Gerard Madden, Senior Director, Johnson & Johnson Technology Services EMEA, Professor Tiziana Margaria, Chair of Software Systems, Department Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick, John Meaney, Digital Factory Product Line Leader, Johnson & Johnson Technology, and Michelle Finnan. Senior Software Development Manager, Johnson & Johnson Technology Picture: Brian Arthur
Thursday, January 20, 2022

A financial commitment from Johnson & Johnson to University of Limerick’s new Immersive Software Engineering course will help to ‘support the students of today become the leaders of tomorrow’.

The world’s largest healthcare company has announced that it is to provide financial support for the groundbreaking new course at UL.

The company’s donation to the University of Limerick Foundation aims to advance the research capacity of the ISE programme and help to position UL as a world leader in providing educational excellence in the study and practice of software engineering.

Harvey Duthie, CEO of the UL Foundation, paid tribute to Johnson & Johnson for its generosity and support for ISE, which seeks to transform how the technology leaders of the future are educated in an immersive undergraduate/postgraduate programme.

“Johnson & Johnson’s support for the ISE course will go a long way towards helping us realise our ambition of being a centre of excellence for educating the next generation of software engineers,” said Mr Duthie.

“Twelve months ago, this course was just an idea. Now, with companies like Johnson & Johnson committing their support, we have been able to transform that idea into a realistic option for students when they are considering their CAO options for next year.”

ISE takes a highly innovative approach to the development of computer science talent, where students are taught in a studio-based environment by research-leaders. Johnson & Johnson’s financial support will help to make that research offering world-class.

Assessment within ISE is project-based and continuous, with no exams. Students will spend half of their time in paid placements with multiple companies, achieving Masters level in just four years.

Speaking about the importance of developing a pipeline of talented software engineers, Gerard Madden, Senior Director, Johnson & Johnson Technology Services EMEA, said: “Cutting-edge science, digital technology and new ways of thinking are improving how patients around the world are being cared for.

“Every day, our teams are blending heart, science, and ingenuity to meet Johnson & Johnson’s purpose to profoundly change the trajectory of health for humanity. Software and the use of Digital Solutions are key enablers for the future growth and the digitalization of our Supply Chain and Commercial businesses.

“Our Software team in Limerick specialize in the development of solutions for Johnson & Johnson’s Global Supply Chain sites in the areas of Data and Analytics, Enterprise Resource Planning and shop floor and lab manufacturing systems. In addition, we have teams developing Customer Relationship Management and Digital Solutions for Johnson & Johnson’s Commercial business units.”

“The Immersive Software Engineering Programme is a game changer when it comes to providing students with continual education and unique hands-on industry experience. The course will create a pipeline of talented students who are ready to adapt to the complexities of commercial software development.

“At Johnson & Johnson, we believe strongly in investing in education and supporting the students of today to become the leaders of tomorrow. We are delighted to be in a position to enable the next generation of software engineers to pursue their aspirations,” Mr Madden added.

The financial commitment from Johnson & Johnson comes at a time when Leaving Certificate students across Ireland are considering their CAO choices.

Professor Tiziana Margaria, Chair of Software Systems at UL and co-director of ISE, said: “We are proud to call Johnson & Johnson an ally in our mission. Their joining our list of sponsors further strengthens our research capabilities and is a strong signal for the impact that Immersive Software Engineering has in Ireland and beyond.

“We look forward to continued collaboration over the coming years with their top experts to create and apply the software development tools and techniques of tomorrow. By joining forces with companies like Johnson & Johnson I am confident that our ISE Programme graduates will be best positioned for future success.”

Professor Stephen Kinsella, co-director of ISE, said: “Ireland’s economy needs people who can take ideas and make them real if it is to prosper in the 21st Century. ISE helps create those people. ISE graduates will be the most sought after software engineers in Europe.

“They will enhance companies, they will start their own companies, they will be people who not only change the game, but invent new ones.”

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