IT executive urges girls to study science and technology

Intel boss makes comments on eve of being honoured by University College Cork

An Irish woman who has risen to the top in a global IT company has spoken about the importance of more women taking up careers in science and technology.

Dr Ann Kelleher, corporate vice-president of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group and General Manger of the Semiconductor Manufacturing organisation at Intel, said more girls should study science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

"I am encouraged to see a new focus on more girls studying STEM subjects in Ireland as I firmly believe that diversity in the workplace leads to more creative solutions, as well as providing fulfilling careers for those who choose that path," she said, on the eve of accepting an award from University College Cork.

A native of Macroom in Co Cork, Dr Kelleher became the first ever female to receive a PhD from the National Microelectronics Research Centre (NMRC), now part of the Tyndall National Institute at UCC.


"Having graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1987 and a PhD in 1993, little did I think that I would be back here at UCC in the year that celebrates both the bicentenary of George Boole and the 50th anniversary of Moore's Law," said Dr Kelleher.

“Intel can trace the roots of our technology to both of these visionaries and I am proud to carry on the UCC connection in my role as General Manager of Intel’s global semiconductor manufacturing business.

“I have very fond memories of my time at UCC and am grateful to the College for providing me with the engineering fundamentals and the semiconductor knowledge which I still draw upon in my work today.”

Joining Dr Kelleher in receiving an Alumni Achievements Awards will be Apple's Vice President of European Operations, Cathy Kearney who graduated from UCC with a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

“I enjoyed every minute of my time in UCC. It opened my eyes to a broader perspective. It gave me a strong foundation for my later career in accountancy and operations,” said Ms Kearney who has overseen Apple’s expansion in Cork where it now employs 5,000 people.

Both women will be joined in the awards ceremony by broadcaster and journalist, Matt Cooper, who revealed that he has already agreed to present Six Nations Rugby coverage on TV3 from 2018 to 2021, a move he describes as "the longest term planning I've ever done."

A graduate of UCC’s Bcomm, Mr Cooper said he was surprised and flattered to be honoured. “UCC played a major role in making me who I am, even if it was for only four years, so I’m thankful that the institution thinks that I did things of merit after I left it.”

Also honoured will be Professor Piniti Ratananukul, former Secretary General of the Education Council of Thailand who completed his PhD at UCC in 1983 and consulting engineer John McCarthy who has been President of UCC Soccer Club since 1999.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times