UCC PhD student recipient of the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship

15 Jun 2016
Featuring (left to right) Prof. Paul Ross (Head of College of SEFS, UCC), Prof. John O'Halloran (Vice President of Teaching and Learning, UCC), Fiona Edwards Murphy (IRC funded PhD candidate), Dr. Padraig Whelan (Co-Supervisor, UCC School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences), Prof. Anita Maguire (Vice President for Research and Innovation, UCC), Dr. Emanuel Popovici (Co-Supervisor, Embedded Systems Group, Electrical and Electronic Engineering)

Fiona Edwards Murphy has been awarded a 2016 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, which aims to promote young women who excel in the fields of computer science and technology

This highly prestigious scholarship(worth more than 7000 euro) is awarded based on academic background and demonstrated leadership. Fiona is the only Irish recipient among 20 from the Europe, Middle East, and Africa region, as well as being the first UCC student to ever receive the award. Through the scholarship, Google aims to encourage women to become active role models and leaders in their field. The scholarship recipients will meet at the Annual Google Scholars' Retreat in Zurich, Switzerland in July 2016 to participate in a unique program that includes professional development as well as community outreach.

Fiona is currently pursuing her PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, under the supervision of Dr. Emanuel Popovici (Embedded.Systems@UCC Group, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UCC) and Dr. Padraig Whelan (UCC School of Biological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences(BEES) and Environmental Research Institute (ERI)). Fiona’s interdisciplinary PhD work aims to improve the health and productivity of honey bee colonies through the use of modern sensing, communication, and data processing technologies. Her research is also funded by the Irish Research Council through a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship 2014.

On receiving her award, Fiona commented “I am very honoured to receive the Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship. I’m excited to represent UCC at the Scholars’ retreat, to meet my fellow scholars and experience the inside workings of one of the most influential companies in my field.”

Previously, Fiona has excelled at both a national and international level. She received the Science Foundation of Ireland/Dell Young Women in Engineering Scholarship 2009 while pursuing her bachelors in Electrical and Electronic Engineering at University College Cork. She has a passion for engineering education outreach, and has been involved in a variety of events, including: demonstrations at ERI/Marei outreach events, “I’m an Engineer, get me out of here”, and the BT Young scientist competition (mentoring secondary level students). She has received major prizes at the IEEE/IBM Smarter Planet challenge on three occasions, making her the only student to win multiple awards in this global competition. The awarded projects were:

  • iCARE: Improved Health Care Access for disadvantaged communities, which proposed to use emerging Body Area Network Technologies and mobile phones to access medical services, (First Prize, 2011, team leader). Collaboration with students from: Business Information Studies, Nursing, Electrical and Electronic engineering.
  • U-Play: Unified Networks and Interfaces for Interacting with Toys for Children with Disabilities, (Second Prize, 2013, team member). Collaboration with students from: Occupational Therapy, Early Years and Childhood Studies/Applied Psychology, Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
  • (2B) OR !(2B) = TRUE (To bee or not to bee): from the beehive to the cloud and back, which aimed to use mobile, cloud computing, and big data technologies to improve honey bee health, (First prize 2014, team leader). Collaboration with students from: International Development and Food Policy, Environmental Plant Biotechnology, Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

For more information about Google Anita Borg memorial scholarships and award recipients read:

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