Industrial Advisory Committee

This group is made up of prominent regional and national Industry leaders who are bipartisan and represent the best interest of our Industry Partners.​

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.

John Gleeson

Chief Operations Officer

John Gleeson is the Chief Operations Officer at Confirm. Prior to joining Confirm John worked for 13 years working at the interface of industry and academia as part of UL’s Technology Transfer team. Before joining UL John spent 15 years working in industry across various technical and business development roles. His career spanned companies in the electronics, automotive and medical device industries in Ireland and in the US and included companies such as Motorola, Adhesives Research, Tyco Electronics and Procter & Gamble. John is a Mechanical Engineering Graduate from UL with an MBA from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.

Vivian Farrell

Chief Executive Officer – Modular Automation

Over the past 30 years our business has grown and transformed and today we lead the way in the development of cost effective and smart automated solutions for our customers in manufacturing. Our team work hard to continuously impress and deliver for our customers such as J&J, Boston Scientific, Stryker, Medtronic, Molex and Analog Devices. At Modular our talented team are passionate about innovation and that's why we love evaluating and integrating the latest automation technologies. We're always searching for future enabling technologies and technology partners.

Brendan O Dowd

General Manager for Industrial Automation at Analog Devices

Brendan O’Dowd has more than 30 years of experience in the industry working for companies like Tellabs, Apple, and Analog Devices. He is currently the general manager of Analog Devices’ industrial automation business. The factory of the future must be capable of quick adaptation to new demands and new workflows; the key is to build flexibility into industrial automation technology products at the architecture level. One approach which can support this need for flexibility is software-defined I/O, which can be configured as analog or digital, and input or output, without altering wiring.

Brendan Sheppard

CEO at SmartFactory

A professional Mechanical Engineer with more than 20 years’ experience in project management and engineering consultancy gained in a range of leading multinational organisations including Procter & Gamble, Coty Inc., Accantia, Tambrands and Boeing. Expert in data capturing, reporting and continuous process improvement systems gained in the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) and Lean manufacturing environments. As CEO of SmartFactory, Brendan has been the driving force behind the development of an innovative data capturing, analytics and visualisation solution, particularly focused on medical device manufacturing. Managing Director of Sheppard Consulting since 1999 - proven track record of managing multi-million euro projects for clients. Key skills include project management, capital systems management and advanced troubleshooting techniques. Vast experience with process control and automation including P&ID design, digital-workflows, robotics, high-speed labelling, laser coding and vision systems. Dynamic, positive, adaptable and dependable, with excellent people skills.

Jeff McCann

Customer Solution Centers Global Leader for IoT & 5G Strategy

A leading technologist with over 30-years industry experience, Jeff McCann heads up strategy for the Dell Customer Solution Centres Internet of Things labs globally. A graduate of the University of Limerick & University of Ulster, Jeff has advanced experience in IT data center support, engineering and project management with a personal interest in IT security and IT forensic analysis. Jeff currently holds to post of Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Limerick, specalising in IoT. Jeff mentors Irish start-up companies as part of the Dell Entrepreneur in Residence programme as well as serving on the Dell University Relations board. Outside of Dell, Jeff is vice chairman for the IBEC IoT Working Group, which was convened to examine how Irish companies can position themselves to make the most of the Internet of Things, and has served on the Boards of ISSA and ISACA Irish chapters.

Vivien Cunney

IT Director at Medtronic Global Operations CSH APV

Responsible for the IT portfolio for the CSH APV Global Operations group, working across geographical locations. Partnering with the business to Influence and shape the portfolio to complement the organization's business strategy. Continue to provide direction and leadership to the Parkmore, Galway IT organisation, and functional support to the site leadership team.

Mark McConnell

Head of Johnson & Johnson Automation Centre of Excellence (ACoE)

The centre is responsible for the end to end design, development & Implementation of Automated Manufacturing Equipment, existing & new manufacturing processes on a global scale. ACoE is a core component of the Supply Chain Manufacturing leveraging expertise from the cross disciplinary personnel within the function, combining with five other Centres of Excellence within MET group focusing on 3D Printing, Solids, Liquids, Packaging and future facing Innovations. Mark has become an integral part of developing a successful engineering strategy, envisioning & designing many large-scale projects globally over the past 30 years. He has spent 12 years defining the Vision Care Fleet before founding ACoE and has worked in companies; Electronics, Consumer goods and the Healthcare sectors.Mark has a strong vision for the Future, Digitalisation of Manufacturing throughout the Global Supply Chain.

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