University of Limerick alumnus Vincent Roche has received a St Patrick’s Day Science Medal from Taoiseach Micheál Martin in recognition of his ‘outstanding contributions to academia and industry’.
Mr Roche, President and Chief Executive Officer of Analog Devices Inc (ADI) received the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal for Industry in a virtual event to mark the occasion of St Patrick’s Day and US-Ireland relations.
2015 Nobel Prize winner Professor William C Campbell was a recipient of the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal for Academia.
Mr Roche was jointly nominated for the SFI medal by the Bernal Institute at UL and by the Tyndall National Institute. Analog has long-established links with UL – as most recently seen in the company’s partnership on the new Immersive Software Engineering programme along with Stripe, among other industry partners.
Now in its eighth year, the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal is awarded annually to US-based scientists, engineers or technology leaders with strong Irish connections, as chosen by an independent selection committee, to recognise their significant contributions to academia and industry and their roles in supporting and engaging with the research ecosystem in Ireland.
Congratulating the recipients at the virtual presentation event, Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD, said: “On behalf of the Government of Ireland and Science Foundation Ireland, I am delighted to present the SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal to both Professor Campbell and Mr Roche, whose contributions have made immense societal and economic impact and changed the lives of millions of people.
“We are deeply proud of their inspirational achievements and leadership. This prestigious prize highlights the enduring strength and profound connectivity of US-Ireland relations, which despite significant global challenges continue to grow from strength to strength. It is important that we both recognise our scientific heritage and look to the future.
“By placing research, development and innovation firmly at the heart of our economy, we can create new knowledge, better respond to societal needs and economic challenges, improve education, and increase the quality of our lives,” he added.
Mr Roche, who is originally from Wexford, is considered a leader in the field of semiconductors. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the then NIHE Limerick in 1982, before going on to join Analog Devices in the late 1980s. In May 2013, he became the third ever CEO to lead the company.
In 2017, Mr Roche received an Honorary Doctorate in Engineering from the University of Limerick.
Throughout his career, he has been inspired and driven by an acute awareness of the profound impact semiconductor technology has across so many dimensions of our lives.
Welcoming the award, Mr Roche, said: “I am deeply honoured to accept the SFI St. Patrick’s Day Science Medal for Industry. Ireland has been critical to ADI’s R&D and operational success ever since we established our first site in Limerick in 1976, just over a decade after our company’s founding.
“Many of ADI’s cutting-edge technology innovations are the result of the rich collaboration between our U.S. and Irish operations, as well as our long-term relationship with Ireland’s excellent academic institutions, research centres, and the larger business ecosystem. I am proud of our strong partnership with Ireland and I look forward to many more decades of joint growth and advancement.”
Welcoming the announcement, UL President Professor Kerstin Mey, sent her congratulations to Mr Roche and said his “foresight and vision for ADI and beyond has played such a significant role in shaping the relationship between enterprise and academia”.
In the nomination, Mr Roche was hailed for his “vision and leadership” and a core belief in “the critical importance of research, development and innovation”.
“In University of Limerick, Vincent has personally ensured ADI’s continued sponsorship of the ‘Analog Devices Building’ on the UL campus and also formed a Robbie McAdam scholarship and a Peter Real undergraduate scholarship with the University of Limerick in memory of senior ADI leaders who have passed away.
“In 2017, Vincent initiated the Analog Catalyst Innovation Centre being established in Limerick. Opened in 2020, ‘The Catalyst building’ is a 100,000 square foot facility which provides a unique, and potentially disruptive, environment for ADI business partners and research partners to interact with ADI people, technology, expertise and support infrastructure in order to collaborate, innovate and solve problems together in a single environment, aimed at fostering a long-term pipeline of innovation and talent within the region,” it added.
Congratulating the recipients, Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland, said: “The SFI St Patrick’s Day Science Medal recognises the global reach and influence of the Irish scientific and technology diaspora. I am delighted to congratulate both William and Vincent on the outstanding research, leadership and innovation they have achieved throughout their careers.
“The incredible achievements and diversity of our Irish research diaspora continue to advance Ireland’s society and economy through excellent ground-breaking research and technology, generating new insights and creating new opportunities for both countries, academic communities and industry.”