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Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering and CONFIRM at University of Limerick have achieved a joint Athena Swan Bronze award, it has been announced.

The securing of the joint award for the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering (ECE) and CONFIRM – an SFI Research Centre hosted by UL - brings to 15 the number of faculties, schools and departments in UL with Bronze Awards (25 departments overall).

The award also means that only two SFI Research Centres – in CONFIRM and Lero - nationally have Athena Swan awards, with both led by UL.

UL President Professor Kerstin Mey said: “Congratulations are due to the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering and CONFIRM who have been awarded a joint Bronze Athena Swan award.

“I would like in particular to thank Dr Sinead O’Keeffe in ECE and Sean O’Brien in CONFIRM who led the submission, supported by the Head of Department, Professor Colin Fitzpatrick, and the Athena Swan Self-Assessment Team members.

“Athena Swan is about supporting institutions to achieve their gender equality objectives and inclusive work practices for academic and professional, managerial and support staff. In addition, an Athena Swan award can be a valuable confirmation that the requirements and expectations of an increasing number of funders and research councils in this area are being met.

“The Athena Swan-EDI Survey carried out in April this year is now at the draft report stage and ultimately, the data collected for this will feed into our application for a Silver Athena Swan Award for the institution, recognising UL as a leader in equality, diversity and inclusivity in higher education in Ireland.

“Our latest bronze award now brings the total to 15 Athena Swan awards (25 Departments) in UL. My thanks to Dr Marie Connolly and her team for leading this initiative and to everyone who has supported and contributed to this important and meaningful change in UL,” Professor Mey added.

Provost and Deputy President at UL Professor Shane Kilcommins said he was “delighted to see the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering and Confirm receive their Athena SWAN Bronze Award.

“Congratulations to the joint assessment team led by Dr Sinead O’Keeffe and Sean O'Brien, for their work on their successful submission. My sincere thanks to Dr Marie Connolly and her team for leading this work across the institution.

“I know that the HR-EDI Office is currently busy preparing the UL Athena SWAN Silver Award application and great work has been done by the Athena SWAN Steering Committee led by the President, together with all of the Athena SWAN Working Groups in support of this.”