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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

Tyndall Alumni: Dr Niamh Creedon- Deloitte

Extraordinary people have shaped the world as we know it today and our Tyndall alumni are no exception. They embody the scientific legacy of Tyndall and continue to make a difference and ripples of impact throughout their careers.

Today, we are proud to feature Dr Niamh Creedon, former PhD student in the area of smart agri-food and nanosensor systems at Tyndall and Technology Commercialisation Manager at MCCI. Niamh is now a manager in the Global Investment and Innovation Incentive (Gi3) team at Deloitte.

Niamh shares some insight into her time at Tyndall and MCCI and the valuable experience she gained from the start-up world.

Dr Niamh Creedon

What is your current role and how different is it from your role in Tyndall/MCCI

I am currently a manager in the Global Investment and Innovation Incentive (Gi3) team in Deloitte. I manage a range of companies across the Medical Device, Semiconductor and Pharmaceutical industries and aid them in claiming R&D tax incentives and grants. The day-to-day work in a Professional Services firm is completely different to my previous roles in MCCI and Tyndall. However, I still use my STEM knowledge daily and many of the soft skills I learned in Tyndall/ MCCI have also contributed towards establishing client relationships, understanding various client industries and discussing their R&D projects.


How did your time at Tyndall/MCCI progress your career?

I undertook my final year project in Tyndall, then started my PhD in the Nanotechnology group immediately after graduating. Tyndall has had such a huge impact on my professional life and taught me many of the skills I have today. I learned to network and effectively communicate through outreach events and conferences, I significantly expanded my technical knowledge through undertaking research and writing papers and lastly, I learned a huge amount about a number of industries from semiconductor manufacturing to AgriTech.

Moving to MCCI gave me a glimpse of working in the start-up world. I learned so much about commercialising research and the significant work involved to bring a product to market. I gained a personal understanding of the grind of needing to undertake market research and pitch for investment, while also managing product prototyping and testing of devices. Unfortunately, the research was too early stage to take to market but I gained invaluable experience from working in MCCI.


What are you doing now?

I work with my client companies to assess the R&D that they undertake and evaluate whether they would be eligible for tax credits or grants. This involves having a deep understanding of my client’s industries and being able to discuss their research projects on a technical level. There is also a financial aspect to my job, in which I review company expenditure related to R&D and evaluate whether there are qualifying R&D costs from a legislative perspective.


Tell us your best memories of Tyndall/MCCI?

I made some life-long friends in Tyndall and have so many great memories from daily coffee breaks, nights out after a long week in the lab, and trips away climbing mountains. The lab where I undertook most of my experiments was always a joy to be in because of the people.  We also set up the Tyndall Taggers tag rugby team and competed for a few years.

One of the best memories I have during my PhD was getting the opportunity to travel to Georgia Tech in Atlanta to work with our project partners for a month. I got to experience a research setting in the US and how it differs to academia in Ireland. I also have to mention the annual trip to the Ploughing Championships where I had the opportunity to present my research to our ‘end users’ (farmers and vets). They were very long, wet and muddy days but it was an eye-opening experience getting to chat to people who would ultimately benefit from our research.


Share with us your career milestones

I graduated from UCC with a Chemistry Degree and completed my PhD in Tyndall in the Nanotechnology group, developing sensors for disease diagnostics in cows.

Following my PhD, we secured commercialisation funding from Enterprise Ireland, and I moved to MCCI where I undertook a more commercial role with the aim of establishing a spin-out company based on my PhD work.

I then moved to Dublin and started working as a consultant with Deloitte. It was a huge change to what I was doing in MCCI. I got involved with a wide range of clients and progressed to manager. I have now been at Deloitte for 4 years and I am loving it!


What’s your advice for those following in your footsteps?

Don’t be afraid to take risks. It's always easiest to stay within your comfort zone and can be intimidating to take risks with your career. Fear of the unknown or failure can be scary. But it can be most rewarding and motivating if you challenge yourself and try something new.  


Getting Personal 

How do you like to spend your personal-time?

I love my daily walk with my husband, John, and our French Bulldog, Ted. At the weekend, I like to bake or try new recipes. I also attempt to play the piano when I have some spare time and I Iove to paint.


If you weren’t doing the job you’re doing now, what would you be doing?

Running an animal shelter/ petting farm!


What’s a motto you live by?

Always do your best to maintain a positive mental attitude – I’m sure my old lab colleagues would attest to this. It’s definitely key when undertaking your PhD research.