The governing body of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) ratified Prof Willie Donnelly as the next President of the Institute.
Prof Donnelly was Vice President for Research, Innovation and Graduate Studies at WIT as well as Director and founder of the Telecommunications Software and Systems Group (TSSG), an internationally-renowned mobile services and communications management research centre which has grown from 3 to 130 researchers, winning over €80m in competitive funding.
Prof Donnelly has significantly impacted the creation of a research and innovation ecosystem in Waterford which has resulted in the creation of a mobile services software cluster in the South East. He has directed the development of WIT’s ArcLabs Research & Innovation Centre and is a founding member of a number of spin-out companies, including FeedHenry and ZolkC.
Speaking about the appointment, Mr Dick Langford, WIT Chairman, said that Prof Donnelly has been appointed at an exciting time in the Institute’s history. “As we see the country begin to recover, never before has higher education been more important as a driver to sustain and drive our economic fortunes.
“WIT has been hugely successful over the last 45 years, with 2,500 students graduating each year, the Institute leverages more than €20 million in research funding on an annual basis as well as acting as a catalyst for positive change in the south east and further afield. Prof Donnelly has an indisputable track record in his career in the institute to date and his next challenge, and one that he will meet with gusto, is to build on the Institute’s strengths, and lead WIT to the next level.”
Speaking after his appointment, Prof Donnelly said, “I am delighted to be appointed President of WIT. The institute has a tradition of leadership within the third level sector. From its foundation 45 years ago, WIT has been a catalyst for regional, cultural and economic development, sustained through a culture of collaboration and innovation between the institute and its regional stakeholders.”
“We are now entering an important phase in the evolution of the institute as an internationally recognised leader in the translation of research into economic impact”, Prof Donnelly continues. “The pioneering spirit which characterises the institute is reflected in the growth of its internationally accredited research, an innovation culture which is driving the emergence of the knowledge economy within the south east and a research capacity which impacts directly on our students as we redefine the student experience by complimenting traditional learning with an ethos of entrepreneurship and innovation.”
Prof Donnelly will fill the vacancy occasioned by the secondment of Dr Ruaidhrí Neavyn to the Department of Education and Skills/Higher Education Authority.
For a full biography of Prof Donnelly, visit www.wit.ie/wdonnelly