Dr. Niamh Shaw

Dr. Niamh Shaw combines performance, writing, and her degrees in science and engineering to ignite people’s curiosity about planet Earth and our place in it. As Artist in Residence at CIT Blackrock Castle Observatory, she explores crossovers in STEM, art, space themes & communication to share the human story of science. She recently appeared on RTE’s ‘The Late Late Show’ to speak about this goal and how her experiences inspire & extend international partnerships in communicating Earth, STEM & space themes and has shared her story about getting to space at prominent events including WIRED Live UK, Space Rocks (ESA), NASA Johnson Space Centre, Inspirefest, New Scientist (UK).

Niamh is the 2018 co-recipient of ‘Outstanding Contribution to STEM Communications’ awarded annually by Science Foundation Ireland and recently spoke at Áras an Uachtaráin in response to President Higgins speech celebrating Women in the Sciences on international Women’s Day 2019.

Dr Sabina Brennan

Dr Sabina Brennan (PhD., C.Psychol.,PsSI.) is a psychologist, neuroscientist, award-winning science communicator and author of the No 1 best-seller 100 Days to a Younger Brain. Dr Brennan’s scientific research at Trinity College Dublin has focused on brain health, and dementia risk and protective factors to establish how decline in cognitive function might be prevented or delayed. She is currently leading a large research project at Trinity College looking at the relationship between brain health, genomics, lifestyle and dementia. Sabina has advised the Irish government on brain health and dementia risk reduction and is currently a member of advisory boards for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Longevity in Westminster. Sabina is Ireland’s national expert representative member on Alzheimer’s Disease International’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Panel. Sabina is a passionate advocate and serves on advocacy and scientific advisory committees for multiple organisations involved in promoting brain health and human rights for older adults and people with neurological conditions.

Dr Stephen Whelan

Dr Stephen Whelan is an Animal Scientist and is the Programme Director for the BSc in Sustainable Farm Management and Agribusiness at IT Carlow’s Wexford Campus. His main area of expertise is the nutritional management of farm animals and he has spent a number of years both researching and delivering talks in this area. Stephen has participated in the WexSci Festival since it started, giving talks on everything from the production of beer to the biology of fresh water streams.

Dr Hugh Feeley

Dr Hugh Feeley is an ecologist with the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Unit in the Environmental Protection Agency. Hugh has over 10 years’ experience in academia and environmental policy, covering a range of topics in assessing the health and biodiversity of Irish lakes and rivers. Hugh has a special interest in the taxonomy and ecology of aquatic insect groups and has written numerous scientific papers and magazine articles, and a book entitled ‘The Stonefly (Plecoptera) of Ireland – Distribution, Life Histories and Ecology’.

Annette Soraine

Annette Soraine is Chief Commercial Officer at INNOVATE, the digital technology company based in Gorey. She has responsibility for the development and execution of INNOVATE’S commercial strategy. She has over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry in Ireland, Netherlands, and the UK with global brands such as Microsoft, Cisco, Vodafone, and Oracle. Annette is a board member of Fastrack to IT. FIT works in close collaboration with government bodies to promote an inclusive Smart Economy by creating a fast track to marketable technical skills.

Cara Augustenborg

Cara Augustenborg is an environmental scientist by training and a media pundit by passion. Image Magazine named her as one of 18 women to watch in 2018. She is currently a Senior Fellow in Environmental Policy at University College Dublin and serves as Chairperson of Friends of the Earth Europe. Cara was appointed by Minister Denis Naughten as an advisor to Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 and to the first National Dialogue on Climate Action in 2017. In 2016, the Sunday Independent named Cara as one of the 20 most influential people to lead the low carbon transition in Ireland and GreenNews.ie called her one of five women in Ireland making incalculable contributions to Irish environmental issues.

Water Technologies

From the everyday consumer to scientists in the laboratory, we all rely on accurate information to make critical decisions. Waters Technologies is the world’s leading specialty measurement company focused on improving human health and well-being through the application of high-value analytical technologies and industry leading scientific expertise.

Our decisions and actions are guided by two simple words – Deliver Benefit. Our founder, Jim Waters, coined these words to encapsulate the idea that we should positively impact our customers, employees, shareholders and society at every opportunity.

Driven by that ethos for over sixty years, Waters Technologies has continually pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry and thermal analysis innovations. Whether it’s discovering new pharmaceuticals, assuring the safety of the world’s food and water supplies, or ensuring the integrity of a chemical entity in production, we are constantly working with our 40,000+ customers to change the world.

With a global workforce of approximately 7,200 employees, Waters Technologies operates in 35 countries, including 15 manufacturing facilities and with products available in more than 100 countries. Our diverse organization is well-positioned to Deliver Benefit through innovations that enhance human health and well-being.

Olivia Hall

OLIVIA has over 16 years’ experience working in the Environmental sector in Ireland. Olivia graduated with a M.Sc in Environmental Engineering in 2000 specialising in contaminated land and hydrogeology and went on to pursue her research career in the completion of a PhD in 2003. The core focus of this research work was the development of forensic environmental monitoring tools for the assessment of the fate and transport of chlorinated solvent compounds in groundwater. This work was completed on a number of sites throughout Ireland, the UK and the EU.

CHC Environmental Solutions Ltd was founded by Dr. Olivia Hall in 2013 to provide consultancy services in the areas of Water Resources, Contaminated Land, Risk Assessment, Remediation, Environmental Liability, Insurance, Environmental Forensics, Environmental Monitoring and Compliance, Licensing, Hydrogeology and Environmental Impact Assessment.

Dr. Tomás Ryan

Dr. Tomás Ryan originally graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2005 with a BA in genetics. He completed his Ph.D. in molecular neuroscience with Seth Grant at the University of Cambridge and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in 2009. His thesis work was supported by a Wellcome Trust PhD Fellowship. Following a year as Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, University Cambridge, he relocated to the USA to work as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the group of Susumu Tonegawa (Nobel Laureate, 1987) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (2010-2016). At MIT he was centrally involved in the development of novel genetic methods that allow for the labelling and manipulation of specific memory engrams in the rodent brain. This work was supported by Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and RIKEN Brain Sciences Institute, Japan. He started his research group in 2016 at Trinity College Dublin, where he is Assistant Professor of Neuroscience. Tomás also holds a joint faculty position at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His research is supported by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant, a Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) President of Ireland Young Researcher Award (PIYRA), and a Jacobs Foundation Fellowship. Outside of science, Tomás’ interests include travel, reading, philosophy, and politics.

Brendan Wallace

Brendan Wallace is a Wexford native who studied Mechanical Engineering at UCD. He was a designer, engineering head and manufacturing manager with international heavy engineering, petrochemical and power generating companies and holds patents. Brendan developed many atmospheric and vacuum processes in the largest heat treatment facility in Ireland. Fascinated by Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy as a child he now gives public lectures and visits schools on topics as varied as Special Relativity, Cosmology, Quantum Mechanics, Stellar Nucleosynthesis, Exoplanets, the Solar System and Particle Physics. He has developed and gives public demonstrations of a large capacity, continuously sensitive cloud chamber. This is a Muon and Alpha particle detector capable of detecting products of Radon decay and Cosmic Radiation. He tutors privately at second and third level in mathematics, physics, dynamics, thermodynamics and materials.

“Somewhere in Ireland there are the geniuses of tomorrow. They just have to be found.”

Dr Betsy Hickey

Dr Betsy Hickey is an ecologist and horticulturalist with a PhD. in Botany, a BSc. in Ecology and Diplomas in Commercial Horticulture. She has more than 20 years’ experience in these areas including design, construction, planting, aftercare, plant production, teaching and consultancy.

Alan Kelly

Alan Kelly Professor of Food Science and Technology at University College Cork, who studies the processing and preservation of food, particularly dairy products, and is the author of a recent book which aims to bring food science to a public audience (Molecules, Microbes and Meals: the Surprising Science of Food, Oxford University Press, 2019).

Stephanie Long

Stephanie Long is a senior scientist in the Radon Advice Section of the EPA. She is the Project Manager for Ireland’s National Radon Control Strategy and has an M.Sc. in physics from UCD.

John Hickey

John Hickey is the Regional Fisheries Development Officer for the Seafood Technical Services Business Unit with Bord Iascaigh Mhara. John is the also the facilitator for the Fisheries Local Action Group (FLAG) South-East and is based in the fishing port of Kilmore Quay.

Nicola Jordan

Nicola Jordan attended the Presentation Secondary School, Wexford, and graduated from UCC in 2003 as a civil engineer. Nicola currently works as a Water Conservation Engineer with Wexford County Council. When not travelling, she enjoys costal rowing, having rowed across the Irish Sea a few times, and going on hikes, although she still has to conquer Carrantuohill!

Niamh Turner

Niamh Turner is a native of Wexford town and following on from the Presentation Secondary School, Niamh graduated from University of Limerick with a degree in Electronics and Manufacturing Technology, of which she was the only female for four years. Starting her career as an engineer in Celestica, Niamh advanced through many world class electronic manufacturing companies from engineer to operations manager. In 2016 after 20 years in industry Niamh and her husband decided to start their own company, in order to teach young people about coding and technologies.

The School of Looking

The School of Looking project has its origins from artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly whose practice focuses on visual perception. Denis & Anne have shown in the Pompidou Centre, the Barbican and the Tate Modern. Their work involves collaborations with scientists, artists and the public, taking many forms but focusing always on the act of looking, a conversation with the eye of the beholder. Since 2017 they have been practicing under the name “The School of Looking” to reflect this overarching programme of their work.

Dr Ken Farquhar

Dr Ken Farquhar world juggling champion, soap bubble chemist and onetime TV presenter has spent over twenty years touring schools, arts and science events throughout the UK and beyond. He gained invaluable class experience as a teacher and creative practitioner producing several action research projects. His work was featured on Teachers TV and in communication publications for scientists. He runs workshops for the science communicators of the future and is an honorary lecturer at the University of East Anglia.

London Science Museum

London Science Museum are part of the world’s leading group of science museums, the London Science Museum founded in 1857 brings science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine to over 3.3 million visitors each year.

Anyone 4 Science

Anyone 4 Science was established in 2005 to provide fun, hands-on-science and engineering activities. They believe that in order to really learn about science, you have to get involved in hands-on activities. Their philosophy is to use simple, readily available household items to make the science accessible for everyone

Dr Matt Pritchard

Dr Matt Pritchard is a science magician and Curator of Wonder. Previously Matt conducted atomic physics research at Durham University. He subsequently went on to work within the Education department at Thinktank Science Museum before setting up his own company 8 years ago. In addition to this experience, he has spent the last 18 years working as a professional magician and is an Associate of the Inner Magic Circle – one of only 300 people in the world to hold this distinction.

He is a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association. In 2015 he was a finalist in the national Speaker Factor competition.

Cool Planet Experience

Cool Planet Experience is driven by the vision to educate, engage and inspire the public on the impact of global warming and solutions they can embrace to help solve the problem. CPE education encourages young people to develop an understanding of the world around them, and how to think critically about problems and solutions, key skills needed to address serious global issues such as climate change. Our goal is to inspire 21st century problem solvers who see themselves as change agents of tomorrow designing innovative solutions towards a low carbon future.


Tekcentral is a professional ICT training company specialising in computer science, coding, technology and physical computing for young people, schools and adults and is headed up by Frank and Niamh Turner. Frank and Niamh hold degrees in Electronic and Electrical Engineering, ICT teachers Diplomas, along with qualifications in cryptography, forensic engineering, IT management and digital media design. Having worked for many years in lots of exciting sectors within the Electronics, Computer and Manufacturing industries (and being from the Commodore 64 generation!!) they wanted to get young people enthusiastic again about computers and technology as they had been from a very young age!!

Junior Einsteins Science Club

Junior Einsteins Science Club is the creation of Tracey-Jane Cassidy MA MSc and was established in 2014. Tracey-Jane has achieved MA in Natural Science, from Trinity College Dublin and an MSc in Medical Microbiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Junior Einsteins mission is to nourish a lifelong love of learning through Science in all children, igniting their natural curiosity by providing, exciting, engaging, experimental practical STEM experiences, professionally delivered in a Structured, Safe, Supervised, Educational and Fun environment.


Bricks4Kidz provides project-based programmes designed to teach the principles of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) to children. Specially designed project kits and theme-based models provide the building blocks approach to educational play, promoting the reinforcement of STEM concepts and fostering teamwork and problem-solving skills.


WWETB, Waterford and Wexford Education and Training Board, provides a comprehensive range of education and training services throughout Waterford and Wexford and is the largest education and training provider in counties Waterford and Wexford.

Big Bear Planetariums

Big Bear Planetariums was set up by Carl O’ Beirnes in 2015 with the aim of making learning interesting and fun. The experience involves dazzling visual presentations that create an interactive opportunity for all audiences.

Nutty Scientists

Nutty Scientists provide fun interactive programmes for young people related to Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths. Their mission is to awaken the curiosity and imagination of children through interactive, hands on scientific activities.

Dr Karl Richards

Dr Karl Richards is a Principal Research Officer and head of the Environment Soils and Land-Use department in Teagasc Johnstown Castle. He has a Science degree and PhD from Trinity College. Previously he worked in consultancy and the Environmental Protection Agency before returning 18 years ago to work as a research scientist in Teagasc Johnstown Castle. His research interests include greenhouse gas emissions, water quality and options to improve the sustainability of agricultural systems. He has published over 100 papers in peer reviewed scientific journals.

Brendan Cooney

Brendan Cooney is the Senior Executive Scientist for the Wexford County Council. He is responsible for environmental regulation and management within County Wexford. Brendan has a Primary Degree in Environmental Science from Sligo IT and a Masters Degree in Environmental Resource Management from UCD as well as Diploma in Analytical Chemistry. He has in excess of 30 years’ experience in all aspects environmental working for a number of Local Authorities. Previously he has worked with Cavan County Council, Limerick County Council, and the Central Fisheries Board.

Next Upcoming Event

Comic Life – Visual Thinking by Creative Comics – Part 1

12 November 2020
- Southend Family Resource Centre
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