Engineers of tomorrow inspired by Maurice F Fitzgerald Prize winner, Áine Cahill

Posted on: 23 September 2017

Trinity College Dublin’s engineers of tomorrow were inspired by the perfect role model as alumnus and Maurice F Fitzgerald Prize winner, Áine Cahill, delivered a speech to the 200 new undergraduates who will soon begin their academic careers in engineering.

Áine Cahill was awarded the highly prestigious Maurice F Fitzgerald Prize having achieved a level of distinction in her studies at Trinity, where she specialised in electronic and electrical engineering. Graduating late last year with a gold medal in Bachelors of Engineering, Áine has gone on to study for a Masters co-hosted by San Jose University and Dublin City University.

The Maurice F Fitzgerald Prize is managed by trustees including Provost of Trinity, Dr Patrick Prendergast, Head of Trinity’s School of Engineering, Professor Henry Rice, Director of Undergraduate Teaching and Learning in Trinity’s School of Engineering, Professor Alan O’Connor, Assistant Professor in Trinity’s School of Computer Science and Statistics, Michael Brady, and former Director General of Engineers Ireland, Mr Finbar Callanan.

Maurice F Fitzgerald winner, Áine Cahill, with some of the Trustees in Trinity after speaking to the incoming class of 2017.

Áine was elected a Scholar of Trinity in 2014 and gained research experience in Bayesian optimal decision-making during her studies. She conducted research on nanomaterials in CRANN at Trinity, and on microwave signal-processing in Notre Dame University, USA, after securing a Naughton Fellowship. Áine also gained industry research experience on medical device design with Laerdal in Norway, and on telecommunications with Huawei in China.

Having blossomed at Trinity and spread her wings within academic and industry circles across the globe, it was no surprise to hear her speak passionately to the incoming engineering class of 2017 about the doors – both near and far — that an engineering degree can open.

Áine expressed her delight that “engineering is a passport for travel, and a passport for opportunities,” noting that a career in this field “takes you on an amazing and really exciting journey,” — particularly if you forge collaborative links with peers and professors.

Head of Trinity’s School of Engineering, Professor Henry Rice, said: “Aine's motto for sure is 'seize the day'. There is always time in her world for study, adventure and art. We wish her well and will greatly value our future interaction."

Áine will soon begin an MPhil in Machine Learning, Speech and Language Technology at Cambridge University. In the future, she hopes to study for a PhD in computational neuroscience and machine learning, and to collaborate with other researchers to develop brain-computer interface systems to improve the language and memory of people living with neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

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