NUI Galway LGBT+ Network to Celebrate International LGBT+ STEM Day

Committee members of the NUI Galway LGBT+ Network pictured l-r: Tonya Watts, Office for Equality and Diversity, Chris Noone, lecturer, School of Psychology, Cameron Keighron, Masters student in Regenerative Medicine, Dr Peter McKeown, lecturer in Botany and Plant Science, Kate Dawson, PhD Candidate School of Psychology and Dr Declan Coogan, lecturer School of Political Science and Sociology.
Jun 28 2018 Posted: 11:11 IST

To celebrate the first ever International LGBT+ STEM Day, members from the LGBT+ Network in NUI Galway will host a number of events on campus on Thursday, 5 July, to demonstrate its commitment to supporting its staff and students who are members of the LGBT+ community and who significantly contribute to the University’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines.

Chris Noone, Co-chair of LGBT+ Staff Network and lecturer in the School of Psychology at NUI Galway, said: “The NUI Galway LGBT+ Staff Network is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for staff of all sexual identities and genders at the University and to advocate for and raise awareness of LGBT+ issues. It is well documented that staff and students within the STEM disciplines face added difficulty in being out compared to those in other disciplines and we are proud to support International LGBT+ STEM Day and House of STEM, an Irish-based network dedicated to connecting and supporting LGBT+ scientists in Ireland.

“NUI Galway is home to many members of the LGBT+ community who contribute to our teaching and research in STEM disciplines. Our students go on to contribute to STEM research and industry and are valued members of the LGBT+ community in Ireland. For example, NUI Galway graduate, Shaun O’Boyle founded House of STEM and is spearheading the development of International LGBT+ STEM Day.”

LGBT+ Staff Network members who will talk about their work at NUI Galway include:

Dr David McNamara, Co-chair of LGBT+ Staff Network and lecturer in Earth and Ocean Sciences, NUI Galway.

Talk title - An Energetic Geologist

David is a structural geologist whose research mainly focuses on energy and mineral resources with the aim of assisting in their sustainable and environmental extraction to work towards decarbonisation of our society. He recently returned to Ireland after seven years researching energy in New Zealand. 

Social Media handle @mcnamadd - Twitter, Facebook

Cameron Keighron, LGBT+ Network Steering Committee member and Masters student in Regenerative Medicine, NUI Galway.

Talk title - The perspective of an early stage researcher

Having completed his undergraduate studies in Biotechnology at NUI Galway, Cameron is currently studying for his Masters in Regenerative Medicine at the University and hopes to build his research career from there. He has been involved in a few research projects at
NUI Galway over the last number of years, most notable the D1 Now study, which aims to improve health outcomes for young adults with Type 1 Diabetes. He is a member of the LGBT+ Staff network steering group and the Vice Chairperson of AMACH! LGBT.

Social media handle – Twitter: @CameronKeighron and Instagram: @Queertransboy

The LGBT+ Staff Network will also host talks by those working in the Galway STEM industry and in STEM research abroad:

Aoife Fitzgibbon-O’Riordan and Elizabeth Flanagan, Co-founders of Togán Labs

Talk title: Queering entrepreneurship: starting up in a toxic startup world. 

Togán Labs is a boutique open source software development and consulting firm specialising in the Internet of Things. It was set up in Cork by Aoife and Elizabeth in 2016. 

Social Media handle: @ToganLabs

Steve Muir, EA Games

Talk title - Diversity and Inclusion at EA

Steve is a Gaymer who moved to Galway from Glasgow in 2011 to work in the gaming industry.

Social media handle - Twitter: @ScottishSteveo

Dr Stefaan W. Verbruggen, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London.

Talk title: A window on the womb: how strong is a baby's kick?

Dr Stefaan W. Verbruggen is currently based in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, New York where his research focuses on the mechanobiology of cancer, and how it metastasises to bone from other areas of the body. Prior to his fellowship, Dr Verbruggen conducted his PhD research in the Biomechanics Research Centre at NUI Galway, followed by postdoctoral research in the Developmental Biomechanics Lab at Imperial College London.

Social Media handle: @docbruggsbunny

Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway will open LGBT+ STEM Day in the Alice Perry Engineering Building at 1pm on Thursday, 5 July and events will take place directly afterwards.

For more details about LGBT+ STEM Day, visit:

For more information about the Office for Equality and Diversity at NUI Galway, visit:


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