Meet the Fellows


Ronan Boyle, BE, MSc, CEng

LinkedIn | Defence Team 2016/2017

Ronan Boyle is an electronic engineer with significant industry experience in the medical devices industry. From 2011, he was a senior project engineer at Medtronic, working as engineering lead for the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System’s end item assembly and packaging operations (Micra TPS is the world's smallest pacemaker). Between 2006 and 2011, he worked as a packaging engineer at Medtronic Vascular, and prior to that he was a manufacturing engineer at Medtronic Vascular from 2003 to 2006. Ronan was awarded an MSc in Technology Management from NUI Galway in 2009, and a BE (Honours) in Electronic and Computer Engineering from NUI Galway in 2003. He has received a number of industry awards including the Ameristar Award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals, as well as the WorldStar Award and WorldStar Sustainability Award from the World Packaging Organisation. He is a Chartered Engineer with Engineers Ireland, a member of the IEEE, and a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute.

Leon Butler, BA, MA

Interview | Twitter | Defence Team 2016/2017

Leon Butler has worked across a broad range of positions in the media industry as a visual narrative designer, filmmaker, and educator. He received a BA in Industrial Design from IT Sligo in 2004 and an MA in Digital Media from NUI Galway in 2010. With his own practice, he has worked with high-profile clients including the Galway International Arts Festival, who commissioned him to produce their iconic festival poster in 2011, the Druid Theatre, on promotional material for their productions, and musician Macklemore, who commissioned Leon to document their 2014 visit to Dublin’s O2 for two sold-out shows. He has also developed many personal projects in animation, typography, children’s illustration and documentary. His research areas of interest include adaptive interactions and experiences using data available in the public sphere and generative typography, and he recently completed a residency at the School of Visual Arts in New York in this field. In 2016, Leon received a Certificate of Typographic Excellence from the Type Directors Club in New York. The Design and Craft Council of Ireland shortlisted Leon as one of their 2016 Future Makers. Also in 2016, Leon undertook a 12-week residency in Los Angeles with digital agency 72andSunny.

Paul Flynn, BEng, BA, PhD

LinkedIn | Twitter | Agriculture Team 2016/2017

Paul Flynn graduated from Dublin Institute of Technology with BEng in Civil Engineering in 2001, and worked in the construction industry for almost a decade as a design engineer and project manager. Clients included IBM, Geodis and Mercedes-Benz. In 2006, Paul pivoted and began teaching mathematics at second level, and subsequently graduated from DCU in 2012 with a BA in English and History (first in class). Upon completion of a Professional Diploma in Education at NUI Galway (with first class honours), Paul then went on to complete a PhD in Education in 2016, also at NUI Galway. He is interested in the application of learning sciences through design thinking and new learning environments, and was attracted to the immersive nature of the TechInnovate programme, in particular the opportunity to identify and critically analyse potential new products and business opportunities in the agriculture domain. Paul, an experienced triathlete, still enjoys swimming and cycling.

Niamh Lynch, BSc, MSc, MSc

LinkedIn | Twitter | Agriculture Team 2016/2017

Niamh Lynch is an expert in quality and risk management for the medtech and pharma industries. She has helped startups and Fortune 500 companies with effective risk-based quality systems, ensuring companies perform at their best through voice-of-the-customer feedback and the use of fully compliant and tailored quality systems. Niamh’s own business, Aversion, provides risk management solutions, training and consultancy to the life sciences sector. She has developed a risk assessment database that meets the requirements of EN ISO 14971:2012, with a free-to-use online tool for customers. Niamh obtained a BSc (honours) in Cognitive Science and Computer Science from the University of Hertfordshire in 1998, which provided the grounding in knowledge engineering and transitioning customer requirements into technical solutions leveraged during her nine years working in London. Niamh received an MSc in Neuropharmacology from NUI Galway in 2002, and subsequently worked with companies including Boston Scientific, Merit Medical and Johnson & Johnson. She completed another MSc in Software Engineering and Databases from NUI Galway in 2012, in order to deliver better solutions for use in quality systems. Niamh is now a TechInnovate Fellow, identifying problems in agriculture and generating tech solutions that will make people’s lives easier and better.

Gregory Payne, BSc

LinkedIn | Twitter | Defence Team 2016/2017

Gregory Payne graduated from DIT with an honours BSc in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation (project management), and also holds a Higher National Diploma in Sport Science from Manchester Metropolitan University. He gained experience in his early career in financial services, compliance and sales with companies such as Permanent TSB and HC Financial Advisers. From here, Gregory transitioned into the world of sport and physical performance where he led developmental teams within the Connacht Rugby high performance pathway, as well as having worked with athletes across a broad range of sports including athletics, gaelic football and basketball. He has served as a team member of the UK Strength & Conditioning Association’s online media editorial panel, with responsibilities that included the dissemination of scientific research and education for physical performance enhancement. Gregory has completed and continues to work on a number of projects in the area of paediatric exercise science and medicine. His personal interests include the application and validity of emerging technologies in sport and exercise, in addition to the study of enhancements in high performance cultures.

Ciara Shields, BA, BSc, PDip

LinkedIn | Twitter | Agriculture Team 2016/2017

Ciara Shields is a results-focused marketing and international business development executive with a passion for startups. She has extensive experience of being part of a team at the early stages of a startup. She graduated in 2008 from Swansea Metropolitan University with a BA (honours) in Graphic Design, where she took a special interest in the entrepreneurship modules. After five years abroad, she was selected for Enterprise Ireland's Graduates for International Growth programme, and joined an Irish SME in London breaking into the UK market (SouthWestern, now part of Capita). During this time she also attained a Postgraduate Diploma in International Growth from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School. Ciara decided to return to Ireland again in 2014 to follow her dreams of entrepreneurship. She completed LEO’s “Lean Launch” workshops and upskilled in digital with DIT in 2016, attaining a first class honours BSc in Digital Technology, Design and Innovation, specialising in digital project management. She has gone on to manage the build of her ehealthcare product that is currently undergoing trials. Ciara is looking forward to the TechInnovate process and how it will allow her to impact on one of Ireland's biggest and most important industries: agriculture.