On Friday 27th April 2018, AIT awarded four distinguished fellowships to Pat Beirne of Mergon, Mary Burke of BioClin Research Laboratories, Jimmy McGee of Athlone Extrusions and John Gorman, Jadotville Veteran. The ceremony recognised and marked the immense contribution of each of the recipients through their life’s work which is truly inspirational and each one epitomises the qualities celebrated in the Distinguished Fellowship award.
This prestigious award is the Institute’s highest academic honour which recognises individuals who, through active leadership and/or scholarly endeavour over a significant period of time, have made continuing significant contributions to society, Ireland, the Midland region, the local community or to the development and advancement of Athlone Institute of Technology.
Awarding the Distinguished Fellowships Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, President of AIT said, “Awarding the fellowships is an acknowledgement of the significant impact that each of our distinguished fellows have made and the amazing legacy that they have created in their companies, sectors and communities nationally and globally.” He added, “Our connections with all of these individuals, companies and industries shows how important and symbiotic the Institutes relationship is with our community in Athlone, the region and industry.”
Since its foundation almost 50 years ago, Athlone Institute of Technology has worked with and supported both regional and national industry through the provision of highly skilled graduates in a number of core areas. The Institutes plays a catalytic role in the social, economic and cultural development of the region and has cultivated a range of valued partnerships with enterprise, industry and the various stakeholders to ensure that the Midlands gains from the economic recovery and that this will help to bring investment to the region.
Breda Lynch, Industry Programmes and Technology Transfer Manager at AIT delivered a citation on behalf of the Institute for Mr Pat Beirne of Mergon. In his address Professor Ó Catháin added, “Pat was a graduate of the first cohort of plastics engineers from AIT. His contribution to the plastics industry and employment in the midlands, particularly in north Westmeath has had significant impact. His company Mergon has collaborated with the institute on many research projects over the years and has helped in the education of our undergraduates through placements and invaluable input to our programmes. We at AIT recognise and value Pat as an industry expert in one of our core competencies, polymers.”
Professor Ciarán Ó Catháin, President of AIT noted as part of his address that AIT’s ambition remains clear with regards to its Technological University vision and status and noted, “As an institute we have a vision to become a technological university and we have consistently espoused the belief that our region would gain significantly from having a Technological University. In fact, a Technological University is essential if the Midlands is to achieve its untapped potential. As leaders in industry, as leaders in our region your personal support and the support of your sector in driving forward our ambition and vision is very important, for if we work together and leverage our influence it would be for the advancement of the region and for Athlone’s vision for 2040.”
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