CORK academic and Trinity professor Linda Doyle is gunning for the hot seat, one of three candidates squaring up for election as Trinity College Dublin’s Provost.
The Dean of Research from 2018-2021, Linda told The Echo, it was the natural next step to apply to be head of the college.
Running for Provost, Linda said, is a long campaign with voting taking place on April 10.
“There are 860 academic members of staff that will be voting for the next Provost.”
The position is a 10-year post and Linda explained why she decided to throw her hat in the ring.
“I love working in Trinity, I loved being the Dean of Research and it is the natural step to run for Provost. I think I have the leadership style needed at Trinity. I think I can bring out the best in people. There are rough times ahead, I think my style of leadership is needed.
“Leadership for me is about service rather than power. It is about inspiring people to be the best they can be,” she said.
Originally from Togher, Professor Doyle attended Togher Girls National School of which she has many fond memories, before attending UCC where she studied electrical engineering.
The proud Cork woman went on to complete a Masters and PhD in Trinity before moving to Germany to work with Siemens on telecommunications for a year. Linda then came back to Dublin to take up research and academia full time.
Linda’s father Oliver worked for the Cork Examiner, now the Irish Examiner and The Echo’s sister paper, all his life.
A woman of many talents, Linda is the only Professor of Engineering and the Arts in the world and has spent much time and energy in using artistic methods to critically analyse and assess technology.
“It’s an unusual combination, engineering and arts, I’m known from it and I use creative processes and exhibitions to interrogate technology.”
Trinity’s Dean of Research is also the founder-director of the SFI Research Centre ‘CONNECT’ which is focused on telecommunications.
Before establishing ‘CONNECT’, Professor Doyle was the Director of the Centre for Telecommunications Value Chain Research (CTVR) for six years.
From CTVR and ‘CONNECT’ Linda became Director of Software Radio Systems and Xcelerit, two CTVR/CONNECT spin-outs.
Professor Doyle also teaches at the college and enjoys this aspect of her work. “I love teaching. I have taught at undergrad and postgrad level within Trinity on a variety of topics.”
Linda is also on the Board of the Festival of Curiosity, a yearly cultural feast of science, arts, design, and technology for all ages, is a judge in the BT Young Scientist competition for school children, is a member of the National Broadband Steering Committee in Ireland, and is Chair of the Ofcom Spectrum Advisory Board in the UK.
Chatting about Trinity, the conversation naturally turned to the book and series Normal People by Sally Rooney.
“I love it, it is beautifully written and it certainly captures a certain flavour of things, but Trinity is way more than that.
“I remember the first day I arrived at Trinity and I just thought to myself, I am never going to fit in here, but there is space for a wider range of people.”
Linda said she could see them filming the hit show from her office window and said director Lenny Abrahamson, who is an ex-Trinity graduate, did a fantastic job.
Linda also has an interest and a strong role in promoting women in engineering and computer science. She has been involved in numerous initiatives such as Girls in Tech, Teen Turn, HerStory, and in 2017 she was recognised as one of the 10 women stars working in networking and communications in the world that you should know.
In terms of what she wants to achieve as Provost of Trinity, Linda has a seven-point manifesto which focuses on a re-energised democracy for the college, ensuring a productive and creative place to work as well as an exceptional place to learn.
Professor Doyle also wants to champion a ‘Climate first Trinity’ with a transformed relationship with Government and Society.
“I want to make Trinity even better than it is,” Linda said.