DCU student blazes trail to USA as recipient of San José-Dublin Sister City Work/Study Scholarship

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High-performing Dublin City University student, Aidan Smyth, from Tankardstown, Co. Meath, will be blazing a trail across the Atlantic after being awarded the prestigious 2018 Pat McMahon Master-level scholarship by an tArdmhéara Mícheál MacDonncha.

The one-year, 50,000 Euro scholarship was awarded to Aidan at a ceremony in Dublin’s Mansion House today and it is a key element of the 31-year old San Jose-Dublin Sister City Programme ‘twinning’ relationship.  It will see Aidan taking up a study and work placement in California with San Jose State University (SJSU) and the award’s corporate sponsor, Cypress Semiconductor, Inc (www.cypress.com).

Speaking at the award ceremony, Ardmhéara Micheál MacDonncha said “I would like to congratulate Aidan on receiving this award and I wish him all the best with his study and work placement in San Jose.”  This scholarship programme continues to deliver great benefits for the recipients and it continues to strengthen the relationship between Ireland and the United States.” 

Aidan is the sixth recipient of the award since the scholarship programme started in 2013. He joins previous winners Áine Cahill 2017 who has recently completed her placement with Cypress Semiconductors, Tessa Ronan, 2016 winner, Louis Free, 2015 winner, Andrew Kiernan, 2014 winner and Barry Cannon, who was the inaugural winner of the award in 2013.

This scholarship is named after the founder of the San José Dublin Sister City Programme in 1987.  It is designed to help build a stronger connection between the talent pool of Ireland’s top universities and San José’s lead universities and Silicon Valley’s top technology companies.  It connects with the global network through which technology companies find the brightest minds in the world to work on their critical research and development initiatives.

With 50 per cent of all direct foreign investment (DFI) in Ireland coming from within 25 miles of San Jose, the Pat McMahon scholarship exchange deepens existing strong economic ties while providing San Jose companies with access to Ireland’s most promising engineering talent.

It is the first master’s level exchange to be offered by a US-Irish sister city program relationship, and the first known scholarship of its kind among the 2,600 cities within the Sister Cities International (SCI) network movement.

Aidan Smyth said, "I am truly honoured to receive this fantastic scholarship. I am really enjoying my masters so far and I am looking forward to the unique opportunities I will encounter over the year ahead. I am so excited to develop my engineering knowledge with the guidance and collaboration of great researchers from DCU, San Jose State University (SJSU) and Cypress Semiconductors."

ENDS

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The San José-Dublin Sister City Program

The mission of the San José - Dublin Sister City Program is to promote community, economic development, academic, artistic and cultural, and sporting people to people linkage and ties between San Jose and Dublin as well as Silicon Valley. The program includes Irish Week, Education, Sporting, Community Outreach, the Arts and Business. For more information visit www.sanjosedublin.org

Recipient of Pat McMahon Master-level scholarship for 2016:

Aidan Smyth

Past recipients of Pat McMahon Scholarship:

Áine Cahill

Áine achieved a 1st class honours degree and a gold medal in her final exams in electronic engineering in May 2016 at Trinity College Dublin (TCD).  She is a Trinity Scholar and was a recipient of the Women in Technology Scholarship, awarded by Intel, Leixlip.  Áine was awarded the Naughton Fellowship in 2015 to perform summer research on microwave signal processing in Notre Dame University, USA.

During her final year project in TCD, Áine researched optimal decision making using fully probabilistic design. Áine travelled to China for an internship with Huawei Telecommunications in 2015 and she worked with Laerdal Medical in Norway during summer 2016.

2016: Tessa Ronan

Tessa finished at the top of her class in the Applied Physics BSc at DCU.  She was one of four people from Ireland chosen for a Naughton Fellowship* in 2015.  Tessa has recently returned from a study placement at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana USA working on materials science for Photovoltaics.  *The Naughton Fellowship provides opportunities for exceptional students from one of four universities in Ireland to experience international education in the STEM disciplines.

2015: Louis Free

Louis returned to Ireland in September 2015.  His time spent studying and working in San Jose sharpened his spirit of enterprise, after which he intends to pursue a PHD and start his own company.

2014: Andrew Kiernan

Andrew, an Electronic Systems student was immensely popular in San Jose. The employment creation element of the scholarship saw him being taken on permanently at Cypress Semiconductor’s installation in Cork. He now works with Parade Technologies after his division was recently sold to them.  Andrew spoke about his work in the field of ‘Efficient Computation of Electrostatic Capacitance’ at the Irish Signals and Systems Conference (ISSC) in Belfast in 2016.

Inaugural (2013) Winner - Barry Cannon

In October of 2012, Barry Cannon was announced as the first recipient of the Pat McMahon Masters Level Exchange Scholarship.  Barry’s experience with the scholarship was life-transforming and gave him the clarity and confidence to pursue his passion and talent for music.  He subsequently enrolled at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) in Dublin.

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