Prof Ita Richardson, Lero with Prof Philip Nolan, Taighde Éireann CEO-Designate

Prof Ita Richardson appointed Deputy Director of Lero

STEM advocate takes up leadership role at software research centre
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Prof Ita Richardson, Lero with Prof Philip Nolan, Taighde Éireann CEO-Designate

28 February 2024

Prof Ita Richardson has been appointed Deputy Director of Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software.

A professor of software quality in the Dept of Computer Science & Information Systems at University of Limerick, Prof. Richardson will be the first woman to hold the role since Lero’s foundation in 2005.

“Prof. Richardson has been part of Lero since its foundation and will play a crucial function leading software research teams who continue to support academia, industry, the public sector and society in general,” said Lero Director, Prof. Lionel Briand.

 

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“I have seen the benefits of being part of a strong, internationally-recognised research centre and learned from those who have gone before me. I want to support researchers and students, particularly those starting their careers, ensuring they benefit from being part of Lero,” said Prof. Richardson, who will continue in her role as co-principal Investigator in Lero.

Prof. Richardson has been an advocate of introducing women to exciting careers in STEM, particularly in software engineering and computer science and recalled her introduction to computing at the age of 12, when maths teacher Sr Concepta Murtagh, introduced her class at Loreto Convent Mullingar, Co Westmeath to computer programming.

“Sr Concepta forged links with ICL (International Computers Limited) in the UK. We would write out our programs. She printed them out on ‘green striped’ computer paper – it was fascinating. So, when a new course started in UL – NIHE Limerick, as it was then – focused on maths and computing, it was my top choice on the CAO form.

“I believe that girls and women should be given equal opportunity to fulfil their capabilities and interests, and it is imperative that we as educators encourage them to see the global importance of software.

“Software is all around us, in hospitals, transport, schools, farming, banking, music – and Ireland needs educated people to support its development. Much of the outreach that I do is to encourage young women to consider the STEM options, to look around them, and to think outside the box.”

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