AIT SURE Conference

AIT Graduates Scoop Top Prizes at SURE National Science Conference

This year’s SURE conference winners Carina Hardy, AIT, Christopher Golden, IT Sligo, Emma Kane, AIT, and Lydia Lyons, GMIT

Athlone Institute of Technology science graduates were awarded top prizes at a recent national science conference dedicated to promoting undergraduate STEM research across the technological higher education landscape.

Westmeath native Carina Hardy, a recent Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Toxicology graduate, was named ‘Best Oral Presenter’ at the national Science Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) conference for her investigation into the role mitochondrial toxicity plays in adverse drug reactions.

Another recent graduate, Emma Kane, was also awarded one of the top four prizes at the SURE conference for her investigation into the iodine intake of women of childbearing age.

Nine other recent graduates of Athlone Institute of Technology were selected to present their final year research at this year’s SURE conference which took place across three venues simultaneously - TU Dublin, IT Carlow and IT Sligo.

Now in its second year, the hugely successful SURE conference is Ireland’s first national conference dedicated to the enhancement of scientific practice, training and research excellence at undergraduate level across the technological higher education sector.

According to Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Conner, who attended the conference, the SURE Network is a “shining example” of what can be achieved when the sector works together to share experiences and build capacity.

She said the strength of the SURE Network is due to the institutional partnerships upon which it was formed and stressed its importance in continuing to highlight the depth and breadth of research taking place at undergraduate level.

Dr Therese Montgomery, a lecturer in the department of life and physical sciences at Athlone Institute of Technology and chair of the national SURE Curriculum committee, also commented: “SURE gives recent graduates the opportunity to showcase the key skills they developed through their final year research project, such as data analysis, critical thinking, problem solving, scientific writing and science communication, evidence of which is consistently demanded by both industrial and academic employers.

Next year’s SURE Network regional conferences is scheduled to take place across GMIT, Cork IT and TU Dublin on September 25th, 2020.

Further information about the SURE Network, which scooped ‘Best Education Partnership’ at the Education awards earlier this year, can be found at