Innovation Cafe – Panel Discussion
(as part of Discover Research Night)
Title: “Research Assembly Line – the mission of PhD education in Ireland?”
Date: Friday 27 Sept at 6pm
Location: The Innovation Academy, 3-4 Foster Place, College Green, Dublin 2
The Innovation Cafe will host a debate at 6pm exploring the changing nature of PhD education in Ireland. Just how useful is a PhD? In an increasingly competitive employment market, what skills do PhD graduates need to make them stand out from the crowd, and who is responsible for ensuring PhD students attain those skills?
Prof. Aidan Seery, School of Education (TCD)
Aidan’s teaching interests and responsibilities lie in the areas of the epistemologies and intellectual traditions of educational research on the structured PhD course and the philosophy of higher education on the MEd course. A further interest lies in educator reflection and philosophies of teaching and learning. These are the themes of his teaching on the Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
Prof. Marie Redmond, School of Computer Science (TCD)
Marie Redmond graduated from Trinity where she studied Mathematics and then worked in the computer industry for 12 years in the US for Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). While working in the US, Marie taught at MIT in both the Writing Program and in The Media Lab. She returned to Ireland where she set up the Multimedia Research Group in the Department of Computer Science and this led to the founding of X Communications in 1994 as a campus company. Marie designed the MSc in Interactive Digital Media course in 1996 and this course is still running successfully with over 350 graduates working in the digital media and related sectors in Ireland and internationally. Marie sold X Communications in January 2013 and is now designing a new MPhil course in Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship which will commence in September 2013. Marie consults to the European Commission on different areas of digital media and is also chair of The Rough Magic Theatre and the Darklight Festival. She is a Leonardo for The Science Gallery and has curated shows on robotic art called ArtBots in both The Ark and The Science Gallery.
Sean Blanchfield, Serial Entrepreneur
Sean has been starting companies since he was 19, beginning with a web 1.0 consultancy in the mid 90s, and graduating through Phorest (then specializing in SMS groupware apps in early 2000s) to DemonWareLtd, which he co-founded with Dylan Collins in 2003. They specialized in online video gaming, real-time internetworking, massively scalable online services… that kind of thing. He was Chief Technology Officer, and had an amazing time hiring geniuses, inventing new technology to solve hard problems, throwing wild parties on double-decker buses in LA, and getting to work with the best companies in the business on popular Playstation and Xbox games like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty.
Dr Tony O’Donnell, Business Intelligence Manager (SAP)
Dr Tony O’Donnell is in charge of business intelligence and analytics R&D at SAP Ireland. Tony holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a PhD in computer science, both from Trinity College Dublin, where he is also a member of the School of Engineering Advisory Board. He holds a number of US patents in the analytics space, and is a champion of Design Thinking. He has worked closely on design challenges with the Innovation Academy and Stanford University. Tony is also a Chartered Engineer, the incoming vice-chairman of the Engineers Ireland Computing Division and a member of the industry advisory group for the Smart Futures programme.
Dr John McKeon
Dr McKeon is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for corporate strategy and all operational activities at Allergy Standards Ltd, including expanding related services and developing client relationships. John is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and qualified as a medical doctor from Trinity College Dublin in 1996. He also holds his United States Medical Licensing exams. Dr McKeon was joint founder of the company while working in Emergency Room Medicine. John graduated first in his class from a National Business Incubation Programme in January 2001 with a Post Graduate Diploma in new business development. John was awarded the ‘Lead Entrepreneur Award’ by the Irish Prime Minister while participating in the biotechnology business incubator programme in 2002. He also received funding from the national enterprise body Enterprise Ireland. John also graduated with distinction from the Dublin Institute of Technology business school with a post graduate diploma in International Selling. John maintains a keen interest in clinical medicine and is a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine. He has had several publications in Medical journals such as ‘Injury’ and the European Journal of Surgery. He is frequently asked to participate in articles relevant to asthma, allergy and consumer products. Most recently he contributed to articles in the Washington Post and the Guardian newspaper in the UK.
Michael Flynn, Director of MBA programme (TCD)
To focus the discussion, panel members have been asked to read the following article published in Nature:
Innovation Cafe at 3 Foster Place
Innovation Cafe is intended to be a forum where prominent innovators and entrepreneurs can join with academics, researchers and educators to consider ways of fostering innovation within the graduate education system in Ireland.
Innovation Cafe is just one of many guises the old Victorian banking hall in Foster Place has taken in the last 150 years. But we’re convinced this transformation of our teaching space in TCD is the most fun!