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Governance Committee

The Lero Governance Committee works with the Lero management to ensure that the centre operates in lines with its strategy and the expectations of SFI and to provide an informed external perspective on the strategic activities of Lero. This includes awareness of best practice across CSETs, of industry priorities and constraints and of state/agency perspectives.

It meets quarterly and reports to the President of UL. Members include


Dr  Sean Baker, Executive Chairman, Incaplex Ltd

Sean Baker is Lero's Governance Committee chairman and is an entrepreneur based in Dublin and co-founder of IONA Technologies plc, where he held many executive positions including CTO, SVP of Customer Services, Chief Scientist, and VP Applied Research.
He is Chairman of Incaplex, a healthcare IT startup; and a director of Calom Technologies. He is Chairman of the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC), and a member of the centre’s investment committee. He was Chairman of the Irish Software Association from 2009 to 2011.  He is a member of the governance boards of a number of Science Foundation Ireland funded projects including Lero, ICHEC and Clique; and is a member of the Advisory Council for Science, Technology and Innovation. He is also a mentor under Enterprise Ireland’s iGAP programme. He was a member of the boards of Iona Technologies plc, Havok, Gridstore and Delta Index.
Sean is an Adjunct Professor at the UCD School of Computer Science and Informatics. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Trinity College Dublin, and held a tenured post in the Department of Computer Science at TCD, where he helped form the Distributed Systems Group in 1980.

Mr Paul Haran, Principal of the College of Business and Law

Paul Haran is Principal of the College of Business and Law and previously was Chairman of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School.  Paul was former Secretary General of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and was instrumental in the development and implementation of policies that contributed directly to the creation of the Celtic Tiger. Haran’s policies as Secretary General contributed to the formation of the €600 million funded SFI (Science Foundation Ireland), the introduction of a single rate of corporation tax and the reform of Ireland’s labour markets.

Haran is Director of Drury and the Irish Insurance Federation.  He is Chairman of Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd, a member of the board of Glanbia and of the board of the Mater Private Hospital. Haran holds a BSc in Computer Science and an MSc in Public Sector Analysis, both from University of Dublin, Trinity College.


Dr Mary Shire, VPR – University of Limerick

Dr, Mary Shire was appointed Vice President Research at the University of Limerick in 2011.  Over the years, UL has successfully built links with industry and Dr Shire's extensive private sector experience plays an important role in furthering UL's vision to support economic growth for Ireland and the Shannon Region. Dr Shire holds a degree in Chemistry and Biology and a PhD in Chemistry from NUI Maynooth, together with an MBA from the University of Limerick.Previously Dr Shire worked for leading US-based pharmaceutical company, Celgene Corporation. In her role as Senior Research Chemist, Dr Shire developed inventions for drug discovery covered by 20 US patents. A number of these compounds are on the market in the US and Europe for the treatment of life-threatening diseases. Following this Dr Shire returned to Ireland and joined a Japanese Pharmaceutical company, Yamanouchi Ireland, based in Dublin. In 2000, Dr Shire moved to work with Schwarz Pharma Ltd in Shannon where she established a successful R&D team. With the establishment of Accelerated Technology Solutions Ltd in 2004, Dr Shire launched a company, providing training and consultancy to Irish pharmaceutical companies


Mr. Bill Kearney, Director of the IBM Software Group in Ireland

Bill Kearney is Director of IBM Ireland Software Group where 1000 people are employed over three different cities in Ireland. The lab is involved in a wide range of software projects and engages with businesses, communities and universities throughout the country.


Philip Flynn: Non Executive Director/Consultant

Philip is Chairman of Ilex Urban Regeneration Company Ltd. Ilex URC was established by the First Minister and Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland to promote the physical, economic and social regeneration of Derry-Londonderry and has specific responsibility to manage and re-develop the large former military base of Ebrington. He is former CEO of The Digital Hub a Government Agency established in 2003 to create a centre of excellence for Digital enterprise, education and the arts to accelerate the development of Ireland’s digital economy. 

Prior to the above Phiilp spent 15 years as a senior executive in the ICT sector across manufacturing, services and software as Group COO for Orbiscom, which was acquired by MasterCard, VP International for Visio Corporation, which was acquired by Microsoft and Director at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) now merged into HP.

Philip holds an MSc. (Mgt.) from Trinity College Dublin and is a graduate of Stanford University’s Advanced Management Programme. He is a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD) and the Marketing Institute of Ireland (M.M.I.I). He also sits on the board and Chairs the Audit Committee of IMRO (The Irish Music Rights Organisation) and is a board member of Dublin Simon Community (Chair from 2005-2008).

Mr John McSweeney, Former Head of Innovation, ESB

John Mc Sweeney was appointed  Head of  Innovation of ESB in 2012. He previously held senior positions as Executive Director of Energy International in 2011, Manager of ESB Asset Development ,Manager of Engineering and Facility Management at ESB International and Manager of ESB IT Solutions and Telecoms .A physics  graduate and a mechanical engineer John joined ESB in .1992 and is now retired from this role.

Prior to his career in the energy sector he held senior positions in the Industrial Development Authority including Director Germany and is a former Irish Army Officer.



Prof. Mike Hinchey, Centre Director, Lero - The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre

Professor Mike Hinchey is Director of Lero and Professor of Software Engineering at the University of Limerick. Prof. Hinchey was previously Director of the Software Engineering Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland. He remains as a consultant to NASA.

Professor Hinchey, a native of Limerick city, is a graduate of UL where he was awarded the President’s Gold Medal as leading student in his graduating year. He was awarded an M.Sc in Computation at the University of Oxford and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of Cambridge. Professor Hinchey has held a number of professorships, both visiting and permanent, in a number of Universities including the University of Nebraska, The Queen’s University of Belfast, New Jersey Institute of Technology and the University of Skovde in Sweden and University of Queensland in Australia. Particular areas of software research for Professor Hinchey include Formal Methods, Autonomous Systems and Software Reliability. 

His work with NASA was implemented in various space projects and will be incorporated in future missions.He helped make NASA missions self-managing and able to proceed to terrains that were previously inaccessible. He also helped develop significant advances in survivability, with consequent less likelihood of mission failure.Professor Hinchey has published widely and is very well known in the international computing community.