Maths Week co-founder Dr Sheila Donegan named STEM businesswoman of the year

Donegan co-founded Maths Week Ireland in 2006, now its the biggest maths festival of its kind in the world
Dr Sheila Donegan. Picture: Patrick Browne

30 September 2019

Maths Week co-founder, Dr Shelia Donegan has received the Network Ireland National Businesswoman of the Year Award in STEM for her advocacy and promotion of STEM.

Dr Donegan is the director of Calmast, the STEM engagement centre at Waterford Institute of Technology. She has been in this role since the centre’s establishment in 2003.

In 2006, Dr Donegan co-founded Maths Week with her Calmast colleague, Eoin Gill. More than 400,000 people participated in the week’s celebrations in 2018, making it the biggest festival of its kind worldwide. The model will be replicated in Scotland, Madrid, Oxford, and there are plans for a UK Maths Week.




“It’s great to see the importance of STEM recognised by Network Ireland, with this new award,” said Dr Donegan. “It’s important that everyone, and 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 is one of the many awards Dr Donegan has received for her work. In 2006 she won the EU Descartes award, won previously by Sir David Attenborough and Bill Bryson.

Maths Week Ireland takes place from 12-20 October, 2019. For more information, visit:

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