Maire O’Neill, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow / Lecturer

Maire O'Neill
Maire O'Neill

Name: Maire O’Neill (nee McLoone)

Job Title: Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow / Lecturer

Organisation: The Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT), Queen's University Belfast

Number of Years in current position: 5

Qualifications: M.Eng in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, PhD degree in Digital Signal Processing & Telecommunications, PGCHET, all from Queen’s University Belfast.

I lead the Cryptography research team at the ECIT Institute, Queen’s University Belfast, where I carry out research into data encryption algorithms and architectures for the provision of security in modern communications applications such as email, online shopping and banking, set-top boxes and satellite communications. Along with carrying out research, I am required to secure funding to support the research area, publish papers on my work and to promote national and international links. I also lecture in the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Queens and I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate student projects.

I was exposed to electronic engineering at an early age when my father decided to build a hydro-electric scheme on the river running by our house. Then in secondary school, I enjoyed mathematics, physics and technology, and with two older brothers in engineering, I decided that it was also the career for me. During my engineering degree course I studied all of the mathematics modules. In the final year of my engineering degree I was sponsored by Amphion Semiconductor Ltd to carry out a research project in the area of data security. I thoroughly enjoyed being able to research new ideas and designs using cutting-edge technologies, and this led me to my career as an academic researcher in data encryption. All security techniques are based on mathematical principles and as such a thorough understanding of basic mathematical principles is vital for my research work.

Date Published: October 21, 2010

Back to top

Plus magazine career interviews

All career interviews in the Plus Magazine Careers Library

Find out where maths can take you! The Plus Magazine library of in-depth interviews explore the careers of people who use maths in their jobs every day. Browse the library and discover how maths gives you skills that you can use in any career.