Annual IUA HR Conference


Professor John Lowry

Professor John Lowry  [Photo] The Changing Face of Core Business in Universities

Professor John Lowry is a leading Scientist in the research field of neuroanalytical techniques and neuroscience. Many of the drugs used empirically in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and depression, as well as mind-altering substances of abuse, have specific chemical actions on nerve cells in the brain, highlighting the importance of chemical signalling in the functioning of neural networks. Research in Professor Lowry's group centres around the development of new methodologies to study such neurochemical phenomena in the living brain. Methods used include sampling (e.g. Brain Microdialysis), spectroscopic (e.g. fMRI) and electrochemical (e.g. In Vivo Voltammetry) techniques which allow investigations of the functions and roles of specific neurochemicals in neuronal signalling, drug actions, and well-defined behaviours.

A graduate of University College Dublin, Professor Lowry was appointed as lecturer in Analytical Chemistry at The National University of Ireland, Maynooth in 1998. In 2004, he was appointed as Principle Investigator and Lecturer in Pharmacology, Pharmacology Department, Conway Institute of Bimolecular and Biomedical Research, UCD. Appointed to the Chair of Chemistry and Head of Department in 2006 for The National University of Ireland, Maynooth, he has authored more than 80 publications and his group has filed several patents on neurochemical brain sensors. In 2009, he was announced as the winner of the prestigious Enterprise Ireland Life Sciences & Food Commercialisation Award 2009 "as recognition for bringing his exemplary decade long work in sensor technology to the commercial market place through a company called Blue Box Sensors".

To date, Professor Lowry has attracted €4.3 m in funding from SFI, The Welcome Trust, Enterprise Ireland, HRB, Royal Society of Chemistry & Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (UK), EU and the international pharmaceutical industry (UCBPharma, Eli Lilly, and Solvay Pharmaceuticals).

Dr. David Bowman

Dr. David Bowman [Photo] University/Industry interactions: opportunities and challenges associated with such interactions

David Bowman obtained his D.Phil in Biochemical Pharmacology from the University of Oxford in 1981. He joined Lilly in 1985, following 4 years in academic research. He has been involved in many aspects of drug development, with particular emphasis on neuroscience compounds. During his career at Lilly, Dr Bowman has held a number of discovery research and business management roles. He is currently responsible for Scientific Affairs activities in Europe, with a focus on establishing mutually beneficial collaborations with academic institutions.

Dr. Maureen Gaffney

Dr. Maureen Gaffney [Photo] Flourishing Under Fire: Challenge and Change in the Irish University Sector

Dr. Maureen Gaffney is a well known Irish broadcaster, writer and columnist. A psychologist by profession, she worked for many years in Trinity College Dublin as Director of the Doctoral Programme in Clinical Psychology.

She is a well known advisor to companies on psychological issues relating to Leadership Development, Gender and Emotional Intelligence in the workplace and has worked in Ireland, the UK, Israel, and the US.

She serves on two state boards. She is Chair of the National Economic and Social Forum which advises government on economic and social issues and is a Member of the Board of the Health Service Executive which has responsibility for the running of the Irish health services. She is Chair of the International Advisory Group of Futures Ireland, a foresight planning process set up by the Department of the Taoiseach (Prime Minister).

She also served as a Law Reform Commissioner for 10 years, is a former Chairman of the Council of the Insurance Ombudsman of Ireland and has served on number of other boards. She earned her B.A. in Psychology at University College Cork, her M.A. in Behavioural Sciences at the University of Chicago and her PhD at Trinity College Dublin. She is a member of the Women’s Leadership Board, The Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Ms. Damini Kumar

Ms Damini Kuma [Photo] Doing Things Differently

Award winning designer Damini Kumar, is the European Ambassador for Creativity & Innovation, a prestigious role which she was appointed by the EU Commission in January 2009 to foster the principles and value of innovation and creativity at all levels of European society. Damini is an international expert in design, creative thinking and innovation and is regularly asked to advise organisations & governments, give keynote addresses at conferences and judge competitions - she is currently a judge for the “Your Country, Your Call” competition in Ireland.

Damini has consistently stressed the importance and benefits of young people learning to use their creativity for problem solving in their own environments. In 2009, she created and organised the very successful ‘Imaginate 2009’ – an exciting design competition hosted by National University of Ireland, Maynooth encouraging creativity to all secondary school students across Ireland.

Damini, who is a native to the UK, graduated from Imperial College London with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and later completed two Masters of Science degrees; one in Product Design in the UK and most recently another MSc by research which she was awarded a distinction from the UCD School of Medicine. Damini is also now a certified De Bono trainer which enables her to teach the skill of creative thinking to any person or organisation so they can actively solve problems creatively.

Damini’s design career has been very diverse and she has worked for various companies including Conran and she was also the event director for the BBC Tomorrow’s World Roadshow which entailed organising a 4 week exciting Science event for 100,000 children. She joined National University of Ireland, Maynooth in 2007 where she directed and successfully completed setting up a new BSc Honours Degree in Product Design before moving to her current role of Director of Design & Creativity but she still continues to lecture for the programme.

Damini's lifelong ambition was to be an inventor and since the age of five she has been actively designing solutions to problems that she has encountered. In 1998 Damini invented the world's first non-drip spout, a simple award winning innovation which disproved years of scientific research into the ubiquitous problem of the dripping teapot. The worldwide patented invention is simple and can be applied to any pouring spout from teapots to petrol pumps and can be manufactured in any material.

Damini’s many awards include The Young British Female Inventor of the Year, Asian Young Achiever of the Year, being commended by Her Majesty the Queen as one of the top 100 British female achievers of all time and she has also been listed as one of the “Top 100 Women in the World” by Cosmopolitan magazine.

Professor Mary Corcoran

Professor Mary Corcoran [Photo] Master of Ceremonies for 9th Annual IUA HR Conference

Mary P. Corcoran is Professor of Sociology, at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, where she is also a research associate at the National Institute for Regional and Spatial Analysis (NIRSA).

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she received a Doctorate in Sociology from Columbia University, New York, in 1991. Her PhD research explored the experiences of undocumented Irish immigrants in the city in the 1980s. Her research and teaching interests lie primarily in the fields of Urban Sociology, Public Culture and the Sociology of Migration. The author and editor of many books, articles and reports her most recent publication, Suburban Affiliations (2010) is a study of social relations in the greater Dublin area.

A regular contributor to radio and television programmes such as The Marian Finucane Show, RTE Radio 1 and The View with John Kelly, RTE 1. Professor Corcoran was also an independent member of the National Economic and Social Forum (NESF) for 5 years.

For full details on Professor Corcoran’s publications, please click here

Mr. Terence McCrann, Partner

Mr Terence McCrann [Photo] Engaging and Managing resources in a university in a radically changed environment

Terence has headed the Employment Group since 1996 and is recognised as a leading employment law expert in Ireland. He advises and guides clients in this complex area, and assists employers in developing risk management strategies in respect of employment issues.

Chambers Europe accords Terence a Band 1 ranking while in Legal 500 he is recommended for being ‘an expert in his field’ and ‘highly professional’. Terence served as Chairman of the specialist Employment and Equality Law Committee of the Law Society for 3 years. He is also a member of the European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA) and has lectured and written extensively in this area since 1996. His latest publication is a chapter on Redundancy Law in Tottel’s Employment Law in Ireland, just published.

Public Sector employment is a key part of the Group’s activity; advising on public sector emergency legislation and impact on pay and pension as well as the moratorium and industrial relations arising.Terence has vast experience of advising both, private and public sector organisations as well as practical experience of dealing with industrial relations and employment law cases before the Labour Court, LRC, Employment Appeals Tribunal, Equality Tribunal and the Courts.

Conscious of a wish to resolve disputes and to minimise their disruptive potential for clients, Terence has established skills in mediation and dispute resolution. He is also is a CEDR (Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution) accredited mediator and has participated in mediations and acted as a Mediator.

Ms. Mary Kelleher, Solicitor

Ms Mary Kelleher [Photo] Engaging and Managing resources in a university in a radically changed environment

Having trained with McCann FitzGerald, Mary qualified in 2002 and specialises in employment and equality law related issues. Legal 500 notes that she is ‘very responsive and knowledgeable on equality matters’. She advises a range of clients in both the private and public sector on all aspects of the employment relationship. This includes advice on the management of organisational change (for example, pay reductions and redundancies and changes to terms and conditions of employment in the current climate), equality and discrimination issues, as well as employment issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions and outsourcing arrangements. She also assists employers in relation to contentious issues arising from disciplinary matters, termination of employment, bullying and harassment investigations, performance management, and the conduct of employee claims in all employment fora (the Courts, Employment Appeals Tribunal, Labour Court and Rights Commissioner).

Mary advises on all aspects of equality legislation particularly in relation to the conduct of claims for discrimination regarding access to employment before the Equality Tribunal (applications for employment and promotion), terms and conditions of employment, claims in respect of benefits and discriminatory dismissal. She also has extensive experience acting for clients in relation to claims pursuant to fixed-term legislation, both in terms of claims discriminatory treatment and claims to contracts of indefinite duration.

Mr. Stephen Lalor, BL FIIPM, Associate Director, Pensions Consultant

Stephen Lalor [Photo] Employee Financial Security and Absence Management

Stephen had over 20 years experience with major consulting firms in Ireland before joining Willis in 2001. He advises major domestic and multinational clients on Employee Benefits including benefit design, legal and compliance aspects and employee communications. In recent years he has been involved with major clients in managing and improving voluntary and employer sponsored life assurance and income protection plans. A Barrister at Law, he has written and lectured extensively on trusteeship and communication. He is a fellow of the Irish Institute of Pensions Managers and member of the Association of Pension Lawyers in Ireland.

Mr. Peter Cassells

Mr. Peter Cassells [Photo] Forthcoming Report of the Strategy Group on Higher Education - The Implications for HR

Peter Cassells worked with the Irish Congress of Trade Unions for 29 years. He held the post of General Secretary of ICTU from 1987 to 2002. He has held several senior positions at at National Level including Chairman of the National Centre for Partnership and Performance and Chair of Forfás and was lead negotiator on Social Partnership Programmes from 1987 to 2002. He is currently a member of the Governing Body of National University of Ireland, Maynooth, also a member of the Strategy Group on Higher Education and Director of Peter Cassells Consultants Ltd, specialising in the implementation of change.

NUI Maynooth