Mary hopes more young women will be attracted to a career in engineering: ‘There has never been a better time than now’

As she took the stage to earn her doctorate in mechanical engineering from Vienna University of Technology, it was a proud day for Wexford wife Maria Doyle-Kent and the latest in a string of achievements in the field . She now hopes to inspire the next generation of young women to follow her path in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry.

I spend a lot of time trying to encourage young women to get into engineering,” she says.

From an early age, Mary seemed destined to become an engineer. Daughter of Mary and the late James V Doyle of Coolballow, her father was well known in town for his garage on Redmond Road. While educated in Piercestown NS and Loreto, she also learned a lot alongside her father which set her on her current path.

“From an early age, I showed signs of determination, having been raised with four brothers and no sisters,” smiles Mary. “I’ve always loved science, math and engineering. Although it was an unusual choice in the 1980s for a young woman, it was the perfect education and career for me. My father was a fantastic mechanic and inventor and I remember spending time in his workshop on Redmond Road as a child mesmerized by the machines as he worked intensely on his projects.

“Also, my mother Mary has always been supportive in all of my life decisions and continues to be a fantastic support to our entire family.”

Mary’s journey into engineering began in Bolton Street in Dublin and at DIT. Here she earned an honors bachelor’s degree in production engineering and she has since added a master’s in mathematics, a master’s in engineering and a technical doctorate to her name. For 20 years she worked in a variety of different fields, such as creating new products in the automotive industry in the Loire Valley in France, working in the toy and sunglasses industry in Waterford and also finding time to get involved in a Brite Euram research. project in the Department of Experimental Physics at Maynooth College.

Around this time, Mary also began teaching classes at DIT in the evenings as she embarked on a research master’s degree in engineering at DCU. Currently, with the establishment of the new South East University of Technology, Wexford’s wife will serve as a program leader for the BEng in Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering courses, lecturing on production and manufacturing technology, sustainable materials , thermodynamics, engineering design and manufacturing quality. .

She is also currently the executive chair and board member of the global organization, the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). Therefore, as Mary recently traveled to Vienna to get her PhD, she already had quite an impressive CV. She began the journey to her final qualification in 2018, not letting a global pandemic stop her from achieving her goal.

“By studying in Vienna, I was able to expand my professional circle and I was honored to be supervised by a world-renowned expert in the field of robotics and Industry 4.0, she said. . “During the period 2018-2021, I published several articles and attended a number of international conferences, both in person and virtually, as well as participating in numerous four-hour online virtual conferences. My doctoral thesis s titled “Collaborative Robotics and Industry 5.0. This research investigated how, in a new era of manufacturing called Industry 5.0, robotics and humans can work together seamlessly. Collaborative robots and their operators are the future of an agile, flexible, environmentally friendly, safe and efficient work environment.

“According to the existing literature, this is the first essay to describe cobots in an interdisciplinary way, including technological, social, ethical, industrial and educational aspects. Individual concepts can be found, but the idea of ​​bringing these themes together consistently is the essence of this research.

A major undertaking, Mary as always had the unwavering support of her family and managed to balance it all while caring for her son Pierce (18).

“I have been patiently supported by my husband Aidan, family and friends over the three years and I could not have completed if I had not had that support,” she said. “As a mother and caregiver, it always feels like a miracle to have this work completed ahead of schedule!

“The most important thing I took away from this experience is that determination, hard work and passion will get you to that finish line. Education is never easy, but definitely worth every sacrifice. Engineering education and careers must appeal to a more diverse cohort so that our industries can thrive, remain globally competitive, and ensure the world is a better place for future generations. never had a better time to study engineering than now, the vast opportunities available to graduates locally, nationally and internationally are unparalleled.

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