IEEE 5th World Forum on Internet of Things
15-18 April 2019 – Limerick, Ireland

Women in Engineering Program

Download Women in Engineering Program Flyer PDF >>

Date: Wednesday, 17 April 2019
Time: 11:00 – 15:00
Room: CSG-01

The Women in Engineering Program at IEEE WF-IoT 2019 is aimed at professional women in technology, from industry or academia. It is designed to provide the opportunity to create communities to facilitate knowledge sharing and provide support through highly interactive sessions designed to foster discussion and collaboration.



10:00-11:00 Registration at University Concert Hall, UL

11:00-11:40 Session 1, Keynote
Talk 1 “Complexities of Being the Token Woman”, Donna O’Shea, Cork Institute of Technology

11:40-13:00 Session 2, Panel Discussion
Panel “Leadership: Insights and Experience from Leading Women in Technology”, Grainne Barry, STATS Data & Technology Ltd, Grainne Murphy, Analog Devices, Maria-Alexandra Paun, EPFL, and Ita Richardson, University of Limerick

13:00-14:30 Lunch

14:30-15:00 Session 3, Talk
Talk 2 “WIE Activities”, Maria-Alexandra Paun, EPFL
Talk 3 “WIE Activities and Opportunities in UK & Ireland and How You Can Get Involved”, Ruth Lennon, Letterkenny Institute of Technology


Who Can Participate?

Professional women in technology, from industry or academia.


Sinead O’Keeffe, University of Limerick

Keynote Speaker

Donna O’Shea

Donna O'SheaCork Institute of Technology. Lecturer in Computer Science and Principal Investigator of Riomh – Intelligent Secure Systems research group and member of Nimbus Research Centre

Donna graduated with a BSc in Software Development & Computer Networking (2002), a Master of Engineering by research (2004) and a PhD (2007) from Cork Institute of Technology. Her current position is lecturer in Computer Science and she is also Principal Investigator of Riomh – Intelligent Secure Systems research group and member of Nimbus Research Centre. Donna has been a central figure in establishing the IDA funded National Cybersecurity Cluster called Cyber Ireland the goal of which is to ensure that Ireland is well positioned both to service the already significant activities in the area of cybersecurity research and innovation and to build excellence and talent that will enable further growth in this expanding field. Donna is a funded investigator in the SFI ENABLE and researcher in SFI CONNECT research centres.

Donna’s research expertise lies in the area of enterprise security and network and service management with a specific focus on the design, analysis and optimisation of wired and wireless communication systems, networks and services. During her PhD she made a significant contribution in the area of service provisioning for Beyond 3rd Generation (B3G) networks. On completion of her PhD she spent five years working for IBM and this work exposed her to the rigorous design discipline that is a prerequisite for the successful development of large, complex systems across several sites, multiple design teams and various target platforms. The work in IBM also deepened her technical knowledge in the area of network and service management for mobile and Cloud based services.

As part of Donna’s role as lecturer she is also programme director for the fully online programmes, MSc in Cloud Computing, MSc Artificial Intelligence, MSc Software Architecture & Design and MSc in Information Design & Development and also teaches a number of online modules across a range of academic programmes. She is chair of the Computing Department’s research studies committee and is a committee member of IEEE UK Ireland Women in Engineering and is a IEEE Senior Member.

Talk Title: Complexities of Being the Token Woman


Chitra Balakrishna

Senior Lecturer in Cyber Security, Open University (UK)Chitra Balakrishna

Talk Title: Widening Participation and Bridging the Gender Gap in Cyber Security and AI

Ruth Lennon

Ruth LennonWIE UK & Ireland Affinity Group Committee and Enterprise application developer, researcher and lecturer at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT)

Ruth Lennon is an enterprise application developer, researcher and lecturer at the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) in Letterkenny, Ireland. Her research interests include DevOps, web services, the cloud, Big Data and eLearning. In addition to her role on the IEEE WIE for UK&Ireland Ruth has worked with many organisations to help improve the number of women in computing. She has also served as the Scholarships Chair for the ACM-W Europe for the past number of years.

Talk Title: WIE Activities and Opportunities in UK & Ireland and How You Can Get Involved

Maria-Alexandra Paun

Maria-Alexandra Paun

Dr. Maria-Alexandra Paun is currently a researcher at EPFL Switzerland, where she works in the development of electronics for medical devices (MedTech). Dr. Maria-Alexandra Paun received the Engineer Diploma in 2008 from Politehnica University of Bucharest, FILS, Romania, with a major in Computer Science, graduating top of her class. The Master Project was carried out at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL, Switzerland). During 2008-2009, she was awarded a postgraduate Marie Curie research fellowship at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, where she worked in the field of OCT. Between 2009 and 2013, she was Assistant – Ph.D. student at EPFL. She received her PhD degree in June 2013 on the subject of Hall Effect sensors. During 2013-2015, Maria-Alexandra was a Visiting Researcher at University of Cambridge, UK, with two postdoctoral fellowships from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Her h-index is 10. She is committed to volunteering work within IEEE, as she is currently Chair of IEEE Switzerland Section, Chair of IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group in Switzerland and Corresponding Member in the IEEE R8 WIE Subcommittee.

Talk Title: WIE Activities

During her talk, Dr. Maria-Alexandra Paun, Chair of IEEE Switzerland Affinity Group, will discuss about the IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE), with a highlight on IEEE Region 8 WIE and best practices from IEEE WIE Switzerland. Potential synergies between IEEE WIE and IoT initiative will be also explored during the round table/panel discussion.

IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) Affinity Group

  • As an IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group we aim at promoting and recognizing the merits of women scientists. We also strive to encourage the careers of young female engineers, by providing them with role models from the scientific and research environment, and their exemplary achievements.
  • At more practical level, we organize discussions and meetings, various competitions, etc. Please have a look at a sample of our activities from IEEE Switzerland WIE:

For more details on the activities of the global IEEE WIE, please consult


Grainne Barry

Grainne BarryGráinne Barry is the Regional Operations Director (Europe & India) for STATS Data & Technology Ltd.  STATS are a world leader in sports data and intelligence, who are using AI to change the game.  Head-quartered in Chicago, STATS has its EMEA head-quarters based in Limerick, employing 130 people.  Gráinne was previously COO with Irish health technology company Salaso, a SaaS company offering rehabilitation and injury prevention products, before she co-founded SportsTech Ireland.   Gráinne has a passion for technology, data,  building growth companies, and is also the co-chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Council at STATS.

Grainne Murphy

Grainne Murphy

Grainne Murphy of Analog Devices (ADI) is a marketing manager in their Industrial and IoT Solutions Group. She manages alliances & customer engagement in the Industrial IOT space spanning many technology groups within Analog Devices. She is a University of Limerick graduate (BENG) and also holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University.

Maria-Alexandra Paun

Ita Richardson

Ita Richardson

Prof. Ita Richardson, a University of Limerick graduate, commenced her academic career with UL in 1992, where she teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students.  She leads a number of research projects, and supervises PhD students and researchers in this role.  As an active member of the international Software Engineering research community, Ita’s research currently focuses on the topics of Global Software Development and Connected Health. Her research is funded from a variety of sources including Science Foundation Ireland, European Union, Irish Research Council and Enterprise Ireland. Her research collaborators include University Hospital Limerick, University Maternity Hospital Limerick, Bon Secours Hospital Tralee, Ocuco Ltd, Homesafe Care and IBM.

Throughout her career, Ita has supported women’s issues, particularly within Science and Engineering disciplines.  Since 2017, she holds the position of Special Advisor to the University of Limerick President on Equality and Diversity, with responsibility for developing the Equality & Diversity strategy for UL.  In this role, she is a member of the Irish University Association Vice-Presidents’ group on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion.   She represented the University of Limerick on the Higher Education Authority Athena SWAN committee, is currently a member of the Athena SWAN University and Science & Engineering committees and chair of the CSIS-Lero Athena SWAN committee.  Ita was an investigator on the EU-funded project FESTA: Female Empowerment in Science and Technology Academia (2012-2017) which developed policy and training courses for use within Universities across Europe.  Within UL, she has developed courses for women studying Science, Engineering and Technology, and was Principal Investigator on a Science Foundation Ireland project to undertake a Gender Audit.