Calmast director is finalist in Network Women in Business awards in STEM

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Dr Sheila Donegan receiving the  Network Ireland Waterford region Women in Business STEM award which led to representing Waterford in the Network Ireland National Business Awards

Dr Sheila Donegan receiving the Network Ireland Waterford region Women in Business STEM award which led to representing Waterford in the Network Ireland National Business Awards

This is the first year of the STEM award, in these prestigious awards which celebrate the excellence, professionalism, vision and leadership of women in business

Dr Sheila Donegan, Director of Calmast has been shortlisted for the Network Ireland Women in Business awards in STEM.

The awards ceremony will take place in the Celtic Ross Hotel Roscarberry, Co Cork on Friday, 27 September 2019.

These prestigious awards celebrate the excellence, professionalism, vision and leadership of Women in Business across all areas of the Irish and international business world. There are 8 different categories. This is the first year of the STEM award.

Regional winner

Dr Donegan previously won the Network Ireland Waterford region Women in Business STEM award and is now representing Waterford in the Network Ireland National Business Awards.

“I am delighted to be a finalist in the national Network Women in Business awards," said Dr Donegan.  "It's great to see the importance of STEM recognised by Network Ireland, with this new award for STEM. “It's important that everyone but in particular girls and young women realise that there are many rewarding careers in STEM available to them. I hope that by winning this award, I can continue to work as a role model and encourage more young women to engage with STEM. This award endorses the importance of the work in promoting STEM which is benefiting women and wider society, which needs greater focus particularly for young women."

Dr Donegan received the award for her role in public engagement and promotion of STEM. Since 2003, Dr Donegan has been director of Calmast, WIT’s STEM engagement centre and has been very active promoting STEM with regional, national and international activity. Calmast promotes all areas of STEM to all. Established in 2003 Calmast activities have scale and impact, reaching 20,000 annually in SE and 400,000 nationally (Maths Week).

National promotion

Sheila has been very active on the national stage in the promotion of STEM, and in 2006 co-founded Maths Week with her colleague in Calmast, Eoin Gill. In 2018, over 400,000 participated in Maths Week Ireland, making it the biggest maths festival of its kind in the world. This model is now being replicated in Scotland, England , Madrid, and Oxford

Through Calmast‘s multifaceted programmes in STEM, Sheila has made an outstanding contribution to STEM, raising awareness of STEM to all ages and all abilities. She has developed many STEM activities for schools and the public, and developed the centre to be the STEM Hub for the Southeast, working with schools, industry and the public with 20,000 participating regionally.

Awards and accolades

Sheila has won many national and international awards for her work including In 2006 the EU Descartes award, (EU’’s highest award in science communication, and won previously by Sir David Attenborough and Bill Bryson) for Eureka , a weekly primary science magazine with Irish Independent, which she won with colleague Eoin Gill.

Sheila is currently, a member of the RDS Science and Technology Committee, and in 2016 was elected to the Council of the RDS. She is the Chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry Education Division (Ireland) and serves on the Education Council of the RSC Division (UK).


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