Aoife Foley

IEEE Senior Member

Q: What inspired you to become an engineer? Were you always interested in technology? If so, why? If not, when did you become interested and why?

A: I was inspired as a child by my mother and father, who both worked with their hands.

My mother was a tailor and my father was a cooper. Looking further back, many in my family worked with their hands as farriers, cobblers, dressmakers, stokers and railway engineers.

I have always been interested in technology, and my first computer was an Amstrad CPC 464. I learned how to code on this device. When I was in secondary school, engineering wasn’t viewed as a great fit for women. In fact, I remember being told that engineering might not be a great job for a woman.

But I’ve had a great career in industry and, more recently, in academia.

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