Operations Team

Helping achieve Digital Manufacturing Excellence in Ireland

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.

+353 61 234302

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.

+353 61 234302

Trish Bourke​

Reporting, Compliance & Finance Manager​

Having joined the University of Limerick in 2002 coming from Industry Trish Bourke has worked in the Research Finance Department of the University of Limerick for the past 16 years where she provided a range of financial services, support and advice to the Research community within UL and also externally to the funding agencies, HEI’s and Industry partners to the University.

+353 61 202647

Dave Griffin

Business Development Manager.

Dave is our Business Development Manager at Confirm. He has had a long and successful career in the Technology industry – most significantly, a lengthy spell at Dell Technologies. With a diverse CV, covering Project Management & Leadership roles in Service Logistics, Product Data Management, IT, Executive Briefing Operations, Supply Chain Operations and most recently, Business Development & Communications for the Dell Limerick campus, Dave is an experienced senior leader of people and projects and has proven strengths in building networks for collaborative & successful outcomes. Dave holds a B.Eng in Production Engineering from the University of Limerick, an MBA from the Open University, and a Post Grad Diploma in Business Innovation & Digital Transformation from TUD.

+353 61 202712


Strategic research manager

Niall is our Strategic Research Manager with over 10 years of experience spanning across third-level research, IT, pharmaceutical and clinical trial industries. He has held a wide variety of technical, advisory and management roles; including a support officer role in the Research Office at University of Limerick affording a knowledge of the national and international funding landscape. Niall also has experience of business development and commercialisation of digital products for business excellence and sustainability. Niall holds a PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Trinity College Dublin, MA in International Entrepreneurship Management from UL, HDip in Systems Analysis from NUI Galway, and BSc in Industrial Chemistry from UL.

+353 61 234693

Sylvia Keane

Marketing & Communications Manager

Sylvia Keane is the CONFIRM Marketing & Communications Manager. She is an experienced senior Marketing & Communications Specialist with more than 9 years’ international experience with a proven record of accomplishment in account management, marketing strategy and business development. Sylvia has a diverse range of sector experience within manufacturing – medical device, supply chain, & semiconductor/aerospace. Qualifications include Bachelor of Business, Master of Science in Marketing, Consumption & Society and a Postgraduate in International Business Development.

+353 61 234302

Sean O'Brien

Education, Public Engagement & Training Manager

Sean O’Brien is the CONFIRM Education, Public Engagement & Training Manager. Sean is a Science Education graduate with over 10 years’ experience in management & delivery of informal STEM Education programmes and public engagement initiatives with a particular emphasis on engaging children, young people and adult audiences from disadvantaged communities. Working closely with schools, community organisations, HEIs and industry to form lasting partnerships has allowed him to build a network of key stakeholders which has been used extensively to bridge the gap between academia, industry and the general public, making STEM more accessible to all.

+353 61 202713

Sinead Mellett


Sinead brings a wealth of experience spanning both academia and industry to CONFIRM. Over the last 10+ years, she has enjoyed an evolving and expanding repertoire of skills in areas such as green innovativeness, research strategy, cross-functional project/program management. Sinead has a proven track record of achievement through the currency of publication, recognition from awarding bodies, and project/program milestone delivery. Sinead holds a BA in Business Studies, a Ph.D. which explored the perceived impact of facilitated networks on green innovation capability development in the micro-firm. Research interests include circular economy, green innovativeness, industry4.0 and eLearning. Sinead is on the Management Committee substitute for Ireland on Cost Action CA19124 CIRCUL-A-BILITY: Rethinking packaging for circular and sustainable food supply chains of future. Sinead has also been a reviewer on many Journals including 2021 Current Opinion in Environmental Science & Health; 2020 Reviewer The EAAE triennial conference/ XVI EAAE Congress. Recent publications include: Almeida, C., Loubet, P., da Costa, T.P., Quinteiro, P., Laso, J., Baptista de Sousa, D., Cooney, R., Mellett, S., Sonnemann, G., Rodríguez, C.J. and Rowan, N., Packaging environmental impact on seafood supply chains: A review of life cycle assessment studies. Journal of Industrial Ecology. State of the Art Report Life Cycle Inventory seafood database and model in the Atlantic area, as part of the Interreg Atlantic Area NEPTUNUS project. Doherty, E., Mellett,S.,Norton, D.,McDermott, T., O’Hora, D. and Ryan, M.. "A discrete choice experiment exploring farmer preferences for insurance against extreme weather events." Journal of Environmental Management 290 (2021): 112607. Sinead Mellett, Edel Doherty, Sinead Nee, Julia James, Jean François Berthoumieu, Denis O Hora, Mary Ryan, Laurence Couldrick (2020) Farmers attitudes and preferences for climate change adaptation: An Irish Case Study.,Policy Report document on Behalf of the RiskAquaSoil Project. Alexandre Oliveira Tavares, Neide P. Areia, Sinead Mellett, Julia James, Diego S. Intrigliolo, Laurence Couldrick, Jean-François Berthoumieu, (2020) The European media portrayal of climate change: Implications for the social mobilization towards climate action, Sustainability

+353 61 234302

Sean Nolan

Funding Manager

Sean has 15+ years’ experience working in applied research at University of Limerick and Trinity College Dublin in the areas of sensor system development, process monitoring in machining, automation & robotics, and energy monitoring for Industrial manufacturing. Sean began his early career working in electronic manufacturing and Semiconductor industries, later moving into the research sector where he held the roles of Lead R&D Engineer and Research Fellow. He has a wealth of experience in the sourcing, execution and delivery of exchequer and non-exchequer funded research projects. Sean’s educational background is in Electronic Engineering and he holds a PhD in the area of ultrasonic sensor development and an M.Eng in the design and development of underwater robotic vehicle platforms.

+353 61 233781

Gillian O' Sullivan​

Senior Administrator​

Gillian is CONFIRM Senior Administrator and is responsible for overseeing day to day operations of the CONFIRM office, liaising with our various RPOs as well as coordinating events. Gillian brings a vast amount of knowledge and experience to the team from her history working with industry.

+353 61 2347395

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