Club® has dedicated herself to nurturing a lifelong love of learning in ‘Junior Einsteins,’ sparking their innate curiosity and creativity. At the helm of Junior Einsteins Science Club®, she leads a team of Junior Einsteins owner operators, orchestrating high-energy STEM events for primary school children. The internationally successful franchise has impacted thousands of children, collaborating notably with The United Nations. A speaker at the United Nations ‘International Women and Girls in Science Day’ in 2020, she extended girls in STEM worldwide, and her efforts garnered recognition, including winning first prize at the International VOOM 2018 Richard Branson Virgin Media Business Awards. She was honored to be recognised as the winner of the ‘STEM Woman of the Year Award 2023 Impact Award’ in Ireland. Acknowledgment at The Franchise Awards Ireland attests to her dedication to excellence. Academically, Tracey-Jane holds a Masters Degree in Natural Science from Trinity College Dublin, an MSC in Medical Microbiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a Negotiation Mastery certificate from Harvard Business School.

Hazel Murray, Cyber Security Lecturer and Researcher, Munster Technological University (MTU)

Dr. Hazel Murray is a cyber security researcher with research interests in password security, authentication, quantum cryptography and local differential privacy. She is currently a cybersecurity lecturer as part of the CyberSkills project at Munster Technological University. Hazel leads the Cyber Safety research group whose goal is to improve the cyber-safety of vulnerable members of society through the development of tailored and accessible security guidance.  She also leads the Digital resilience for SMEs research group which aims to improve the security resilience of Irish SMEs to protect their business, social and global interests and responsibilities. Hazel established and leads the QCloud project which enables free, scalable access to quantum computing to Irish researchers. Hazel completed her PhD in Mathematics at Maynooth University under an Irish Research Council GOI Postgraduate Scholarship. She has worked as a visiting researcher at the University of Chicago working on practical implementations of local differential privacy. She previously worked as a cryptography lecturer at Dublin City University. Her undergraduate degree is in Mathematics Education from Maynooth University.

Dr Tanya Mulcahy, Director, Health Innovation Hub Ireland and Founder, Femtech Ireland

Tanya is Director of Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI) and founder of Ireland’s first FemTech Ecosystem. She graduated from University College Cork with an honours degree in Biochemistry before completing a PhD in Cancer Genetics followed by postdoctoral research in Trinity College Dublin, in the field of Neuropsychiatric Genetics. She has over 30 years’ experience in the start-up, pharma, product development and research industry in Ireland and the US. In 2021 she was appointed by the Minister for Health to the HPRA  Medical Device Advisory Committee, she is an Advisory Committee member of the National Clinical Trials Office (NCTO) and she is an independent advisor to a number of HealthTech start-ups. She is particularly interested in supporting female founders and those innovating in women’s health.  Health Innovation Hub Ireland is a national initiative supported by Enterprise Ireland and the HSE and led by University College Cork, HIHI supports the development of innovative healthcare solutions and supports the implementation of these within the Irish healthcare system. Tanya founded FemTech @Health Innovation Hub Ireland in 2022. Femtech Ireland is the first FemTech ecosystem aimed at innovation in the area of women’s health in Ireland. In particular, FemTech Ireland’s goal is to enable the conversation around unmet needs in women’s health, to support the development of new products and services to address those needs and to ensure that Ireland’s innovators in women’s health are part of the rapidly growing global FemTech movement.

Dr Nicola Stokes, Chief Technologist, International Financial Services, IDA Ireland

Dr Nicola Stokes is IDA’s Chief Technologist for International Financial Services where she has responsible for identifying and winning FDI financial technology investments. Nicola is an AI Tech expert with 15 years’ experience managing AI R&D projects in diverse domains such as life sciences, health informatics, smart cities, and media analytics. She has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, has published over 50+ peer reviewed publications in AI, and has won awards for her research. Nicola is also a member of the Government’s Expert Groups for Future Skills Needs in Artificial Intelligence and AI Regulation, and is also on their Fintech Steering Committee. In 2021, she was awarded IT Leader of the Year at the Women in Tech Excellence Awards.

Sheila Porter, Founder and CEO, SciFest

Sheila Porter is the founder and CEO of SciFest, an innovative, all-inclusive programme of STEM fairs which take place at local, regional and national levels. As a science teacher Sheila recognised the importance of STEM fair participation in encouraging in all students a love of the STEM subjects and in generating a spirit of inquiry, innovation and entrepreneurship. Her vision was of a national STEM fair programme that would be inclusive, accessible, free to enter and open to all second-level students. She launched the SciFest programme in the Institute of Technology Tallaght, now TU Dublin, in 2006 and took it nationwide in 2008. From the one fair in IT Tallaght the SciFest programme has expanded to well over 100 fairs and more than 12,000 students participating annually. Since 2006 over 100,000 students have participated in one or more levels of the programme, approximately 60% of whom are female. Each year the overall winners at the SciFest National Final go on to represent Ireland in international competitions with great success. For her work in promoting STEM in second-level schools Sheila has been awarded an Intel Ireland Educator of Excellence Award on three separate occasions, a British Council Science Travel Award, the ISTA PharmaChemical Ireland Science Educator of the Year Award and, in 2023, the Women in STEM Mentor of the Year Award.

Jennifer Cox, Director for Ireland, Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) UK & Ireland

Jennifer Cox has over 18 years of experience in tech and in the Cyber Security industry. She supports her team who work with techies across all of EMEA in enabling best practices and cyber exposure prevention. Jennifer is the Head of Communications for Cyber Women Ireland, an Ambassador for Wentors global mentorship programme, an active member of WITS Ireland (Women in Technology and Science Ireland), WomenTech Community and WiCyS Global (Women in Cyber Security) and works hard to insure diversity and inclusion within her industry by partaking in roles such as Judging at the Coolest Projects event for kids in the RDS, launching a mentoring project in Tenable, speaking at events such as BSides Dublin, WomenTech Global, BBWIC, CWiCS (Cisco Women in Cyber Security), CBF Fest (Coding Black Females Fest) HexCon, UK CyberWeek, WiCyS Global and more.

Eva Gallagher, Site Lead, MSD Carlow

With 20 years’ experience in the biopharma industry, Eva has held a wide range of roles in Technical Operations, Manufacturing, Quality Control, Analytical Development and Commercialisation all across the global MSD network. In 2020 Eva was appointed Site Lead at MSD Dunboyne, MSD Ireland’s newest manufacturing and R&D facility located in Co Meath. Having successfully managed the integration of MSD Dunboyne to the MSD network and overseen the development of a world-class biologics innovation acceleration research facility, (BioNX), in November 2023 Eva was appointed Site Lead at MSD Carlow. MSD Carlow is MSD’s largest filling site for the launch and commercial supply of vaccines, biologics and small molecule drug product, playing a vital role in connecting MSD’s innovative product portfolio with people and patients all over the world.

Mary McMahon, Scrum Master, Fidelity Investments Ireland

Mary McMahon is a Galway native with a B.Sc in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin, a Diploma in Software Engineering from ATU, and a H.Dip in Primary Education from Hibernia College. She is certified as an Amazon Web Services Cloud Practitioner, a Registered Scrum@Scale Practitioner, and holds a Professional Scrum Master license. Mary started her career in technology, working at AIB, Saville, and Intec Billing before pivoting to become a Primary School Teacher in 2010. She spent almost 10 years in that role, which allowed her more time at home with her two sets of twin girls during their childhood. In 2020, Mary became a Certified Scrum Master and joined Fidelity Investments, where she focuses on developing an agile mindset for creating, delivering, and sustaining complex products and services. She is a key contributor to Fidelity Ireland’s Work Experience Program, Root2STEM, which encourages students to pursue STEM careers through an immersive program. Mary recently worked closely with the CSInc team in TU Dublin in developing an 8 hour ‘Introduction to Cyber Security’ Learning Module which was recently launched on the universities CSInc Learning Platform and is available to all Secondary Schools throughout the country. In her down time Mary likes to travel and coach camogie in her local GAA Club, Castlegar GAA.

Rachael O’Boyle, Operations Engineer, Energia Group

Rachael O’Boyle is an Operations Engineer at Energia Group. Since joining the Graduate Programme in 2020, she has become a key player in several major innovations. During her time at Huntstown Power station she was heavily involved in the return of service to the Unit 2 transformer while also achieving a Distinction in Combined Cycle Power Plant Operation. In Renewables Operations, Rachael has developed models using WindPRO software to optimize operational issues, resulting in increased turbine productivity. Rachael has also been involved in integrating new technologies such as a hydrogen production and battery storage into the business. Before joining Energia, Rachael already demonstrated excellence in engineering. She earned 2nd place at the BT Young Scientist Award for designing and manufacturing a Time Compressed Transport Tester. Additionally, she achieved a first-class honours for her Masters in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Queens University. At university, Rachael was awarded a Caterpillar NI scholarship and for her dissertation, she designed and implemented Predictive Maintenance for Manufacturing Systems at Caterpillar Larne, where she was the youngest female manufacturing engineer to lead an assembly line. In her final year at University, she was accepted into an Electronics, Electrical, Engineering, and Computer Science Women’s Leadership Programme. Rachael is a strong advocate for women in STEM, encouraging young females to pursue careers in engineering. She has been involved in school literacy programmes and STEM student mentoring as well as leading the Early Career circle of the Women In Energy Network at Energia

Emma Quigley, Engineering Student, University of Nottingham

Emma Quigley is an undergraduate civil engineering student studying towards a bachelor of engineering degree at Nottingham University, UK.  She also has albinism, a condition which causes photo sensitivity and severe sight impairment.  She is the first severely sight impaired student to study civil engineering at Nottingham University and has now become a disability advisor to the University’s engineering department to help improve accessibility for future undergraduates. She particularly enjoys the topics of sustainability, risk management and the science behind weather prediction. Her final dissertation has focused on the genesis of extreme weather events with a view to improving risk management methodologies within the construction industry.  Although she has not decided on a definitive post-graduation career path, she is passionate to continue her work to increase inclusivity in the STEM workplace for women with disabilities.  She has spent two summer internships working for a management consultancy in London, Innvent Ltd. where she used her civil engineering background to identify areas of innovation within construction companies in order to support their applications for corporate tax incentives.  Outside of her academic studies, Emma is a member of the university women’s GAA team and is a keen skier. 

Louise Callanan, Chief Information Officer, Assistant National Director, eHealth Director HSE South West

Louise Callanan was awarded the first inaugural STEM Woman of the Year award in 2023 and is the first female CIO and eHealth Director in the HSE. She is passionate about streamlined patient pathways through integrated care and evidence based investment decisions to optimise patient outcomes. She is responsible for the HSE eHealth Strategy and Implementation Plan for the HSE South West region. Louise is implementing effective governance for eHealth, Digital and ICT across acute, integrated care and community services so that effective decisions can be made for eHealth investment. Louise is an established CIO and recognised leader in IT Strategy development and implementation for some of the largest private and public sector organisations in Ireland, the UK and the United States. She is a renowned keynote speaker at CIO and Cyber Security Summit’s, the Project Management Institute Congress, Information Systems Audit and Control Association Conferences. A UCC and MTU alumni, Louise holds a Master of Science, MSc. in Project Management, BIS, BBS and is a Member of PMI Ireland Chapter, Member of ISACA Ireland Chapter and Member of UCC Alumni. Together with her academic partners, Louise established STEM graduate programmes, micro accreditations and masters programmes and is an established visiting lecturer and guest speaker.

Jeevantika Lingalwar, Founder, International Women in Tech

Jeevantika Lingalwar is a Cloud Solution Architect in Microsoft. Jeevantika is also D&I gender pillar Advocate in Microsoft Ireland Sub. She is a Msc. In Cloud Computing and a B.E in Computer Science Engineering. Jeevantika is very passionate about Women in Technology and Diversity & Inclusion. She founded International Women in Tech group and is leading a community of more than 5800 amazing members. She is a technology speaker and talks about the trending technology like AI and Quantum Computing. Jeevantika is very determined to help and motivate young minds, she is a mentor to 60 young kids aged 8-15 years and teaches them about “Future in/of AI”. Jeevantika also has her own free mentorship program called as “Coffee chat with Jeevantika. She recently Started her own podcast called – The Unplanned Journey: Thriving amidst the Unpredictable that celebrates the resilience of women navigating unexpected paths in life, shedding light on the challenges faced in careers, personal growth, and societal expectations. Jeevantika is a mentor to international university students in Ireland. Jeevantika also inspires and motivates young girls to embark on rewarding careers in STEM, fostering a passion for innovation and exploration. Jeevantika is also nominated for various women in tech leadership awards in Ireland. An entrepreneur, leader, and a Tech speaker Jeevantika is passionate about helping others grow and share her experience and knowledge with everyone.

Caroline Cawley, CEO, Innovation Technology AtlanTec Gateway (itag)

CEO and board member of itag (Innovation Technology AtlanTec Gateway) since 2002, Caroline leads Ireland’s largest industry-led community of indigenous and multinational technology companies along the AtlanTec Gateway, Ireland. Itag is a thriving community of technologists, innovators and influencers. With a 20-year history, itag members are leaders in tech collaboration, connecting through networking events, tech talks and social events. Caroline is the promoter of itag Skillnet which provides member companies with upskilling opportunities for leadership and future skills development, ensuring innovative training and development activities for engineering and ICT staff. Itag Skillnet is the largest tech network and last year trained in excess of 3,000 staff.

Destiny Ayo Vaughan, Founder, Mind the Gap

Destiny Ayo Vaughan, is a recent graduate from the University of Aberdeen with an MSc in Psychological Studies, Inspired by her studies, she founded Mind the Gap Ireland (MTGI) the nation’s first anonymous story platform for survivors of sexual violence, amplifying silenced voices, building a supportive community that aids hundreds annually. Through this initiative, she leverages social media and AI to amplify Mind The Gap Ireland social impact, inspiring others to use AI to enact meaningful change. Recognised as Activist of the Year at the Black And Irish Gala Awards, Destiny’s visionary leadership earned her a place among the “50 Ones to Watch” in 2023 by the Irish Independent and Nominated for the Goss.ie Women of the Year for social impact.

Patrick Murphy CEO, Codex Office Solutions

A driven and out-of-the-box thinker, Patrick Murphy is delighted to achieve significant milestones with an exceptional team. Proudly leading Ireland’s No. 1 workplace products and solutions supplier, helping Irish businesses however and wherever they work. As the CEO of Codex, Patrick prioritises people. The company was founded in 1979 by Patrick’s father Brendan, who saw the need for reliable, good value, service-driven office products. In a remarkable journey with Codex, Patrick transitioned from holiday jobs and weekend work to joining the company full-time as Sales Manager in 2011, advancing to Director of Operations in 2014, and taking over as CEO in 2019. Proudly solidifying his commitment, he officially took ownership of Codex in 2023. Now named one of Ireland’s Best Managed Companies, he continues to build on the core values that underpin Codex – ambition, customer first, innovation, integrity, and belonging. Codex is dedicated to fostering a workplace culture that empowers employees, earning acclaim as one of Ireland’s Best WorkplacesTM since 2017. Patrick takes pride in the positive company culture and commitment to enduring customer relationships. With 90+ employees and a €36 million annual turnover, Codex, under Patrick’s leadership, is poised for ambitious growth. Patrick is proud to lead a family-owned Irish business with a dedicated and ambitious team, always focused on growth, innovation, and building for the future.

Emma Callinan, Director of Commercialisation, Enterprise Ireland

Emma joined Enterprise Ireland in January 2023, as Director of Manufacturing Technology with responsibility for developing Enterprise Ireland’s Manufacturing Technology strategy and driving early engagement and support. In October 2023, she became the Director of Commercialisation. She is now responsible for Enterprise Ireland’s strategic commercialisation fund and the team of commercialisation specialists, who engage with Ireland’s researchers, by funding and supporting their research from lab to market, delivering High Potential Start-Ups into the Irish Economy. Emma came to Enterprise Ireland with over 15 years international industrial operations experience, primarily in Life Sciences, having worked most recently with FIRE1, a med tech start-up based in Dublin, for nearly 6 years, as Director of Manufacturing and Supply Chain, responsible for the design, development, and implementation of a manufacturing and supply chain strategy from foundation to early scaling. Previous industry experience includes working with Boston Scientific, Abbott, Cadburys and Cochlear across Ireland, Australia, and US sites in various operational management roles. Consequently, she has well exercised technical expertise and practice in researching, assessing, and implementing operationally transformative projects along with a deep understanding of the softer skills required to implement such changes across cultures. Additionally, she has contributed to other industrial bodies through the IBEC MTE Leadership Development task force and IBEC “Women’s Relaunch Program”, as well as volunteering as a mentor in the European STRADA’s “Women In Manufacturing”. Emma has also been recognised as a female leader in the Digital Health sector as part of IBEC’s Recognition of Women in Technology program.

Kara Foley, Petty Officer, Radio Radar Technician, Irish Naval Service

Kara Foley is a Radio Radar Technician in the Irish Defence Forces. She joined the Irish Naval Service in 2002. After training and serving as a communications operator afloat for 2 years she completed a BEng in Cork Institute of Technology in Electronic Engineering and qualified as a Radio Radar Technician in the Irish Naval Service. Since qualifying she has served both ashore and afloat as a technician. She is the first and only female Radio Radar Technician to reach the rank of Petty Officer in the Naval Service. While serving ashore she has taken charge of many communications refits for different ships and provided shore based support for ships at sea. Her most recent deployment afloat saw her travelling to the Mediterranean on Operation IRINI (EUNAVFORMED), where her ship worked with other foreign navies, to help enforce the arms embargo on Libya. She was also part of the crew on board LE William Butler Yeats for the detention of MV Matthew and the seizure of an estimated €157m worth of cocaine – the largest ever drugs seizure in the state! She is currently serving afloat on the LE James Joyce.

Caitríona Mordan, Cluster Manager, Advanced Technologies in Manufacturing (atim)

Caitríona Mordan, an accomplished leader, is deeply committed to driving innovation and bolstering competitiveness within the manufacturing sector. As Manager for the ATIM (Advanced Technologies in Manufacturing) Cluster, Caitríona has played a pivotal role in accelerating industry digital and sustainable transformation of 70+ companies since the cluster’s inception in 2021. Notably, she led the inception of Dreambig (Digitalisation, Robotics, Engineering, Automation, Manufacturing) in May 2023, bringing together leading manufacturing companies to address the challenge of engaging youth in the sector, with a keen focus on diversity and inclusion. With a diverse career spanning roles such as EU Project Officer at the ADAPT Centre (The Irish Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence) and Dublin City University, Caitríona boasts a proven track record of facilitating collaborative projects and implementing impactful frameworks. Serving as Communications and Public Engagement Manager at Engineers Ireland, she has championed national educational outreach programs and promoted STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives. Caitríona advocates for curriculum-grounded, industry-informed and community-based programmes to ensure that companies and regions can effectively engage diverse talent pools and achieve their growth ambitions effectively.

Tina Raleigh, Head of Offshore Wind, Statkraft Ireland

Tina Raleigh is Head of Offshore at Statkraft Ireland. She joined the company in 2019 and has since progressed from project manager to her current role. As Head of Offshore, she oversees the development of Statkraft’s Irish offshore wind portfolio – supporting Ireland to reach its target of having 5 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Tina studied Civil and Environmental Engineering at University College Cork.

Lieutenant Eva Finn, Platoon Commander, 2 Brigade CIS, Irish Defence Forces

Eva Finn is a Platoon Commander within the Communications Information Services (CIS) Corp in the Irish Defence Forces. She was commissioned with the 96th Cadet Class in March of 2021 after 18 months of training. She went on to serve in the CIS Corp for the following six months. She is currently in her third year, studying Mechatronic Engineering in Dublin City University. She will start her work placement with the No 4 Support Wing in the Irish Air Corp in the coming weeks. After completing college, Eva hopes to complete a CIS Young Officer’s Course which will enable her to serve at home with the CIS Corps and also overseas in a specialist communications role with the United Nations.

Lye Ogunsanya

Lye Ogunsanya, IUSA Emerging Leader 2022

Lye Ogunsanya is a US State Dept IVLP Alumni, a former Mobile telecoms executive and a UNICEF Champion for children Awardee. He is a hands-on advocate for building the change needed in the dual-technology space and has extensive experience of philanthropic change driven programs in the EMEA. He was awarded the IUSA Emerging Leader 2022 for his contributions to society and Irish USA relations. Lye is currently cofounder at FieldLab+ and Director of Innovation at Offset Fashion where he is harnessing the power of AI for circularity and female-led decarbonisation efforts. He is EX-Sony Ericsson, LG Electronics, Smart Dublin and was Founding CEO at Didean where he successfully contributed to the Irish government’s accommodation policy and services within the Refugee/International Protection applicant service sector in Ireland.