WST 2019 Speaker Biographies and Presentations


Manley Hopkinson twice served as an Officer in the Royal Navy, re-joining for the first Gulf War.  Between times Manley was an Inspector in the Royal Hong Kong Marine Police.  In 2000, he was selected as a skipper in the BT Global Challenge round the world yacht race, leading a team of volunteers, including novices, for 9 months in a 32,000 mile journey, the “wrong way”! Manley continued his adventures as part of the 3-man team that won the inaugural rate to the Magnetic North Pole.  The team faced polar bear attacks, and sub-zero temperatures, learning huge lessons about both surviving and competing in very difficult circumstances.  Their record time of 10 days and 9 hours still stands.

Manley applies his Leadership experience to great effect designing and delivering successful cultural change programs and sitting on the Board of a number of organisations globally, including the ATLAS Consortium, Hewlett Packard Defence UK and Ark Data Centres, delivering true “high performance cultures”.

In 2014 Manley published “Compassionate Leadership” How to Create and Maintain Engaged, Committed and High-Performing Teams”.  In this entertaining and hugely readable book, Manley combines the two worlds of business and adventure to encourage leaders everywhere – at work, at home, in sports and mid-ocean – to take a new approach to creating teams of developed, self-aware and committed individuals.

In his unique style, Manley brings the wealth of all these experiences to his talks which continue to inspire, motivate, educate and entertain audiences around the world.  As a motivational speaker, Manley works independently, using professional quality video and pictures taken during the BT Challenge and The Polar Race to illustrate his inspiring presentations.


Áine McCleary is Director, Distribution Channels at Bank of Ireland and has led senior teams across Retail, Corporate and Institutional customer segments.  Áine spent the first half of her career to date in the Treasury and Global Markets division of Ulster Bank and Bank of Ireland, commencing her career as a foreign exchange dealer.  In more recent years Áine has furthered her experience in Retail Banking, through leading the Mortgages Business for Bank of Ireland and most recently as Director of Bank of Ireland’s Distribution Channels.  In this role Áine leads a team of c2,700 banking professionals engaging with customers via phone, digital channels and across the Bank’s branch network.

A business graduate of UCD, Áine holds a Master’s Degree in Business Studies from the Smurfit School of Business.  She is a Certified Bank Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Banking.  Áine is the President of the Institute of Banking 2018/2019, the first female to hold this position.

Áine is a proud Dub, married to Alan and kept busy as a weekend taxi driver for her four children.

Brídín Walsh has been working in UCD since 2005 and holds the position of Head of IT Programme and Risk Management since October 2018. Prior to that she was the Business Systems Programme Manager in IT Services. She has been responsible for the delivery of many strategic solutions for UCD’s enterprise applications portfolio, including the university’s Identity Management System.

Prior to UCD, she spent over 10 years in the telecommunications industry and worked with a number of star t-ups and multinationals in Dublin, London and across Europe, including BT, Ericsson, Sepro, Vodafone & Propylon.

Brídín holds and M.A. in Mathematical Science from Trinity College, Dublin and an M.Sc. in Information Systems and Technology from City University, London.

Using Agile to simplify the Scoping Phase of a Delivery Project – A Case Study


Are you a Project Manager, charged with supplying or delivering a development or implementation project to a customer?

Are you a project sponsor or customer relying on a supplier, internal or external, to deliver on a project or set of requirements?

Do you ever find that what is delivered is not what was expected?

Do you ever find that some deliverables, although in the agreed scope, may fall between the cracks, because of uncertainty in terms of who is delivering them?

Do you ever find that some things are missed from scope because key stakeholders have not been involved in the scoping exercise?

Dr. Sabine Harrison is a Food Science & Nutrition Technologist in the UCD School of Agriculture & Food Science. She previously received her MSc. in analytical chemistry from the University of Vienna, Austria before obtaining her PhD. from UCD for her research on food authentication and diet reconstruction in lamb and cattle.

Following the completion of her PhD, she worked in the pharmaceutical industry where she further developed her skills in the development and validation of analytical methods. This is also where she first encountered Lean Manufacturing principles and where she obtained a Yellow Belt in Lean.

In her current role, Dr. Harrison’s main interest lies in the development and validation of robust analytical method for the determination of bio-active compounds in foods through HPLC and GC analysis where she regularly draws from her experience gained in the pharmaceutical industry. Her previous encountering of Lean is also what drove her to successfully complete a Green Belt project in Lean entitled “Introduction of a new Chemical Management System”

Introducing a new Chemical Management System into Food Science


The aim of this Lean Six Sigma Green Belt project was to introduce a Chemical Management System into the UCD Food Science Research Laboratory in Science Centre South.  As a result of a wide variety of users (academics, researchers, technical staff, post and undergraduate students), an easy-to-use system was required to meet the needs of all users.


Lean Six Sigma tools were used to establish baseline data (time required to find chemicals, customer satisfaction with the system) as well as to anticipate hurdles throughout the project.  In addition, change management tools such as Force Field Diagrams helped to develop an effective Implementation Plan.

Following 2 months of monitoring following the implementation of the project, it was determined that the time required to locate chemicals in the lab had dropped by an average of 61% to just under 3 min while the customer satisfaction had improved by 75% to just over 82%.  Furthermore, the ongoing process of the project is monitored using weekly audits performed by all lab users.  Audit scores above 90% since the introduction in September 2018 highlight the continued buy-in of all lab users and the success of this project.

Maria McDonald has worked as part of the Management Services team in UCD IT Services since 1999.  During that time, she has participated in the transformation of the experience of staff and students in the University, through the delivery of online business services and reporting.

Improving the InfoHub Support Service: the Agile Methodology in Action

This session will describe the project undertaken in IT Services to use the Agile methodology to learn more about the InfoHub support service, identify key issues and implement actions to effect improvements.

Michael Sinnott has an academic background in Engineering, Michael brought consulting experience in the private sector to a systems analyst role in IT Services’ Management Services Unit in 2004, moving to a director role in UCD Registry in 2006. Adding a number of additional areas to his portfolio in 2008, Michael spent seven years as the Director of Administrative Services, holding responsibility student records, fees and grants, curriculum management, student supports, amongst other areas. As someone with a natural drive for continuous change and improvement (“if it is broken fix it, if it works improve it”), the insights engendered by this broad exposure to the operational side of University life made the role of Director of Agile a natural next move for Michael.

Getting an Agile start on your journey to a better place

If a good beginning is half the journey… how do you start your ‘making things better’ journey and how can Agile’s supports help you do this?  How do you avoid the risks of heading off with energy, enthusiasm and commitment, but without a clear sense of where you are leaving from, without clarity on the success measures which will help you navigate the choices you’ll be faced with?  How do you avoid the risks, often only spotted in hindsight, of beginning the middle and ending up in the wrong place, again often spotted only in hindsight?  How do you make the start of your journey the foundations of your success?  Come along for a quick slice of Agile’s experience in shaping a good start to ‘make things better’ journeys.

Niamh Moore Cherry is Associate Professor in Urban Governance and Development in the UCD School of Geography and Vice-Principal for Teaching and Learning in the College of Social Sciences and Law.


Sara O’Sullivan is Associate Professor in UCD School of Sociology and Associate Dean for Social Sciences. 




Brian Mullins was appointed Director of Sport in UCD in 2000 and Director of Health Promotion in UCD 2016.  Brian is responsible for the development and implementation of a health promoting university initiative at UCD in order to create an environment on campus that impacts positively on the wellbeing of our staff, faculty, students and local community.


Lisa Harold was appointed to the role of Health Promotion Coordinator with the Healthy UCD initiative in 2017 and has studied and worked in the area of health promotion for the last 10 years.  Lisa is responsible for the day-to-day running of the initiative which provides training and talks to staff and students on various health topics, liaising with colleagues and departments across campus and creating social media and website content.
Bronagh Hanna is a UCD Psychology Graduate who holds an MSc in Systemic Psychotherapy from UCD School of Medicine.  Bronagh has worked as a counsellor in several different settings with her main focus and interest being Children, Adolescents and Emerging Adults.  Bronagh has a keen interest in mindfulness as a practice which she believes enables people to manage their stress and anxiety and other emotions which may otherwise impact on their wellbeing.

Claire Nolan has been administrator of the School of Information and Communication Studies since 2017.  She founded the Community of Practice for School Managers to allow better opportunities for Recognition, Training and Development and Resourcing, as well as creating professional socialisation for colleagues.


Ryan Teevan is Deputy Director of Administrative Services in UCD Registry and has worked in Registry for almost 8 years in a number of different roles.  Ryan has recently been appointed to the chair of the Registry Staff Development and Training Group.  He has been involved in a number of the key outputs of the group from suggesting areas of interest to presenting at Registry master classes.
Ciara McCabe works in UCD Registry and has been involved with the Registry Staff Development and Training Group since it was first established in 2014.  With her close involvement with setting up initiatives such as masterclasses and a staff recognition scheme, Ciara has a keen interest in working collaboratively with colleagues across UCD to share ideas on how we can work smarter together to develop more training and development opportunities.
Michelle Latimer has worked in Academic Libraries since November 2000 initially in NUI Galway.  In 2004 she joined the UCD Library and has worked in the Architecture, Veterinary and James Joyce Libraries.  In 2012 she has been working in the Planning and Administration Unit as the Office Manager and PA to the University Librarian.  UCD Library held its first Annual Staff Day in 2014 and Michelle has been involved in the planning and organisation of this and other training events since 2015.
Kate Conroy joined UCD in April 2016 and is responsible for promoting engagement activities across campus, specifically with the College of Science and Social Sciences and Law.  Kate also works to engage with the wider UCD community through public facing events such as UCD Festival and UCD Alumni Awards.  Kate’s work focuses on building meaningful relationships with alumni, staff and students alike and creating collaborative opportunities and activities.  An experienced event and communications coordinator, Kate hopes to continue to work with people from across the University in the coming years.
Ria Flom joined University College Dublin in April 2018.  She is responsible for the recently launched UCD Alumni Volunteering Programme.  She supports the Development and Alumni Relations team with Young Alumni engagement, and pan-University events.  To her first role in Higher Ed, she brings proven ability to influence and collaborate across diverse audiences, listening to the complex requirements of various stakeholders to ensure success and a result that addresses needs and exceeds expectations.  Ria is a dynamic, curious and personable problem-solver, facilitator and networker working with volunteers, teams and senior leaders across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.  She is a dual citizen of the USA and Ireland, originally from Minnesota.
Jennie Blake joined University College Dublin in April 2009.  She is Associate Director for Alumni Relations and is responsible for engaging alumni in a number of ways. Jennie works with two colleges: the College of Arts and Humanities, and the College of Health and Agricultural Science. She also secures sponsorship for major alumni events, manages a number of pan-university events and oversees the Alumni Volunteering programme. Jennie has 20 years experience engaging with multiple stakeholders across the charity, private and education sectors.

Susan Butler is Operations Manager at the UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy.  Prior to this she worked in higher education administration and management in DCU and the Higher Education Authority (HEA).

How to Bee Smarter Together: A Research Pollinator Event on Food


Caitriona Devery After 6 years working in UK Universities, Caitriona joined UCD Research Office Proposal Support Team in 2015.  Two years later she moved to her current role as Research Coordinator in the School of Politics and International Relations.  She works with researchers in the school to identify opportunities and support applications for funding.  Collaboration with other schools and units is an integral and enjoyable part of this.  Outside of UCD Caitriona has a keen interest in food writing and acts as editor and writer for a number of publications including District Magazine and Feast Journal.

How to Bee Smarter Together: A Research Pollinator Event on Food

Food for Thought: Perspectives on Food in Science, History and Society was a workshop hosted in December 2018 by UCD Research and Innovation and the UCD Institute for Discovery, together with several Research Institutes across UCD, which brought together researchers from a wide variety of Schools and Institutes for an interdisciplinary “Pollinator” event.  The objective of the workshop was to connect researchers across STEM and AHSS disciplines, with a view to developing proposals for interdisciplinary funded research.  The event comprised an overview of current interdisciplinary food research; short 3 minute snapshots of colleagues’ food research interests; presentations on the research funding landscape and facilitated discussion and development of skeleton research projects.

The event co-ordinating group included Sinead McGinley, Research Partner, UCD Research and Innovation; Aisling Jackman, Research Administrator, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems; Dr Geraldine Quinn, Manager, UCD Institute for Food and Health; Tara Byrne, Manager, UCD Institute for Discovery; Professor Thilo Kroll, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Health Systems; Dr Elva O’Sullivan, Engagement Manager, UCD Institute for Discovery.

Two members of the group Caitriona Devery, School of Politics and International Relations Research Coordinator and Susan Butler, Manager, UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy will be presenting here today.  We are delighted to be represented at WST2019 and hope to develop a model for Research Pollinator events that can facilitate future collaboration across UCD.

Dr Colleen Blayney Doyle is a long-standing member of the UCD staff and has served the university in a variety of roles including student, tutor, administrator and student adviser.  She is active in student affairs professional bodies in Ireland and America and was delighted to bring the NACADA International Conference to campus in the summer of 2018.  A self-confessed nerd, Colleen enjoys researching most things related to students in higher education, but she is most passionate about the theory of emerging adulthood and the role of students’ parents during the college years.  She was recently seconded to the International Office as Senior Global Partnership Officer.

James Molloy has worked in UCD since 2006 and is currently the College Liaison for Engineering and Architecture.  Alongside his teaching and learning responsibilities, he is the UCD Library lead on their e-learning project, he oversees library orientation and has specialisation in the development of library teaching and learning space.  He has previously held posts with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and working as a Library Advisor at the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA), Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  He is on the Board of LIR HEAnet user group for libraries as Communications Officer.  Always on the lookout for opportunities within his position in the Library to get involved in projects that enables use of his creative skills.  Enjoys travel, amateur (very amateur) photography, reading (goes without saying as a Librarian), doing dad stuff and always has the Irish Times “Crosaire” crossword to hand.  You will find him somewhere on Twitter @jpjmolloy.

Dr Alfonso Blanco obtained his PhD degree (cum laude) at the Universidade de Vigo (Spain), where he also obtained his MSc in Biology also with the maximum qualification. Alfonso is the Scientific Director of the Core Technologies and Director of the Flow Cytometry Core Technologies in the University College Dublin, European distributor and Instructor of ExCyte. Expert Cytometry, Co-Director and founder of the Cytometry Society of Ireland, past-Councilor of ISAC (International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry), President and co-founder of the Spanish Research Society in Ireland (SRSI), co-founder and member of the Red de Asociaciones de Científicos e Investigadores Españoles en el Extranjero (RAICEx), and Scientific Advisor of the companies Sothic BioScience, Radisens Diagnostics and Java Clinical Research. Alfonso Blanco has been involved in the beta-testing of several products from many of the major manufacturers in cytometry (BD, Beckman Coulter, ThermoFisher, AbCam, Chemometech, DeNovo Software, Inivai, etc.).

Alfonso organizes the UCD Summer School, as well as the ExCyte courses in Europe. He is the co-organiser of several courses such as the 1a Escuela de Citometría in LatinAmerica, Brazil ISAC Flow Cytometry Workshop, or Karolisnka Institute Flow Cytometry course. Alfonso was involved in the development of CYTOUniversity material and acts as co-chair of Instrument 4 Science and as a member of ISAC Associated Societies and ISAC Membership Services Committee ISAC Task Forces, as well as member of the European Society of Clinical Cytometry Analysis Website & Communication Committee and ESCCA Membership Committee and Facebook administrator of ISAC, ESCCA, CSI and SRSI Facebook sites.

Alfonso won the Accuri´s Creativity Awards 2009 “Innovative Applications of Flow Cytometry”, the Irish Laboratory Awards 2013 “Laboratory Staff Member of the Year” and was finalist of the Irish Laboratory Awards 2013 “Educational Laboratory of the Year”. Together with Sothic BioScience have reached the finals of the “Irish Times Innovation Awards 2016” and his support Sothic Bioscience competed in the “BOI Startup Awards (shortlisted 2017)” and won First Prize in the “Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition 2016”. Dr. Blanco has been selected by ISAC as 1 of the 5 ISAC Scholars 2010-2015 and is one of the Global Reference labs for Beckman Coulter and he is considered as one of the Key Opinion Leaders in Cytometry.

Gwyneth MacMaster is Chief Technical Officer in the School of Biology and Environmental Science.  Gwyneth is a member of the UCD Green Campus steering group and was heavily involved in organising the intervarsity Bioblitz in 2016 during which UCD were crowned Champions for 2016, recording an impressive 523 species of organisms across the campus in a 24 hour period. 


Dr Mark d’Alton is Director of Biomedical Facilities and Designated Veterinarian, UCD.  He is Chairman, Smarter Travel Working Group and Chairman, Dublin Mountains Initiative. He is a committed cyclist and serial windmill tilter.
Dr Andrew Jackson is an Assistant Professor of Law at the Sutherland School of Law in University College Dublin, specialising in environmental and planning law.  Andrew previously worked for the law firm Slaughter and May, in London and Paris; for the UK Government’s legal service, in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); and with NGO’s friends of the Irish Environment and An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, where he was Natural Environment Officer and In-House Solicitor.  Andrew has been involved in public interest environmental and planning litigation for many years, including before the Irish, English and EU courts.  Andrew is a graduate of Oxford University (BA, Law) and of Cambridge University (LLM).  He also holds an MSc in Biodiversity and Conservation from Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and a PhD from TCD on EU environmental policy and law.

Katie O’Dea is UCDSU Environmental Campaigns Coordinator. Katie and her UCD EcoSoc team were one of the main driving forces behind UCD’s inaugural Green Week.

Final year History and Politics & International Relations student running for Campaigns & Communications Officer in the Students’ Union-plays camogie when not campaigning!

Dr Una Fitzpatrick has a Ph.D. in botany. She worked on a project on the conservation of Irish bees before joining the National Biodiversity Data Centre in 2007. She is responsible for the plant, vegetation and pollinator work programmes of the Centre.  She is the chair of the steering group that produced the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan 2015-2020 and oversees its implementation.
Dr Lisa Ryan is an energy economist with research interests in the economics of energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change. She is the ESIPP lecturer in School of Economics at University College Dublin and a principal investigator of the UCD Energy Institute. She is also a member of the board of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (the Irish national energy agency). Lisa has a PhD in environmental economics from University College Dublin (UCD), and other postgraduate and undergraduate degrees in economics and engineering from UCD and Colorado School of Mines, USA. She was the senior energy economist in the Energy Efficiency Unit at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris until summer 2013. She has published numerous journal articles and research reports in the areas of energy and transport policy, economics, and energy efficiency and gives advice to national and international institutions such as the World Bank, the International Energy Agency, the OECD, and the Irish Government on energy policy.  Lisa also previously worked for Comhar, the national Sustainable Development Council as research director, as emissions analyst at Volkswagen AG in Germany, and as policy analyst at the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.
Dr Fabio Pallonetto is a Senior Power System Researcher in the UCD Energy Institute with more than ten years’ experience in the energy and transport sectors working as an entrepreneur, data scientist and researcher across different industries and disciplines.  He is the founder of the UCD Sustainable Energy Community in partnership with SEAI and the Energy Institute.