The CONFIRM Centre recognises and celebrates women in engineering for International Women in Engineering Day that took place on June 23rd 2020 and organised a dedicated webinar on this topic.
The webinar featured women in STEM talking about their careers in their dedicated areas in Academia, Research and Industry. The webinar also presented the work being implemented to increase diversity and inclusion in the Confirm Centre while also helping to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all and to discuss STEM.
Click on the below link to watch the webinar in full.
The questions that were posed during the webinar has been answered by all panel speakers see below.
Have the speakers been influenced by any teachers in their primary or second level school to encourage them to follow a STEM career
- I did my Leaving Cert in 1997 so careers in engineering and science were not as promoted for females like they are today. As mentioned in the video, I was very confused as to the path to take in my career to the point that the career guidance teacher, who was a nun, wrote me a letter on completion of my leaving cert, a letter that I still have today and that I read to myself every now and again. Her kindness and thoughtfulness influenced me to “not let my future get in the way of my present success” and not be influenced by other people thoughts about what I should or could do. She influenced me to be brave enough to follow my own path. Dr Donna O’Shea – Head of Department of Computer Science, Cork Institute of Technology and Principal Investigator in Confirm Centre
- Yes actually, I went to secondary school in London and Dungarvan. Both Catholic schools but in London, STEM was normal. I knew no barriers. We were actively encouraged to take STEM subjects. In Dungarvan however STEM subjects were limited. They didn’t do physics. I’d say the greatest influence was the head nun there who arranged for me to go down to the boys school, Christian Brothers and worked the entire timetable to facilitate it. When I went to collect my leaving certificate results she had a massive smile as she handed them out. I’m afraid I didn’t appreciate this enough and she has passed away now. It is the thanks that got away. I owe my career to this. Grainne Murphy – Industrial and IoT Solutions Marketing Manager, Analog Devices Inc
- My science teacher always gave practical applications for the things we were learning. This was one of the reasons I loved science class as I loved listening to the explanations and sometimes very funny stories. Science involved practical sessions in the lab and this made it interesting and helped the learning process. I viewed science as a place where you had something to investigate and you used a practical method to test and prove out a solution. My science classes certainly drew me towards a career in STEM. Joan Hyland – Director of Innovation and Excellence, Mergon Group
- I believe my primary school teacher was an exceptionally good one, who tried to understand the strengths of each one of her students and motivate them. She was promoting maths and science to me and got me included in science contests back then. I was not always successful in the contests, but she taught me not to give up. This has definitely influenced the way I make my future preferences. Dr. Begüm Genç – Post-Doctoral Researcher at the School of Computer Science & IT, University College Cork in Confirm Centre
What are the technologies you feel would grow after Covid in terms of Industry 4.0 manufacturing development
- Digital twins, real time monitoring and performance systems, digital manufacturing and supply chains. Dr Donna O’Shea – Head of Department of Computer Science, Cork Institute of Technology and Principal Investigator in Confirm Centre
- There is lots of opportunity for Industry 4.0. In fact I predict that initiatives will accelerate for Cobot or Robot manufacturing. In the other areas, technologies that can enable non contactless operation, IR, Time of Flight etc…In buildings, monitoring for the health of occupant will also accelerate – location sensing, air quality to add a couple of other spaces that will benefit. Grainne Murphy – Industrial and IoT Solutions Marketing Manager, Analog Devices Inc
- The global supply chain is experiencing a level of disruption that has never been seen before as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Industry 4.0 technologies will become more critical to help us recover more quickly and develop more resilient and robust businesses that are better equipped to deal with this level of disruption in the future. There will be increased need for accurate real time visibility across the whole business to support critical business decisions and allow for agile production plans. Digital Twins and remote support/communication technologies will become increasingly important to support manufacturing and ensure the most efficient use of assets. There will be demand for the use of mobile technology and augmented / virtual reality to enable remote assistance and training of workers. The use of Automatic Guided Vehicles (AGV’s) or drone technology could support staff to operate while maintaining adequate social distancing. A combination of Industry 4.0 technologies should allow employees to implement innovative solutions that add value, sustain competitiveness and support business continuity in a more changeable world. Joan Hyland – Director of Innovation and Excellence, Mergon Group
How do you feel that Covid-19 will impact the jobs market especially for 2020 and 2021 graduates
- There is no doubt that the market will be tougher. Spend will be restricted and even companies that understand that above all, their graduate program should be protected, will probably have a more limited number of openings. And even the interview process will be very different. There may not be a face to face so you have to work harder to fine tune any 1:1 opportunity you get to interview. Have your personal value proposition fine-tuned. Any graduate should be working on how they position themselves. Look at your on line profile, particularly Linkedin and actively contribute to your areas of interest. Reach out to any contacts you may have and ask for advice. Grainne Murphy – Industrial and IoT Solutions Marketing Manager, Analog Devices Inc
- This is a time where there is greatest need for scientists, engineers, designers etc as we search for ways to safe guard society now and into the future. There will be increased demand for scientific developments integrated into our physical surroundings to allow us to live in a safe and protected way. Workplaces are still functioning although with many changes such as remote working and virtual assistance. These changes place a demand on technology to meet our needs and there will likely be new opportunities that will develop as a result of this. Joan Hyland – Director of Innovation and Excellence, Mergon Group
- With some companies announcing that their employees can work from home forever, the new graduates have some advantages. Especially for people that do not want to move to another city/country or need work permit to work, there is a possibility that these remote jobs will be more feasible when compared to the current practice. However, I believe that online meetings are not as effective as the face-to-face meetings. The lack of in-person interaction could have a negative effect on the adaptation phase of new employees. Dr. Begüm Genç – Post-Doctoral Researcher at the School of Computer Science & IT, University College Cork in Confirm Centre
Where do I see the CONFIRM centre in the next 20 years
I think the CONFIRM centre will have proven itself to be a critical factor in the enablement of technology in manufacturing systems and processes. It will have contributed massively to the growth nationally of the manufacturing sector, the economy, jobs and will be still working with industry on targeted projects. I think in 20 years, it will be a global leader in smart manufacturing research and development, acting as a model for success for other countries. Dr Donna O’Shea – Head of Department of Computer Science, Cork Institute of Technology and Principal Investigator in Confirm Centre
Are any of the CONFIRM centre involved in mentoring
Yes, please contact [email protected] for more information