Professor Brian MacCraith
Chairperson of the Genio Trust; President of Dublin City University

Brian MacCraith received his B.Sc and PhD in physics (Optical Spectroscopy of chromium-doped crystals) at NUI, Galway. He joined the staff of Dublin City University in 1986 and established the Optical Sensors Laboratory shortly afterwards. Since then, he has been prominent in the field of optical chemical sensors and biosensors, biomedical diagnostics and nanobiophotonics. In 1997, Prof. MacCraith was a Visiting Scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington DC, working on Optical Array Biosensors at the Centre for Biomolecular Science and Engineering. In October 1999, he became founding Director of the National Centre for Sensor Research (NCSR; www.ncsr.ie) at DCU. The NCSR has now grown to a scale of 240 researchers. In August 2001, Prof. MacCraith was elected to Fellowship of the Institute of Physics. In 2005, a spin-off company (Gas Sensor Solutions) based on technology developed by Prof. MacCraith won the Liavan Mallin Invent Award for innovation. In October 2005, he was appointed Director of the Biomedical Diagnostics Institute (BDI; www.bdi.ie) with funding of €22.5m. The BDI is an Academic-Industrial-Clinical partnership involving over 100 researchers and is focussed on the development of next-generation Point-of-Care diagnostic platforms. In 2007, Prof MacCraith was elected to membership of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA). In 2008, he co-chaired Europtrode IX, the major European conference in Optical Chemical Sensors and Biosensors. In December 2009 he was elected to Fellowship of SPIE, the international Photonics Organisation. Prof MacCraith is renowned internationally for his research on optical chemical sensors and biosensors; he has a substantial track record of publications and intellectual property in this area. Currently, he is a member of the Forfas Advisory Council on Science, Technology & Innovation and the Government-appointed High-Level Steering Group on Research Prioritisation. Prof. MacCraith also has a strong profile in teaching and learning activities. He was also responsible for establishing DCU degree programmes in Physics with French and Physics with German. In addition, Prof. MacCraith has had a substantial involvement in Science Education activities through membership of the Institute of Physics Education Subgroup, the RIA National Commission for the Teaching of Physics and various DCU committees dealing with this topic. He has also organised Training Workshops for Physics teachers and, with funding from Intel Ireland, the "Young Women in Physics" series aimed at attracting Secondary schoolgirls into physics careers. More recently, in his roles as Director of the NCSR and BDI, respectively, he pioneered the establishment of Education and Outreach programmes with a special focus on enhancing Primary and Secondary School Science Education. In July 2010, he was inaugurated as President of Dublin City University, a position that he will hold for 10 years.


Geraldine Ruane
Chief Operating Officer, Trinity College Dublin

Geraldine Ruane was formerly Chief Executive Officer of Ordnance Survey Ireland and is now Chief Operating Officer of Trinity College, Dublin. Her consultative management style has been backed up by her lifelong learning on leadership, coaching and mentoring from Harvard University, International Institute for Management Development (IMD), Institute of Directors in Ireland (IOD), Irish Management Institute (IMI) and University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. With a strong commercial and finance background and 25 years as a Senior Executive, Geraldine Ruane has led and developed strategic vision, implemented growth strategies and efficiencies within the pharma, ICT, manufacturing and public sectors.


Barney Whelan
Former Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, An Post

Barney Whelan retired from An Post as Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs in 2016. He is currently working on a number of exciting projects. Having spent many years in the aquaculture industry, he was responsible for public relations and brand communications at the ESB from 1992 to 2002. He subsequently held the position of Director, Sales and Marketing at safefood, The Food Safety Promotion Board. He is currently a Governor of the National Gallery and also sits on the Foundation Board of the National College of Ireland and the Board of Drinkaware. He has chaired a number of non-profit organisations over the years.

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