NUI Galway recognised Trinity's Pro Chancellor Jane Grimson, the first Trinity female engineering graduate, along with four other preeminent individuals for their contribution to society at the University’s 2017 Honorary Degrees on Friday 9 June . At the ceremony NUI Galway also conferred Honorary Doctorates on The Irish Times journalist, Fintan O’Toole; Engineer and former US Under Secretary for Energy, Dr Kristina Johnson; and businessman John McNamara.
Professor Jane Grimson was the first woman to graduate with a degree in Engineering from Trinity following which she obtained her masters and doctorate in Computer Science from the universities of Toronto and Edinburgh, respectively. She returned to Trinity as a lecturer in 1980 where she also served as Dean of Engineering, Pro-Dean of Research and Vice Provost. Prior to her retirement in 2014, she was seconded as Director of Health Information and then as Acting Chief Executive of the Health Information and Quality Authority.
She has published widely in the field of Health Informatics and was awarded the O’Moore Medal in 2007 for her contribution to the field. Professor Grimson is also a Past President of Engineers Ireland, the Irish Academy of Engineering, the Healthcare Informatics Society of Ireland and the Irish Computer Society. She is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow and Vice President of the Royal Irish Academy and of the Royal Academy of Engineering. She served as Chair of the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology, was a member of the Board of Science Foundation Ireland, of the European Research Advisory Board, and of the Executive the European Science Foundation. Jane is currently a member of the Health Research Board and of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy.
Professor Grimson has been involved for many years in the initiatives to promote the recruitment, retention and promotion of women in engineering and in academia. She was involved in the establishment of the STEPS programme in Engineers Ireland and WiSER (Women in Science and Engineering Research) at Trinity and is an active member of WITS (Women in Science and Technology). She chaired the Gender Equality Task Force at NUI Galway from 2015-2016 and is currently a member of the Advisory Committee on Gender Equality at the University.
Speaking at the conferring ceremony, NUI Galway President, Dr Jim Browne said: “NUI Galway is fortunate to be associated with many outstanding honorary graduates throughout its history and those being honoured this year form a particularly distinguished group. Each one has made an outstanding and distinctive contribution to the diverse fields of literature and journalism, business, science and engineering, public administration and philanthropy. NUI Galway is very pleased to be in a position to recognise these exceptional individuals.”