AI Digital Transformation Women in Manufacturing

Est. reading time: 3 minutes
Author: Ruth Kearney

Attending conferences has its opportunity-cost, but I usually find them productive and worthwhile. I’m no stranger to the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference held in the RDS every year and find that there is a good networking opportunity with strong representation of both manufacturers and vendors from all over the world.

Ruth Kearney

Ruth is focused on driving the commercial path at Nightingale HQ, reaching out to manufacturers to share the GoSmarter toolkit, and driving awareness …


This year I was there to promote STRADA, a new leadership development programme for women across manufacturing that is funded by EIT Manufacturing. It’s a three month online programme that’s free and delivered through a structured element of programme of lectures, webinars and 1-1 mentoring sessions. It was the first time to meet with project partners Gema who is spearheading the programme, Sophie O’Kelly, International Programmes and Research Funding Manager at I-Form, the SFI Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Beatriz Martínez Pastor Assistant Professor, School of Civil Engineering, UCD. This was exciting as we have been working remotely since January and there is nothing like meeting in person. It was an absolute bonus to meet current students taking the course and learn more about their backgrounds and how they in turn can support the programme.

It was great to catch up with Joan Mulvihill Digitalisation & Sustainability Lead at Siemens who’s innovative perspective to digitalisation is a must for STRADA. And new contact Prachi Shrivastava, Software System Principal Engineer at Dell Technologies who’s experience with MES and quality is core to what we want to demystify for all emerging leaders on the programme.

Manufacturing conferences

Outside of promoting STRADA, I meet with KUKA Ireland, partners on a new EIT funded project around planning optimisation in steel manufacturing - much more about this in the coming weeks! It was great to finally meet with Brian Cooney Managing Director, Thomas Campbell and the rest of the KUKA team.

Attending conferences forces me to take a bit of time out, to shut down the back office and be in the moment. I needed this little injection of community, I had missed it and forgot how much it energises me. It’s always good to hear what’s going on from such a large concentration of manufacturers and vendors from across all sectors.

Finally, I also appreciate that this conference is free and open to the general public and does a good job to raise awareness of the sector. I felt there was a notable influx of young people scouting around and checking out what manufacturing and tech have to offer, which is always a good thing!

Out and about

Next month, the NHQ team will be panelling and exhibiting at the Manufacturing Solutions Conference on 14/15 June in Technological University Of The Shannon (TUS) in Limerick.

We will also contribute to EIT Manufacturing BoostUp event on 20 June in partnership with Irish Manufacturing Research (IMR) in Mullingar and Advanced Technologies in Manufacturing (ATIM). This also give us an opportunity to get onsite with partners Midland Steel and work on our new optimisation project.

If you are attending either, reach out and connect.

Further info

STRADA leadership programme
EIT Manufacturing
KUKA Ireland
Midland Steel
National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference
Irish Manufacturing Research
EIT Manufacturing BoostUp! 2023 – Ireland
Manufacturing Solutions 2023
Advanced Technologies in Manufacturing (ATIM)