STEM industry launch first event of 2021

STEM industry launch first event of 2021

Saoirse O’Shea, Regina Mundi School, enjoying the display at the Analog Devices stall at the STEM South West 2019 showcase event at the Rochestown Park Hotel. They have launched their first event for 2021. Picture: Darragh Kane

KICKING off the promotion of STEM, Science Technology Engineering & Maths, in Ireland for 2021, participants from the STEM industry in Ireland have launched their first event of the year, with STEM South West 2021 scheduled to take place on January 13, between 5-9pm. 

The virtual event is aimed at students with an interest in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and its goal is to encourage Ireland’s future workforce to look at a career in these industries in the South West by demonstrating to them just how exciting, interesting and exhilarating the subjects can be in the real world.

STEM South West is back for its 2nd year and, despite the obvious restrictions on live events, organisers say they have developed an evening-long programme that promises to deliver an invaluable insight into a sector that is as fascinating as it is important.

This free event is an industry-run initiative which is bringing together Ireland’s leading tech, pharma, science and engineering giants, alongside SMEs excelling in these sectors, to stage an epic virtual STEM exhibition aimed at inspiring young minds and informing them of the benefits of a future career in STEM. 

This unique exhibition will feature demonstrations in virtual reality, robotics and astronomy, as well as thought-provoking talks from experts in the areas of construction, information technology, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, electronics, weather-forecasting, agri-technology, environmental engineering, and cybersecurity.

Speaking of the launch Shane Ruddle, Director of Engineering, Gilead, “Two years in and STEM South West continues to deliver for the students of Cork and Kerry by providing a platform to bridge the gap between students, the technology industry, academia and local government. The aim being that students see the future direction of industry with academia providing the relevant skillsets and local government creating the economic incentives.

The event we have planned works perfectly in a virtual capacity and we have no doubt it will pack the same punch as our live event last year”.

STEM South West 2021 will include a host of technology demonstrations showcasing STEM products and systems in action, career talks, expert panels, Q&A sessions, fun competitions and spot prizes, and will provide an opportunity for attendees to connect with people who work in STEM on a daily basis. These STEM professionals will be on hand throughout the evening to provide insight into the many roles and pathways to a fulfilling career in STEM.

Marguerite O’ Sullivan, Senior Engineering Strategy Leader, STEM SW Chairperson spoke of the wealth of opportunities Ireland’s STEM sectors have to offer generations to come, “With demand for STEM professionals and associate professionals in the EU expected to grow by approx. 8% between now and 2025, much higher than the average 3% growth forecast for all occupations, the opportunity for young people to enjoy a successful career in the Irish STEM sector has never looked brighter”.

Dozens of speakers are lined up for the evening, including the following industry stalwarts:

Laurence O'Rourke, European Space Agency Engineer Niamh Shaw, Scientist, Engineer and acclaimed STEM education and space enthusiast (MC) Susan HayesCulleton, CFA, “The Positive Economist” is Managing Director of the Hayes Culleton Group, with clients across Europe and the USA Dr. Julie Behan is a research and development director at Reamda Ltd. (Robotic Electronic And Mechanical Development Agency) Cliona Murphy, Vice President Global Quality Assurance, PepsiCo Ciara Sheehan founding member and Jillian O’Donoghue committee member of the WiSTEMCIT-MTU - a student-led society that was set up in 2019 to enourage women across all STEM sectors to reach their ambitions and fulfil their career goals.

Madeline Murray co-founder of Change by Degrees Franz Schlindwein, founder of Izak9 Maths Along with speakers from global pharma and tech giants including Johnson and Johnson, Gilead, Plas, Pepsico and many more.

The body collectively responsible for the event is made up of several industry stakeholders, including business organisations that create over 30,000 jobs in the region, local authorities, and educational partners MTU and UCC. The event is the brainchild of these organisations coming together to put on an exhilarating and fascinating ‘showcase’ of STEM in practice in some of the most dynamic and revolutionary companies in Ireland.

Mr. Ruddle concluded, “Providing STEM education of the highest quality is essential if Ireland is to deliver on its ambitions to be a hub of technological creativity and an innovation leader. Innovation 2020, Ireland’s strategy for Research and Development, Science and Technology, highlights the critical importance of excellence in STEM Education to ensure the continuous development of a pipeline of talent to support both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and an active ecosystem for indigenous start-ups”.

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