Governance Committee

The primary function of this committee is to ensure that CONFIRM operates inline with best practice by adhering to the rules and regulation of our funding body SFI.



Global ICT Expert | Nautilus Senior Advisor | Past CIO of Kerry Group | Creating Strategic Alliances | Tech + Innovation Senior Technology Executive with 30+ years of influential and innovative leadership in speciality food technology, beverage and pharmaceutical industries. Strategic Change Agent able to drive large-scale, cross-cultural, trans-continental transformations that bring people together, deliver measurable gains, and position companies as innovators and industry leaders. Senior Business Advisor to the global pioneer in data centre technology, Nautilus, which partnered with the US Navy, Applied Materials Inc., and Veolia for the first successful water-borne data centre operation. Former Group CIO and Senior Vice President of Kerry Group, multi-national and leading player in the global food and beverage industry. Committed to mentoring people with great passion and enthusiasm to achieve success.

Conor McCarthy

Centre Director & Principal Investigator

Having grown up in Glasnevin, Dublin, Professor Conor McCarthy has spent the best part of the last 20 years in the Mid-west region carrying out research into joining dissimilar materials for high-end industrial applications. Now residing in the lakeside town of Ballina, Co Tipperary, Professor McCarthy is the Centre Director for Confirm – Smart manufacturing, a new major national SFI research centre focused on Smart manufacturing technologies.

Brian Evans

Head of Manufacturing Sector, Business Banking, Bank of Ireland. Enabling Business Banking growth in Irish Manufacturing.

An insightful, strategic and approachable senior manager comfortable in managing large spans of control and multiple projects including product development, manufacturing and the design and re-engineering of processes. An accomplished leader with excellent communication skills capable of breaking down complexity, building productive relationships and creating stakeholder value. A results oriented manager that consistently achieves stretch goals by bringing out the best in people. Operations Director for Multinational Supply Chain and Product Development company based in China for the past 20 months, responsible for the development, manufacturing and shipment of consumer electronics accessories for high end brand products. Held Manufacturing and Engineering management positions in 4 Multi-nationals in Ireland over a period of 25 years Managed start-up and mature businesses. Continuously achieves Process Improvement and Cost Improvement in organisations Developed and implemented Performance Management systems Managed large organisations and large budgets Very experienced in resolving performance issues in operations management, service organizations and people management Qualified with MBA from Dublin City University (DCU) and lectured part time on MBA and Undergraduate degree programs in DCU, specializing in Process Innovation Management and Project Management. Specialties: Management Processes; Product Development; Management Value; Manufacturing Management; Process Management; Project Management; Continuous Improvement Management; Process Innovation; Performance Management; Management Development; Communications; People Management.

Paul Killeen

Research, Innovation, Enterprise Development and International Standardisation Leader

Standards help bridge the gap between R&D & Innovation activities and global market impact by building customer trust and confidence in innovative new product-service solutions. Early and active engagement in international standards development helps to de-risk and accelerate your RDI activities and enable faster mass-market adoption of your products-services by customers across competitive international markets. Hence, EU and National policy emphasises the importance of standards as a source of competitive advantage for companies of all types and sizes, across all sectors.

Rachel Shelly

Head of Medical Technologies @ IDA Ireland

Bachelors Degree in Marketing Management and MSc. in Strategic Management. Experienced inward investment professional; including five years based in New York managing IDA's Content, Consumer and Global Business Services portfolio across nine states. Managed strategic relationships with some of the US' leading Digital, B2C and Professional Services firms. Now leading IDA's Medical Technologies team - working with the world's top Life Sciences companies, and promoting Ireland as the destination for their international manufacturing, innovation and services strategies. Specialties: International location strategies, digital and business transformation, global business services, R&D collaboration and supports, FDI incentives.

Anita Maguire

Vice President for Research & Innovation and Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University College Cork

Anita Maguire undertook undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Chemistry at UCC (B.Sc. 1985, Ph.D. 1989). Following postdoctoral research first at Namur, Belgium then at the University of Exeter, UK she returned to the Department of Chemistry in UCC in 1991, initially as a College Lecturer, then Associate Professor in Organic Chemistry in 2002, and was appointed in 2004 to the newly-established Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, jointly in the Department of Chemistry and the School of Pharmacy, playing a leading role in development of the School of Pharmacy in recent years. Since her appointment at UCC she has played a strategic role in the development of teaching and learning, including the introduction of Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at undergraduate level for the first time. Over the past twenty four years at UCC she has led an active research team focusing on synthetic organic and pharmaceutical chemistry, which interacts extensively with the pharmaceutical sector in Ireland and internationally. She is very committed to postgraduate education, ensuring the research students gain the skills required to underpin their future careers; 40 PhD and 6 MSc students have graduated from her research team since 1997, most of whom have developed careers within the pharmaceutical industry both in Ireland and internationally. In addition over 37 Postdoctoral Researchers have worked within the team, many of whom have progressed to careers in industry.

Norelee Kennedy

Biography Norelee Kennedy BSc (Physio), Grad Dip Stats, PhD, PGCert T&L HEd,

Norelee Kennedy is the Vice President Research and an Associate Professor of Physiotherapy in the School of Allied Health at the University of Limerick. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a BSc in Physiotherapy in 1999 and a PhD (2004) the field of physiotherapy and rheumatology. She also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Statistics (TCD 2000) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (NUI Galway 2004). Norelee was appointed as Lecturer in Physiotherapy at UL in 2004, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015 and Associate Professor in 2018. She was the Head of School of Allied Health, UL from 2014-2019. During that time she oversaw the first external quality review of the school, six regulatory body programme approvals and monitorings of professional programmes as well as the establishment of two new professional graduate entry programmes in Physiotherapy and Human Nutrition & Dietetics. She managed over 50 staff in the school delivering programmes to c400 students across the four disciplines of Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech & Language Therapy and Dietetics. She also co-led the successful first School of Allied Health Athena SWAN application for a Bronze award in 2018. Alongside her academic leadership Norelee leads a successful programme research in the field of rheumatology/physiotherapy. To date she has been awarded almost €3 million in research funding from national and EU funders. Currently she leads a Health Research Board funded project (DIFA scheme 2018) examining the feasibility of a physiotherapist led behaviour change intervention to promote physical activity in people with rheumatoid arthritis. She is also part of a EULAR funded European wide group developing an educational programme for health professionals to promote physical activity in people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). In 2018 Norelee was invited to sit on a EULAR European working group to develop recommendations for physical activity for people with RMDs. She also served on the EULAR Health Professionals committee (2014-2019).

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