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Athena Swan

Equality Challenge Unit

Equality Challenge Unit ((opens in a new window)ECU) is a UK based organisation that works to support equality and diversity for staff and students in higher education institutions.  They support universities and colleges to build an inclusive culture that values the benefits of diversity, to remove barriers to progression and success for all staff and students, and to challenge and change unfair practices that disadvantage individuals or groups. 

Athena SWAN Charter

Advance HE’s (opens in a new window)Athena SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research. The charter has since expanded to recognise work undertaken in arts, humanities, social sciences, business and law (AHSSBL), and in professional and support roles, and for trans staff and students. The charter now recognises work undertaken to address gender equality more broadly, and not just barriers to progression that affect women.

University College Dublin was awarded the Athena SWAN Bronze Institutional Award on 15th March 2017. The Athena SWAN Award was established to promote the advancement of women’s careers in higher education and research. Receiving this Award is a welcome recognition of UCD’s commitment to our community to enhance gender equality in the university and is a significant milestone for UCD.

(opens in a new window)School of Computer Science is committed to supporting gender diversity, equality and inclusion. 

Contact email: (opens in a new window)EDI-CS@ucd.ie

Athena SWAN in action in our School

Diversity is highlighted in the university’s strategic plan as one of the core values of UCD, and one of our strategic objectives is the attraction and retention of an excellent and diverse cohort of students, faculty and staff. The Athena SWAN Gender Equality Action Plan will be central to our ability to deliver on this objective. In our school,  Athena SWAN and gender inclusion benefits staff and students of all genders by improving the culture and practices.

We have already put in place a number of actions including:

  • The appointment of a Self-Assessment Team (SAT) to collect and analyse data representing our School and to put actions in place to address key issues and carry our school forward
  • Follow the new HR Strategy and faculty development processes integrating gender equality
  • Gender balance targets for committee membership
  • Roll-out of unconscious bias training
  • Introduction to (opens in a new window)Women@CompSci
  • Implemented core meeting hours 10.00 - 16.00
  • Mainstreaming gender equality across all school processes, including data collection.
  • Planned application date for Athena Swan School level Bronze Award: April 2019

Work in Progress

The current Self-Assessment Team is co-chaired by Assoc. Prof. Eleni Mangina and  Prof. Gregory O'Hare. It includes 24 staff and students from all parts of the school. To find out how our School is making strides in gender equality and how you can support us contribute to positive change for everyone please contact the Chairs of Athena SWAN SAT.


Prof. Gregory O'Hare

Assoc. Prof. Eleni Mangina

School of Computer Science Athena SWAN Self-Assessment Team


Role in School

Description and EDI experience/knowledge

Gregory O'Hare

Full Professor

Completed his studies at the University of Ulster graduating with a B.Sc, M.Sc and Ph.D. He held the position of Head of the Department of Computer Science at University College Dublin (UCD) 2001-2004.

Eleni Mangina

Associate Professor

Joined UCD in 2002. Co-chair of SAT. Deputy VP International College of Science. Disciplinary and Appeals Committee; EDI School representative.

Anna Antoniadi

PhD Student

Joined UCD in 2017 as PhD student. MSc Biostatistics and BSc Computer Science. Founding member (opens in a new window)Women@CompSci group; CS Sparks volunteer

Brett Becker

Assistant Professor

Joined UCD in 2016 BDIC team. Experience in Computer Science Education Research and outreach. Coordinator of CS Sparks outreach programme.

Chris Bleakley

Associate Professor

Joined UCD in 2003. Previously worked in industry. Undergraduate student recruitment officer. School Research Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee member.

Elizabeth Burke

UG Student

4th Year Computer Science with Data Science student. Intel Women Technology Scholar. CS Sparks volunteer. Founding member of UCD's (opens in a new window)Women@CompSci

Julie Berndsen

Full Professor

Joined UCD in 1998, Full Professor in 2008. School Director of Graduate Taught Studies. Availed of sabbatical leave (Jan-Sept 2015). 

Fintan Costello

Assistant Professor

Joined UCD in 2003. Research on the psychology of bias in human reasoning and judgement. EDI School representative. 

David Coyle

Assistant Professor

Joined UCD in 2015. Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Board Member of ACM Special Interest Group Computer-Human Interaction.

John Dunnion

Associate Professor

Joined UCD in 1985 and academic staff in 1991. Director of BSc (Computer Science) Programme, Head of Teaching and Learning. 

Antonella Ferrecchia

EU Prog. Manager

Joined UCD in 2008 as Research Service Manager. Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering. EU Programme Manager in Insight Centre. 

Erin Finnerty

Programme Manager

Joined UCD School of Business in 2006; Computer Science in 2016. Review and setting up the content of survey questions.

Harsh R.


MSc Student

Joined UCD in 2017 and student representative for the MSc in Computer Science (Conversion). Coordinator of school placement team.

Neil Hurley

Associate Professor

Joined UCD in 1999. Served for University Disciplinary committee; Director of Research Postgraduates; Director of MSc Computational Science. 

Michael Jordan

UG student

3rd Year Computer Science with Data Science student. Incoming Deloitte Intern. CS Sparks Volunteer. CoderDojo UCD Volunteer. 

Susan Leavy

Postdoc Res. Fellow

MSc in AI; an MPhil in Gender and Women's studies and a BA in Philosophy and English Literature. 

Paul Martin

IT Systems


Joined UCD in 2002. Leads a team of 3 people. Worked in private sector, HP and Diageo, from 1998.  

Hilary McDonald

Research Operations and Prog. Manager

Joined NUID UCD in 2017 for CONSUS Research programme. 2000 to 2006, Hilary was the only female Software Engineering Manager in Microsoft Ireland

Lorraine McHugh

School Manager

Joined UCD in 2008; CS in 2011. EDI Disability Subgroup member. Training: Unconscious Bias; Autism Awareness; Responding to Distressed/at-Risk Students.

Brian McNamee

Assistant Professor

Joined School of Computer Science in 2015. Brian has provided the data visualisation of the self-assessment process.

Catherine Mooney

Assistant Professor

Joined UCD in 2016 for BDIC team. Female Student Recruitment Officer. CS Sparks coordinator and founding member of UCD’s (opens in a new window)Women@CompSci

Giuseppina Sethuraman

Executive Assistant

Join school of Computer Science in 2019

Liam Murphy

Full Professor, Head of Research

Joined UCD in 2000. Served UCD's University Committee for Academic Appointments, Tenure, and Promotion; UCD's Assessment Appeals committee. 

Liliana Pasquale

Assistant Professor

Joined UCD in 2016. Currently holder of an SFI Starting Investigator Research Grant (SIRG).

Jennie Rothwell

Research Officer

Joined UCD in 2015 on gender-focused literary project. Joined Computer Science in 2016. Athena SWAN panellist in 2018. 

Anthony Ventresque

Assistant Professor

Joined UCD in 2015 as Assistant Professor. Previously worked in France, Singapore and Ireland, in academia and in industry.

(opens in a new window)[1] Jennie has moved to the UCD BEACON Bioeconomy Research Centre since April 2018 but will keep on working with our SAT post submission to share good practices.

UCD School of Computer Science

University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland, D04 V1W8.
T: +353 1 716 2483 | E: computerscience@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)