2015 Alumni Achievement Awards

2015 UCC Alumni Achievement Awards

The 2015 UCC Alumni Achievement Awards Gala Evening took place on Friday 27 November, 2015 in UCC's historic Aula Maxima.  

Award Recipients

Matt Cooper, BComm ‘87

Matt Cooper is a Broadcaster, Journalist and Author.  He is former editor of the Sunday Tribune and was national journalist of the year in 1991 and 2001 and business journalist of the year in 1992 and 1999.  He presents the weekly evening programme The Last Word on Today FM.  He has written three best-selling books, all of which have been shortlisted for the non-fiction book of the year in the Irish Book Awards including The Maximalist, a biography on business man and former rugby international Tony O’Reilly published in September 2015.  He presents live sports television on TV3 including the GAA Championships and the recent Rugby World Cup.  He has made a number of television documentaries including Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang, a fly-on-the-wall documentary on a trip to North Korea by an American basketball player Dennis Rodman and a team of former NBA players.

utube interview with Matt Cooper

Cathy Kearney BComm ‘85

Cathy started in Apple on secondment from E&Y when training to be a Chartered Accountant with them in November 1988.  She joined Apple in May 1989 starting in Finance.  At the time Apple was expanding its printed circuit board operation and Cathy joined as the Fixed Asset Accountant.  

Cathy moved through the levels in Finance, became Site Controller in 1994 and in 1996 become Operations Controller for Europe.  In Sept 1999 she had triplets!  A few months after her return to work in 2000 she also took over the running of the Applestore Operations team with her Finance role - her first toe into the Operations world !  On 1 Aug 2004 Cathy was promoted to the Senior Director of European Operations as well as the Cork Site Lead role.  In 2012 Cathy was promoted to VP European Operations.  

For the past 10 years Cathy has overseen the expansion of the Cork site - which is Corks largest private employer employing almost 5000 people across many differing functions including: Applecare, Applestore, Manufacturing, Finance, Operations and R&D. 


Ann B. Kelleher BE (Elec) ’87, MEng ’89, PhD ’93 (All UCC)

Ann Kelleher is corporate vice president in the Technology and Manufacturing Group and general manager of the Fab/Sort Manufacturing organization at Intel Corporation. She is responsible for Intel's silicon wafer fabrication facilities.

Before assuming her current position in the Fab/Sort Manufacturing organization, Kelleher was site manager for Intel's Fab 11X fabrication facility in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In that role, she was responsible for all aspects of the operation, including safety, people and operational metrics for high-volume manufacturing on 45nm process technology and ramping up the factory to 32nm process technology. Earlier in her Intel career, she was the plant manager for Intel's Fab 12 facility in Chandler, Arizona, as well as the factory manager of Fab 24 in Leixlip, Ireland.

Kelleher joined Intel in 1996 as a process engineer, going on to manage technology transfers and factory ramp-ups in a variety of positions spanning 200mm and 300mm technologies.


Piniti Ratananukul PHD ‘83

Piniti Ratananukul studied for his PhD graduate in Organic Chemistry at UCC in 1983

Piniti Ratananukul is Secretary General of the Higher Education Commission of Thailand. Reporting directly to the Prime Minister, Prof Piniti Ratananukul has been responsible for all policy matters in higher education in He has also served as the Executive Director of the ASEAN University Network (AUN) since 2005, a position for which he was nominated by the CHE. During his directorship, the AUN has been enlarged and played a leading role in higher education, not only in the ASEAN countries, but also working with agencies and universities in Australia, China, EU, Japan, Korea, US, etc. He has also made the AUN Secretariat more internationalised and actively pursued the AUN's charter goals in terms of solidarity in ASEAN, enhancing university collaboration and building up mutual understanding among universities within and outside ASEAN.

He has extensive experience of university management and leadership, including terms as Dean of the Faculty of Science and VicePresident at Silpakorn University and Vice President at Srinakharinwirot UniversityThailand. 

Prof Piniti is also a post-doctoral fellow from Queen’s University Belfast.

utube interview with Piniti Ratananukul

John MacCarthy BE Civil ‘79

John has been an outstanding volunteer for UCC over the last two decades.  John is Director of John MacCarthy BE & Partners Consulting Engineers in Cork City.

John is committed to enhancing the student experience through sport. He has been President of UCC Soccer Club since 1999. Under John’s stewardship, UCC Soccer Club has won lots of silverware including; 6 Collingwood Cups, 7 Crowley Cups and 1 Harding Cup as well as the Munster Senior League in 2014.

John was a founding member of UCC Soccer Alumni in 2000.  The Club hosts the ever popular annual soccer colours lunch and match which attracts over 300 graduates and friends every year. 

John is committed to supporting UCC’s alumni relations activities and cultivating the alumni network.  He has been a member of the UCC Alumni Board since 2003 and served as Chairman from 2007 – 2009.

John was a member of the UCC Governing Body from 2007-2012. John is also very involved as a volunteer for many years with the Niall Mellon Trust building homes and schools in South Africa.

utube interview with John MacCarthy 

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