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‘The sky is your starting point, not your limit’

Voice Of EU



To mark International Women in Engineering Day, women in the field are focused on encouraging the next generation.

The future is bright for Ireland’s budding engineers, but only with increased opportunities for women is the consensus from most quarters of Ireland’s engineering community.

The good news is women engineers are more likely to agree that engineering is a rewarding career choice for young people than their male counterparts.

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According to a report by Engineers Ireland, 84pc of women engineers agreed that engineering is a rewarding career choice, with 71pc confident about job opportunities in Ireland.

Not everything in the report was positive, however. Women represent only 12pc of the engineering profession, despite many Irish women engineers’ best efforts to increase the appeal of a career in the field.

Prof Orla Feely, president of Engineers Ireland urged the Irish engineering community as a whole to play an active part in nurturing female talent.

Orla Feely, Engineers Ireland. Image: Orla Murray/Coalesce

“Whether early career engineers or senior leaders, all engineers should play their role as allies for their female counterparts. By working together, we can nurture our future engineering talent and also help female engineers create a clear pathway for progression, so they remain in academia and industry,” she said.

‘This is not a male-only industry’

But the problem remains that not enough women are attracted to careers in engineering to restore the gender imbalance within the industry.

Shauna Ryan, HR manager with software integration firm, SL Controls, says that although the company is making a concerted effort to hire female engineers, the number of women applying for roles such as systems engineers and validation engineers is still low.

“We are actively trying to target and attract females to our roles but the effort to get more women into engineering needs to happen earlier – in our schools and at home,” she said.

“Very little has been done to explain to young people – especially young girls – how much engineering has evolved over the last 20 years. We want to get young people excited about, and interested in, engineering.”

Software quality engineer, Saoirse Kearse, and systems engineer, Blessing Nwachukwu, who both work at SL Controls feel the same. Their industry’s gender imbalance has been obvious to them since their university days.

Nwachukwu studied a master’s in mechatronics at University of Limerick (UL), and she said it was positive in terms of attitude and support. “However, the gender balance in terms of class makeup was still weighted heavily towards males.”

Kearse agreed, saying there were only four girls out of 60 in her college class, but that more girls were starting to apply in the years after she started.

“The stereotype of engineering being for men is gone. This is not a male-only industry. I find a lot of encouragement and support, not because I am female, but because I want to succeed.”

To mark International Women in Engineering Day, Engineers Ireland is calling on Ireland’s female engineering talent to take centre stage as role models to inspire future generations of engineers like Kearse and Nwachukwu.

Feely also praised the work of some of Ireland’s best-known women engineers, including Dr Ann Kelleher and Ann-Marie Holmes of Intel, as well as Prof Linda Doyle, who recently became the first woman to be elected provost at Trinity College Dublin.

“These engineers are making a positive impact on our lives today, and their work will continue to create a lasting impact on society for generations to come,” said Feely.

Several of Ireland’s high-profile women engineers got involved in events across the country organised by Engineers Ireland for International Women in Engineering Day, including a panel discussion on rethinking work culture and a Q&A session with STEPS Ambassador and NASA datanaut Fionnghuala O’Reilly.

For its part, SL Controls is due to set up a programme for schoolchildren aged 11 to show them what being an engineer is all about.

Ryan said the company hopes the effort will encourage more students – both male and female – to take up STEM subjects in secondary school and consider engineering as a career.

Giving advice to young women following in her footsteps, Nwachukwu said: “Once you make up your mind, you need to stand your ground. You don’t need to act like a man. You need to have a passion for engineering. You need to have a purpose. I am thankful I am an engineer.

“You have to find out what that is for you, and you have to pursue it, not allowing anything to stop you along the way. When you do, it is very rewarding. For young females, the sky should be your starting point, not your limit,” she said.

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Elon Musk sells Tesla shares worth $6.9bn as Twitter trial looms | Elon Musk

Voice Of EU



Elon Musk has sold $6.9bn (£5.7bn) worth of shares in Tesla after admitting that he could need the funds if he loses a legal battle with Twitter and is forced to buy the social media platform.

The Tesla CEO walked away from a $44bn deal to buy Twitter in July but the company has launched a lawsuit demanding that he complete the deal. A trial will take place in Delaware in October.

“In the (hopefully unlikely) event that Twitter forces this deal to close *and* some equity partners don’t come through, it is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock,” Musk said in a tweet late on Tuesday.

In other comments on Twitter on Tuesday, Musk said “yes” when asked if he was finished selling Tesla stock. He also said he would buy Tesla stock again if the Twitter deal does not close.

Musk has committed more than $30bn of his own money to the financing of the deal, with more than $7bn of that total provided by a coterie of associates including tech tycoon Larry Ellison, the Qatar state investment fund and the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance.

Musk, the world’s richest person, sold $8.5bn worth of Tesla shares in April and had said at the time there were no further sales planned. But since then, legal experts had suggested that if Musk is forced to complete the acquisition or settle the dispute with a stiff penalty, he was likely to sell more Tesla shares.

Last week Musk launched a countersuit against Twitter, accusing the platform of deliberately miscounting the number of spam accounts on the platform. Twitter has consistently stated that the number of spam accounts on its service is less than 5% of its user base, which currently stands at just under 238 million. Legal experts have said that Musk will find it hard to convince a judge that Twitter’s spam issue represents a “company material adverse effect” that substantially alters the company’s value – and therefore voids the deal.

Musk sold about 7.92m Tesla shares between 5 August and 9 August, according to multiple filings. He now owns 155m Tesla shares or just under 15% of the electric carmaker.

The latest sales bring total Tesla stock sales by Musk to about $32bn in less than one year. However, Musk remains comfortably ahead of Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest man with an estimated $250bn fortune, according to the Bloomberg billionaires index.

Tesla shares have risen nearly 15% since the automaker reported better-than-expected earnings on 20 July, also helped by the Biden administration’s climate bill that, if passed, would lift the cap on tax credits for electric vehicles.

Musk also teased on Tuesday that he could start his own social media platform. When asked by a Twitter user if he had thought about creating his own platform if the deal didn’t close, he replied: “”.

With Reuters

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Iran reveals use of cryptocurrency to pay for imports • The Register

Voice Of EU



Iran has announced it used cryptocurrency to pay for imports, raising the prospect that the nation is using digital assets to evade sanctions.

Trade minister Alireza Peyman Pak revealed the transaction with the tweet below, which translates as “This week, the first official import order was successfully placed with cryptocurrency worth ten million dollars. By the end of September, the use of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts will be widespread in foreign trade with target countries.”

It is unclear what Peman Pak referred to with his mention of widespread use of crypto for foreign trade, and the identity of the foreign countries he mentioned is also obscure.

But the intent of the announcement appears clear: Iran will use cryptocurrency to settle cross-border trades.

That’s very significant because Iran is subject to extensive sanctions aimed at preventing its ability to acquire nuclear weapons and reduce its ability to sponsor terrorism. Sanctions prevent the sale of many commodities and technologies to Iran, and financial institutions aren’t allowed to deal with their Iranian counterparts, who are mostly shunned around the world.

As explained in this advisory [PDF] issued by the US Treasury, Iran has developed numerous practices to evade sanctions, including payment offsetting schemes that let it sell oil in contravention of sanctions. Proceeds of such sales are alleged to have been funnelled to terrorist groups.

While cryptocurrency’s anonymity has been largely disproved, trades in digital assets aren’t regulated so sanctions enforcement will be more complex if Iran and its trading partners use crypto instead of fiat currencies.

Which perhaps adds more weight to the argument that cryptocurrency has few proven uses beyond speculative trading, making the ransomware industry possible, and helping authoritarian states like Iran and North Korea to acquire materiel for weapons.

Peyman Pak’s mention of “widespread” cross-border crypto deals, facilitated by automated smart contracts, therefore represents a challenge to those who monitor and enforce sanctions – and something new to worry about for the rest of us. ®

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Edwards Lifesciences is hiring at its ‘key’ Shannon and Limerick facilities

Voice Of EU



The medtech company is hiring for a variety of roles at both its Limerick and Shannon sites, the latter of which is being transformed into a specialised manufacturing facility.

Medical devices giant Edwards Lifesciences began renovations to convert its existing Shannon facility into a specialised manufacturing centre at the end of July.

The expansion will allow the company to produce components that are an integral part of its transcatheter heart valves. The conversion is part of Edwards Lifesciences’ expansion plan that will see it hire for hundreds of new roles in the coming years.

“The expanded capability at our Shannon facility demonstrates that our operations in Ireland are a key enabler for Edwards to continue helping patients across the globe,” said Andrew Walls, general manager for the company’s manufacturing facilities in Ireland.

According to Walls, hiring is currently underway at the company’s Shannon and Limerick facilities for a variety of functions such as assembly and inspection roles, manufacturing and quality engineering, supply chain, warehouse operations and project management.

Why Ireland?

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Edwards Lifesciences established its operations in Shannon in 2018 and announced 600 new jobs for the mid-west region. This number was then doubled a year later when it revealed increased investment in Limerick.

When the Limerick plant was officially opened in October 2021, the medtech company added another 250 roles onto the previously announced 600, promising 850 new jobs by 2025.

“As the company grows and serves even more patients around the world, Edwards conducted a thorough review of its global valve manufacturing network to ensure we have the right facilities and talent to address our future needs,” Walls told

“We consider multiple factors when determining where we decide to manufacture – for example, a location that will allow us to produce close to where products are utilised, a location that offers advantages for our supply chain, excellent local talent pool for an engaged workforce, an interest in education and good academic infrastructure, and other characteristics that will be good for business and, ultimately, good for patients.

“Both our Shannon and Limerick sites are key enablers for Edwards Lifesciences to continue helping patients across the globe.”

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