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Graduate Interview: Ann Ledwith BEng '83

Thursday 30 August 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Lisa McCarthy
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As we look forward to hosting Class Reunions on campus in September 2018, here we catch up with one of our returning alumni.

Ann Ledwith graduated from NIHE (later UL) in 1983 with a BEng. Electronic Systems.

Tell us about yourself

I am the Dean of Graduate & Professional Studies at UL, I returned to UL about 25 years ago after more than 12 years working in Research & Development in a small electronics firm.  I now live close to the University, I have 5 children, 3 at university and 2 still in secondary school.  I do yoga, running and swimming and took up the piano 2 years ago.


What are some of the accomplishments you are most proud of in your career thus far?

The most productive part of my life, that I am very proud of, was between about 1997 and 2004, during this time I had 5 children, completed an MBA, started lecturing at UL and completed my PhD less than a year after giving birth to twins – it was a busy time!  I find my current role at UL very rewarding, I am responsible for all of our postgraduate students, I get to work with great people across our 4 faculties on programmes as diverse as School Leadership, Artificial Intelligence, Creative Writing and Aviation Leasing.   


Tell a little about your background. How did you come to attend UL?

I ended up at UL because physics was not available at the all-girls secondary school I attended, so a few of us went across to the local Christian Brothers school.  I had been planning in doing dentistry but all the smart boys in the physics class were going to do engineering, so I ended up picking that.  I almost went to UCC but at the last minute I switched to what was then NIHE, I was already booked into a hostel in Cork.


How did your time here help prepare you for your career?

I spent the first part of my career in engineering, initially in Analog Devices,  then in a small firm called Intepro, both were very technical roles and definitely used what I had learnt from my engineering degree.  Coop also gave me a good idea of what to expect from a high-tech firm, I did coop with Digital in Clonmel.  I completed an MBA in 1997 and  that was very useful as my career developed.


What do you remember most from your student years? 

I remember protesting that they were turning the grass where we played Frisbee into a building site, totally naïve when you look at the university now, I also remember the summer we had to come back to do an extra semester to get a BEng rather than a BSc, we had the place to ourselves.  NIHE was much smaller back in the early ‘80s you got to know everyone on campus, it was much cosier. I also spent lots of time swimming and diving, down in the old Thomond building.


Are you still in touch with anyone from your time here?

My class were great, there were only 3 girls in electronics and we have stayed in touch.  There are also a good few people still around the Limerick region that I meet occasionally.  We had a mixed group of lecturers, very non-traditional.  When I came back to work in UL it was interesting to meet some of them again.


What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were a student?

I think I was better off not knowing what I know now!


What message would you like to send to other alumni?

Come back and visit if you haven’t done so recently, the campus is really great, it has expanded so much from when we were here.


This September 29th the Class of 1983 will celebrate their 25 year Reunion in The Pavilion Restaurant on UL's North Campus.

If you would like some more details on this milestone event or would like to register to attend please click here

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